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traveling with kids

Traveling With Kids: What’s The Best Age To Start?

If you’re reading this then I’m sure you know this by now…

Traveling with kids is way different from traveling without them.

The carefree jaunts through places unknown with little to no notice, luggage, and stress are things of the past, and that’s if you had the opportunity to do them before the kids arrived. If you did, great. Make sure to keep those pictures safe. If you didn’t, just tell yourself that you didn’t miss much, and travel with kids will be much better. 😉

In this post, I want to talk a little about the best ages to start traveling with kids. And here’s a total spoiler- there isn’t one! Any age can be perfect, but each will require flexibility and a little grace given from you to yourself as well as everyone else. It’s a delicate dance of managing expectations, concerns about full-time RV living, and reality.

Once you figure out your sweet spot, everything’s smooth sailing from then on.

What’s The Best Age To Start Traveling With Kids?

This is a really tricky question, becasue there are som many benefits of full-time travel with kids. And while you’ll likely fall in love with idea of full-time RV travel with kids, well before you stumble upon this post, it’s important to weigh the pros and cons.

And while it’s definitely possible to travel with children of all ages, each will come with a full set of both pros and cons.

I won’t attempt to sell you on one age or another, because whatever age your children are, personally, I think it’s a perfect age. So instead I’ll just give you some useful information and maybe a few pros and cons to think about at different ages to let you decide for yourself.

traveling with kids

Newborns to 6 months

Traveling with babies can be easy and carefree, or the complete opposite. A child who enjoys the motion of travel will likely be a complete joy, as they may sleep for most of the road trips and be pleasant for the rest.


  • Many newborns are champion sleepers which means you’ll have a more relaxed travel experience.
  • Newborns are happy to be held most of the time, so sightseeing can be done with your little one nestled comfortably against you.
  • Babies take up such a small amount of space for sleeping, you’ll find having a small crib or bassinet in your RV is easy to manage.


  • Gear for you baby may fill your storage space! Diapers, wipes, and clothes alone can take up quite a bit of space if you’re buying bulk, and if you don’t the price increases quite a bit dipping into your travel funds!
  • Babies can be fussy, and some are more fussy than others. Dealing with these moments while driving or in a small space like an RV can be challenging.

Babies 6 months to 1 year

Babies at this age are no longer sleeping bundles of joy. They’re active and mobile, and they want to be in everything. Exploring their surroundings is fun and exciting, but requires nonstop attention from parents, especially those in new and unfamiliar surroundings.

Attention spans, at this age, are usually quite short but lucky for you, it doesn’t take much to entertain them. Repetition and structure, as much as I hate to admit it, will be your best friends. Having designated meal times, bedtimes, and most importantly naptimes will keep your baby’s travels from spiraling out of your control.


  • Slings and strollers make taking your baby on the go for hikes, and sightseeing pretty easy to manage.
  • Keeping your baby entertained can be as simple as a quick game of peek-a-boo or exploring a new toy in their car seat or playtime mat.


  • Babies at this age require constant supervision as well as baby-proofing! Keeping the sockets in your RV plugged, and locks on cabinets will help a lot with keeping your baby out of areas that can cause harm.
  • Planning your trips around feeding schedules, diaper changes, and nap time might mean forgoing lengthy museum trips and fine dining in exchange for children’s museums and meals back at the campsite.
traveling with kids

Terrific 1’s, 2’s & 3’s

The toddler years are full of excitement. Children at this age have increased mobility and usually decreased attention spans. They want to know how to do everything themselves. They want all of your attention. And they require a lot of additional coddling.

Foreseeing mood changes and energy levels can make travel more smooth. Prepare for extra breaks, to allow stretching, potty breaks, and maybe some regrouping. Keep tantrums and boredom at bay, by having a secret arsenal of new books, toys, and snacks.


  • Traveling with kids in their toddler years provides so much bonding time! Away from digital distractions and plenty of time and space to roam provide toddlers with a mini sense of real independence.
  • Everything is new and enjoyable at these ages and capturing the moments on video or in pictures can serve as a trip down memory lane later in life.


  • Traveling with a toddler who’s just found their independence takes guts and lots of patience. Pack extra and you’ll be just fine.
  • Having to schedule additional breaks in long travel days for stretching, potty time, and to burn off energy means you’ll be covering fewer miles per day making long trips longer- so plan stops along the way.

Fantastic 4’s & 5’s

Little adventurers are bursting with questions, at this age in travel.

They’ll keep themselves and you busy with wanting to know all out the who, what, when, where, why and how behind your entire trip? Instead of being short with answers, make an increased effort to answer their questions in as much detail as they can handle.

Keep the trip exciting by giving them the information they seek. Sight words, I Spy and other fun travel entertainment are great things to keep on hand for moments when the kids get restless and you aren’t ready to make a stop!


  • 101 questions are an easy feat for kids of this age! They’ll be fascinated by everything new and you can embrace their curiosity by providing answers! Their questions are a golden opportunity to turn every experience into a learning adventure.
  • Diaper bags are out, backpacks are in! And just like that travel and sightseeing became a little more enjoyable without the need for diaper changes.


  • Attention spans are still short, so you’ll still want to pack a few travel-size games and activities to keep them busy both while driving as well as when you’re on the go.
  • You’ll want to consider placing more concentration on kid-friendly destinations and activities, as many kids this age will get bored, and have meltdowns if there is no opportunity for them to explore, burn off energy, play, and participate.
traveling with kids

School-aged 6 – 12

Now is the time when travel turns from exciting to amazing. Kids are maturing and as much as they want to have fun, they also want to explore.

As you travel you’ll notice the kids taking the lead. You may have planned the trip, but they’ll make it their own with personal observations. Keeping a travel journal at this age will prove to keep children engaged and entertained.


  • Social skills are sharpening, and they’ll enjoy meeting new people, group interactions, and even kid’s clubs.
  • Travel can become more of a collaborative experience if your kids are eager to pick places to visit and choose new things to do.


  • Be prepared to adjust your plan on the fly. Remaining flexible is key, when your child finds something interesting along the way or wants to explore deeper into a location.
  • Allowing your children to help plan is a great way to get them involved and excited about the adventures, but you’ll need to manage their expectations and make sure their choices align with your goals and your budget.

Teenagers 13 & up

Traveling with kids in their teens will be just as turbulent as being at home with them.

Highs and low are bound to happen but keep positive and they’re sure to pas quickly. Spark curiosity in your teens by encouraging them to do some self-guided explorations, or maybe a personal guide for the rest of the family. Giving them the control and authority to make a few smaller decisions about the family adventure just might cure a bad attitude or reluctant traveler.


  • Teens can be amazing travelers for both large and small-scale exploration, especially if you tap into their interests.
  • Providing tiered independence at different ages will supply your teen with some autonomy they may be craving.


  • Teens are known for being moody, which can be difficult to navigate in tiny spaces as well as long outings full of activities.
  • Being away from family and friends for extended periods may leave your teen feeling homesick, so make sure to incorporate regular phone calls, video chats, and even trips back home to keep everyone happy in their travels.
traveling with kids

Traveling With Kids: The Best Age To Start?

Regardless of what age you decide is right for your family to start traveling together, one thing will remain true… The more you travel, the easier it gets.

As your family begins to get comfortable with traveling together, everyone will know what to expect and what is expected. So start soon and keep going, it’ll get better and better with each adventure you take!

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