Travel Introduces them to the Larger World
Traveling with your kids introduces them to new sights and smells that they may not experience on their neighborhood playground. It exposes them to people of different cultures, languages, and helps reshape their view of the world. These experiences cannot be taught in a traditional classroom. Our older son still speaks about how he will never eat durian fruit again, but it’s that moment in the outdoor Chinese market in Bangkok that exposed him to a taste he would never have had at home. Your kids will realize it’s not just about getting the perfect photo for Instagram or Snapchat, but actually physically being in the moment and experiencing something outside of your immediate home surroundings.
Traveling with Your Kids Makes them More Adaptable and Flexible
Traveling with your kids will take them out of routine and structure and that’s okay as life does not always go according to plan. It’s an important lesson to help our kids deal with the unpredictable. They will survive and become stronger and more adaptable to change. It’s ok if your child does not sleep so well for one night. They are resilient and will flow with the changes. I have had many experiences where our kids didn’t sleep on overnight flights and were a bit less than pleasant the day of arrival; we worked through it, meltdowns and all, and now we laugh as we look back on it.
Travel Helps with Unplugging and Bonding
I find that families are all plugged in all the time these days. Traveling with your kids is a way to unplug and create family closeness. When traveling, I always schedule in specific down-times when the kids can use their electronics (usually an hour a day). Other than that time, we lock up the electronics and forget about them. Instead, we spend time growing together as a family. You control the electronics, not the other way around.
Travel Create Memories
Whatever age your kids are when they travel, they are creating memories. Even when they are young, there are memories that you as parents can share with them when they are older. As you travel as a family, you create strong social, physical and sensory interactions together. Whether you go to the beach, hike a mountain, or explore an ancient castle, you create memories through interaction together. These memories are a gift to children at any age. They are memories that cannot necessarily be made with material items bought at your kids’ request. A substantial body of research supports that we are more fulfilled with memories made than items bought.
Travel makes Kids More Adept to Saying Yes to New Experiences
Traveling with kids at a young age makes them more inclined to accept new challenges and experiences. Since a young age, my children have been exposed to so many new adventures and different situations, that they are eager to take on more. They may have to change their meal times or eating style, going from using a fork and knife to trying to figure out how to use chopsticks. From a young age our kids have been willing to take on any adventure thrown their way: zip lining through treetops of a Costa Rican Jungle, swimming 2.5k through a dark cave in Belize to discover Mayan sacrifices, among many other wild adventures!
Some Will Say, My Kids are to Young to Appreciate Travel or Even Remember Their Journeys
The life lessons and development they are gaining through traveling outweighs this argument. Taking kids at a young age out of their schedule and comfort zone can help develop them into kids who can adapt to new situations, learn to problem solve, and help to understand and appreciate the world around them. Travel is more than appreciating paintings; it’s about learning to be resilient, too.
I have been an avid traveler since a young child, exploring the world by myself and my family. I am a mom, wife and individual when not running after three little dependents and a fat Labrador. I do work, but traveling, writing and raising three is my best work. I love to learn about new cultures, food and now try to bring that information to others in order to encourage them to embrace what the world has to offer. Life is short-fill it with family travel and adventures you will not regret it. It is a wonderful time. Oh we are also baseball obsessed, not sure how that snuck into our lives.