We decided to take a three week backpacking trip to Panama with our two year old, just like old times when we used to travel light. It was surprisingly doable, and a great adventure that our son loved as much as we did.
What could a two year old enjoy about backpacking you say?
He loved being outdoors for hours at the beaches, mountains, and waterfalls we visited…
He was THRILLED to get to ride all manner of transportation including airplanes, buses, taxis, and boats.
He reveled in every bug, breeze, and tree we came across, teaching us to appreciate the smaller details that we might have otherwise overlooked.
He found great excitement in exploring each new hostel room as if it were his own brand new big play house.
What he loved most though was having both of his parents’ undivided attention day after day. We played and laughed together while each new day’s adventures unfolded. He napped in our arms (and occasionally on our packs) and slept in our bed.
Spending that time together was quite possibly the most valuable part of the trip for us as well. Though we could conceivably carve out that kind of time when we are at home, it just never happens. There are always chores to do and things that come up. Backpacking together gave us permission (and perhaps a much needed kick in the rear) to take time for ourselves as a family.
I highly recommend it!