Why We Never Take the Kids Out of the Country – For Now

With all the seat sales and affordable travel packages, a lot of our friends are asking – “Why don’t you go out of the country with the kids?’ I have friends who bring their kids below six in countries like Japan, Hong Kong, US and even Maldives! Yes, I envy them but on second thought, is it really worth it? Should I pressure myself and my husband to go on a trip outside the country just because our friends are doing it?

It’s not that we can’t afford it or we don’t have money for it or we are simply being kuripot. The truth is we can BUT we don’t feel our girls deserve it – yet.

As of this writing, my kids are one and three years old. See, they’re pretty young, although my eldest acts like she’s a little miss already and my youngest is, well, she’s still busy trying to learn the world of ABC and 123. Yes, we go on road trips and vacations once in a while but as a parent, I don’t feel the need to apply for their passport, visa and all – at least for now. 

I’m not saying I’m being kuripot and I won’t even bring them to Disneyland when the right time comes. The truth is we are delaying it until they are much older.

So, why don’t we take our kids on a trip outside the country? Well, here’s why.

1. They’re too young. Again, they’re just one and three. They still have tantrums, scheduled nap time, limitations when walking around and visiting places, and basically, anything toddler-related boo-boos. Yes, they appreciate what they see and my kids also get enchanted when they saw the giant ferris wheel in Sky Ranch at night. However, they are babies and well, you  know how babies are when they are taken somewhere unfamiliar.

2. They won’t even remember it, anyway. My kids, or perhaps any other kids have superb memories. They will always remember everything I taught them, even if it’s last week or three months ago. Still, that memory does not yet include the travel memories. In our most recent trip in Tagaytay, I never even heard my three-year old talked about how happy she was when ate in Bag of Beans or how she can’t get enough of the giant ferris wheel. She just said “wow” and “Mommy, look, it’s so nice” but that’s it. As soon as we left, she didn’t even bother to ramble about it.

For me, travelling is also about creating memories. I don’t want my kids to go visit Disneyland or any other places in the world and not even remember it. For sure they will have fun but I want to hear their thoughts and what’s going through their mind too. I want them to experience something, which they can remember and look back at five or ten years after.

3. Too much carry-ons. Admit it, travelling with toddlers means having a baby bag, a stroller, some toys to keep them busy and entertained and anything baby paraphernalia. I even have a separate luggage for my girls. There was even a time when we went to Fontana and my baby A was only 4 months old, I practically bought the whole house! I have a sterilizer, stroller, and even a crib. So you can just imagine how our car looks like every time we go on a road trip. What more when we go out of the country? Plus, there will always be a chasing scene somewhere in the trip and having too much carry-ons while in a different country is not exactly my idea of a “trip to remember.”

4. My kids have short attention span. Yes, unfortunately. They get fascinated over one thing and after 10 seconds, their attention is shifted to glasses, spoons and even the flowers sitting at the center of the table. I brought my eldest one time in Manila Ocean Park and she was only interested with the seals for 5 minutes. The rest of the show, we were running around since she’s no longer interested in watching.

5. Travelling with toddlers can be too much to handle. We don’t bring a yaya every time we go on a road trip. As much as possible, we want to enjoy the trip as a family, without having to worry about a plus one who we have to take care of. It is challenging, difficult and stressful especially with two young girls – and that’s just here. We also have to forego certain activities in the itinerary and adjust everything for the kids (although I’m not complaining, okay?) What more when we’re in a different time zone?

6. Travelling in the Philippines is different from going out of the country. Yes, Hong Kong and Singapore are only minutes away from the Philippines but we’re talking about a different country with a different spoken language and different culture. My husband had an accident several years ago in China and got so stressed in the hospital, he demanded that he wants to go back to Manila the following day (not to mention the language barrier). Apparently, he was asked whether he wants to be in the “Western” wing where he will be treated with medicines and all, or on the “Traditional” side, which means herbs and rituals.

What I’m saying is that in case something happens, it would not be very easy to ask for help. Plus, it’s a different environment. There will always be a “barrier” among different countries, which may not be conducive for the kids.

I am not against mommies who travel with their tots. That’s totally fine and I respect your decision. It’s just me, mommies and this is only my take every time I’m asked why I don’t even bring kids to HK. Mahirap din kasi. It’s not that I don’t want them to explore and see the world. There is the right time for that. For now, I’ll just let them explore Philippines first before they see what the world has to offer. It’s more fun in the Philippines, right?

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  1. Neri Ann

    November 24, 2014 at 6:33 am

    True! I will save travelling once they wanted na or if they can appreciate it na.

    — nhengswonderland.blogspot.com

  2. Kat | Petite Momma

    November 24, 2014 at 7:28 am

    I agree. We brought along our 3 year old son earlier this year in Singapore. Although he was happy seeing his Sesame Street characters, he lost weight because he didn’t like the food there. It was tiring, too for the little man. We wanted to make the most out of the few days we were there that the itinerary was just too much for the kid. We had to carry him most of the time and he’s heavy na! I admit that our travels here in the PH are more enriching and memorable to me. We simply love the beach. Hubby and I have decided to postpone out-of-country trips until the little boy’s a bit older.

