When the school bell rings to mark the end of the school year, families often struggle to find ways to occupy their children’s time over the summer months. Sometimes this means a visit to the cottage, sometimes the beach and other times it means leaving the comforts of home to experience a new city, country or continent.
The thought of travel with kids often leaves parents with a feeling of dread. While it’s incredibly obvious that travelling with kids isn’t easy, you may find that the rewards far outweigh the inconveniences when it comes to building strong, smart, independent children and creating powerful family bonds that will last you a lifetime.
Here are 8 great reasons why you might want to consider travel with kids this summer, or any time the travel bug might hit you.
Travel often means new people, new places and new cultures. While schools offer excellent book learning, there are some things that have to be experienced rather than read about. Travelling offers real-world associations to what your children have been studying throughout the year.
Family Travel Teaches New Responsibilities
Being away from home breaks your regular routine and forces you out of your comfort zone. Both children and adults can benefit from having to assume new roles during their travels. Whether as an explorer, navigator, taste-tester or interpreter, there is always an opportunity for kids to step up and take leadership roles.
Adventure travel with kids, whether close to home or abroad can give children the opportunity to develop confidence that will help them in their daily life. Older siblings can have the chance to show that bravery off to younger ones and the results can follow them throughout their lives.
Often when people think of travelling to new places, they focus on the differences between here and there and us and them. The more you travel with kids, the more they will instead begin to see the similarities between cultures and people, and when this happens tolerance and acceptance grow while fear and mistrust quickly slip into the background.
Travel with Kids Helps Promote Increased Patience
When you you travel with kids, expecting the unexpected is standard. Travel forces you to deal with changes in schedules, eating habits and sleep patterns. You may wait in long lines through airports, sit patiently through security checks and deal with long, gruelling plane, bus and car rides. Children will learn creative ways to occupy their time and this skill will help them when they get home.
Things go wrong, you can’t get around it. Luggage gets lost, connections are missed, bad weather can happen and more. Your children will learn to not see these things as road-blocks, but instead as new opportunities. While planning helps ease the pain, some of the greatest adventures come from the unexpected.
When families are forced out of their comfort zone they need to rely on each other for support, comfort and company. From climbing a mountain to fishing off the dock to laying on the beach, shared experiences build positive memories and associations that will last a lifetime.
Family Travel Promotes Trust in Your Children
Many parents are afraid that their children can’t handle new or extreme circumstances. The biggest thing that family travel has taught me is that kids want to learn, they want to experience, touch and explore. Travelling has taught me that I can let my children do these things. I check my fear factor at the door and join them on my hands and knees to see under the walls of a ruined temple or chase a lizard through the desert or explore tiled mosaics on a church floor, because that is learning, that is growing, and that is being a child.
Here are a few resources to help you learn about travel with kids:
With the birth of their two boys, Kevin and Christina have made it their mission to show others that travelling with children isn't as scary as it sounds and that kids can benefit from experiencing the world outside of their front door and beyond.