Kids & Travel — Why It’s So Good For Them
Traveling with kids isn’t always easy, but there are a lot of reasons why it’s good to give kids the chance to travel. Experts often talk about the benefits for children’s development and social skills if they have the opportunity to live overseas, but even simple family trips and vacations—even ones as short as weekend getaways—can be very beneficial. Here are a few reasons that many parents cite as their inspiration for trying to travel as much as they can with their children.
New Experiences: Traveling somewhere new—whether it’s to city a few hours away, or to a different country—exposes children to new sights, sounds, tastes, and experiences. Whether they’re trying a local favorite at a well-known diner, visiting a museum, or playing at a park, going to a new place and having the chance to try new things can go a long way toward broadening their horizons.
Learning Patience: In a world that’s becoming increasingly obsessed with getting results now and, “instant gratification,” where we can have so much available to us at the touch of a button, travel isn’t always so easy. No matter what, that flight to Europe isn’t going to get any faster. That road trip across two states is still going to take hours upon hours, and a hike up a mountain is still going to take time. There’s just really no way of getting around it, and travel isn’t the only thing in our lives that takes time and offers no “shortcuts” or “cheat codes.” Teaching your kids how to be patient while traveling and learning how to enjoy the journey as much as the destination can be a valuable life lesson—one that will help them in many areas of their lives.
Teachable Moments: Travel—especially travel to another country or within another culture—can provide parents and children with so many “teachable moments.” Those moments when your child sees something new or strange—that might be commonplace in the other culture—and asks about it.
This kind of exposure gives kids a chance to explore the world outside of their own little box, and gives parents a chance to teach them about cultures, ideas, and traditions that might be different from their own. Within these “teachable moments” you may have the opportunity to teach your children about things like cultural sensitivity, kindness, acceptance of differences, and so much more.
Moments vs. Materialism: Traveling as a family can give you all a great chance to learn and grow together, as a family. It also gives you a great opportunity to connect and create lasting memories together. It’s a chance to unplug, put down the smartphones and tablets, and really live in the moment. Together.
It also gives parents a chance to instill in their children the importance and value of memories and moments versus “things.” In the long run, what might be better? A bunch of new toys, or a family trip up into the mountains where the kids have a chance to explore, enjoy nature, and breathe fresh air?
There are a lot more reasons why traveling with your kiddos is a great idea, but these are a few of our favorites. Learning to travel as a family, to enjoy the journey, and unplug from the electronics might be hard at first. We definitely aren’t saying that family trips are all easy and completely stress-free, but we do believe that ultimately traveling together is usually more than worth the extra effort involved (i.e. extra planning, extra suitcases, potential fussing during long flights, etc.)!
Speaking of traveling with children, check out this awesome video—featuring some young globetrotters and their parents’ tips on traveling in India—that we thought was really inspiring!