    1. momhandsarefull

      November 25, 2014 at 12:38 am

      Yes mommy. My kids enjoy the trips here in the PH too. We plan to travel soon, once the kids are big enough na but for now, I prefer to stay here in the Philippines muna πŸ™‚

  3. caidiva

    November 24, 2014 at 11:59 am

    I totally agree, however, naisip ko din that life is too short, what if something happens? Ok nalang din if they won’t remember at least there would be photos to see naman! ;p

    1. momhandsarefull

      November 25, 2014 at 12:39 am

      Well, true, life is short πŸ™‚ But of course mommy, I have nothing against you if you chose to travel with your kids πŸ™‚

  4. Michelle Solee (@michisolee)

    November 24, 2014 at 11:51 pm

    Our family loves to travel and I agree with you that it is really hard to travel if you have kids in tow. When I had my son, it took us two years before we decided to travel via plane. There are always pro’s and con’s but like Cai, we have pictures and photos to see. We love creating memories with my son habang gusto pa niya sumama sa min because time will come, friends na niya gusto niya kasama.

    I understand your reasons. I know someone who can really afford to spend in travelling pero hindi nila trip yun e.

    1. momhandsarefull

      November 25, 2014 at 12:41 am

      We plan to travel soon with the girls but not for now. They’re still too young and I can’t even make them sit still in the car. What more pa in a plane? Hehehe. Once they are bigger na, like 7 or 8, then that’s fine with us πŸ™‚ We all have our reasons and I totally respect that πŸ™‚

  5. Maan

    November 25, 2014 at 3:21 am

    I strongly agree! Maybe not about the part about deserving (because I have a different opinion about that), but if I were a child, I would appreciate being abroad once I’m able to do things on my own na. Also, it’s so fun to go around the Philippines so that’s our priority! Wag maging dayuhan sa sariling bansa, diba? πŸ™‚

    1. momhandsarefull

      November 25, 2014 at 5:21 am

      Hi Mommy Maan!

      We’ll go out of the country too but maybe when the kids are in gradeschool na siguro. When my eldest turns 7 siguro since for now, they’re too young pa eh. I really think there’s a right time for that πŸ™‚ But we go around the country with the kids since it’s easier and more manageable here.

  6. Janice / The Roller Coaster Ride

    November 25, 2014 at 7:58 am

    That really is a personal decision and you have to make the right one for your family. You don’t have to do something just because others are doing it too. πŸ™‚ You made very valid points. Travelling with very young kids can really be such a hassle. I’ve tried it once before when my girls were only 3 and 2 years old. We only went to Cebu. It was fun, yes, but it was also tiring.

    1. momhandsarefull

      November 25, 2014 at 8:31 am

      Thank you Mommy Janice πŸ™‚ We do travel but through car lang. And we prefer places that is “acceptable” near to Metro Manila. Yun palang and exhausting na πŸ™‚ But we plan to travel outside PH in 3 or 4 years time πŸ™‚

  7. thedreamermom

    November 25, 2014 at 8:17 am

    I’m with you when you said, ‘there’s a right time for that’

    1. momhandsarefull

      November 25, 2014 at 8:31 am

      Thanks mommy πŸ™‚ Everything has its own timing, including travelling with kids πŸ™‚

  8. Mommy Levy

    November 25, 2014 at 12:11 pm

    I agree, it’s hard to bring kids out of the country because you need to bring a lot of things plus they will not appreciate it pa. Explore muna ang sariling lugar natin:)

  9. Maria Teresa Figuerres

    November 26, 2014 at 5:27 am

    I know how hard it is to bring kids along on vacations, especially in far places. You did the right thing to wait until they’re more mature before planning a family trip out of the country. My son is now 8 years old, and I think we’re ready to travel outside the Philippines with him.

    1. momhandsarefull

      November 26, 2014 at 6:03 am

      Thanks Mommy! What I do is more of delaying, not depriving πŸ™‚

      I think 8 is a great age to travel with your son. At least you won’t have problems travelling since he can carry his own luggage or do things for himself already πŸ™‚

  10. Celerhina Aubrey

    November 26, 2014 at 11:36 am

    Very reasonable. πŸ™‚ I agree that your babies are too young pa nga. I’d also prefer delaying the travels with them when they are a bit big na. When they could remember it and appreciate what’s happening. Ako, I am making the most out of the places we have here. I love bringing the baby on gathering and social events just so she could be sociable and not mahiyain. But travelling could wait. πŸ™‚

    1. momhandsarefull

      November 26, 2014 at 11:52 am

      Yes, we go out too since I learned my lesson with my eldest. Hindi siya nakakalabas when she was younger kaya naging tao-phobia :))

      But travelling outside the country, it can wait πŸ™‚

  11. Cheanne

    November 26, 2014 at 11:53 pm

    I brought my almost 3 year old to Singapore early this year and though it was so tiring for me, he tremendously enjoyed the trip. He still remembers some of it and I’m hoping to finish the photo album so he can review it. The trip was also so much more fun because we had a tot who was reveling at all the new sights and sounds. πŸ™‚

    1. Ayi

      December 4, 2014 at 7:36 am

      Wow. He has one good memory mommy πŸ™‚ My eldest kasi doesn’t even care sa paligid. Lol! She enjoys what she sees but that’s it. After the trip, she completely forgot about it :)) Although I agree with you. The trip is fun when you see the kids so amazed with the new surroundings πŸ™‚

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