Alright, let's settle this once and for all. What's better? Traveling solo or traveling with your little one. There's no lie that it's different (in some aspects drastically different), but what's better?
We broke it down into 6 categories: adventure, loneliness, drinking and partying, sleep, transportation, and relaxing in a head to head battle. So, who one the prize? Traveling solo or with a baby?
Solo: Get after it as a solo traveler. Wake up and do whatever your heart desires. There's literally nothing holding you back.
With a baby: The simplest task is an adventure with a baby.
Winner: With a baby
Oh, did you just go bungee jumping? Because I just bathed my slippery infant in a questionably clean bucket then played "pass the baby" for an hour with a bunch of grandmas at the market. For a mom, that's equally adventurous and memorable.
Scuba diving? Not a kid friendly adventure. (Photo credit: Tamar Melen)
Solo: Go on a bender and drink all the $0.75 tall boys you can handle, whether it's with some locals you've met or fellow travelers. You do you.
With a baby: Quietly crack your beer in the dark after your baby falls asleep. You bought a 6 pack to split with your boo, but you pass out from exhaustion after a half a beer. But good thing! Because you have a 6:30 am wake-up call from your human alarm clock.
It's harder to party hardy with a baby
Winner: Solo traveling
This one was tough. While it's fun to go out and live that carefree life, suffering from a hangover, especially in a country that doesn't provide you with greasy hangover comfort food is tough. Being sober with an early wake-up call really let's you carpe diem. But ultimately, if you're traveling to party, bringing a baby to a bar makes you no friends.
Solo: You've been traveling for a while, your clothes are tattered, your backpack has a funk to it, and people steer clear of you. Making new friends and travel companions day after day is exhausting, especially for my fellow introverts. The loneliness gets real.
With a baby: When you have children, you're basically never alone again. The company is consistent and everyday is filled with love, hugs, and diaper changes. That company has Mariah Carey-level temper-tantrums when the smallest thing doesn't go their way, though.
Winner: With a baby
This one's hands down. Loneliness sucks.
Me: all smiles. Zay: miserable.
Solo: Sleep in a twin bed with stained sheets at a questionable hostel. Some random person crawls into your bed wasted at 4am because they think it's their bed.
With a Baby: Toddler crawls into your bed at 4am. Five minutes later you get a heel to your gut and your partner simultaneously gets a finger in his eye socket.
Winner: With a baby.
The stranger may not gut punch you, but that awkward interaction with them in the morning in the common area is even more painful.
One of us usually gets sleep and one of us does not.
Solo: Making it to an idyllic white sand beach with turquoise water and soaking in the sun and a good book all day.
With a baby: Making it to an idyllic white sand beach with turquoise water and building sand castles all day.
I don't know why I had to relax so much before I had a baby. What was I doing that caused me to be so exhausted that I had to lie down all day long on the beach? That's neither here nor there, but worth mentioning. It's a tie because both are mad boring if you do them for hours on end.
Sandcastles in the sand
Solo: Reading an entire book on the journey and taking a solid 2 hour nap.
With a baby: Reading "Hop on Pop" 4,000 times, then your little one takes a 2 hour nap on you while your arm falls asleep.
Winner: With a baby
This one may be controversial, but I find long bus and plane rides fun and the most quality time you can possibly spend with your little one. There is no escaping and with a positive outlook, that's the best.. And, what's more? We usually get preferential treatment from stewardesses and bus drivers with our baby. Extra leg room and a row to ourself? Thank you very much! But I do miss the days of watching 5 movies in a row on a long flight.
Busride companion with one of his favorite toys.
With a baby: 5, Solo traveling: 2
Is this subconsciously a way to fulfill my parental duty of encouraging non-parents to have babies? Maybe. But traveling with a baby is super fun and I haven't missed my days of solo travel at all. So if you're saying, "I want to travel before I have kids", I say you don't have to! You can make it happen and you may enjoy traveling more with the people you love around you.