Traveling with family, are there really that many benefits?
Travel is an eye-opening experience. It teaches you about people and cultures in a way you don’t learn in school. Visiting a new place and going on an adventure creates unique memories. It’s a break from routine and gets you out of the daily grind.
Yes, travel enriches the individual. But traveling as a family offers a different perspective. And whether it’s traveling with kids, planning a trip with your siblings or with your (grand)parents, there are numerous benefits to traveling with family.
You’ll end up developing a stronger bond with your partner and kids or parents and siblings. However, you get to gain so much more than that. And that’s what I want to share here: the benefits of traveling with family.
People are often caught up with work, school, or running a business. So, time spent with parents, siblings, or kids is limited. When you travel, you intentionally set time to be with the individuals who matter most.
Read on and discover ten more benefits of traveling with family.
Let’s face it, we all spend a lot of time on our phones, laptops, or tablets these days.
And if you have children who are old enough to use phones, you’ve probably found yourself sitting in the same room yet all looking at your phones.
Traveling together gives family members the chance to unplug from email, social media, and engaging apps.
With all the new experiences during a trip it’s easier for everyone to spend more time away from devices and connect more with the family members we’re traveling with.
Young kids are naturally adventurous. They love to explore and soak up new experiences. They absorb each new sight, sound, touch, taste, and smell.
When we get older, most of us lose that sense of adventure. But, traveling helps get our curiosity back.
And if you’re traveling with kids, seeing their curiosities and the way they look at the world will add an extra level to your travels. Exploring the world with your little ones is unique, and a different experience at every age.
The kids might persuade you to go on a rollercoaster ride, go ziplining or get lost in a maze.
And many of the activities your kids choose you probably won’t have chosen if you were traveling on your own. Yet once you’re doing them you’ll probably love them!
If you’ve traveled with your family as a child I am sure you can share some unique memories.
Traveling as a family helps strengthen your bond by creating lasting memories.
Years later you’ll still find yourself talking about that one time you went snorkeling together and saw turtles. Or that funny waiter at that one restaurant.
Those memories will form an important part of your children’s childhood. And being able to share these experiences is priceless!
Travel benefits children’s education. A child becomes more open-minded when they are immersed in a new culture. Little ones also absorb knowledge about things and situations effectively by trying them out firsthand.
While getting to know local customs, they see how other people live their lives, how different languages are spoken.
And responsible traveling teaches the importance of protecting the environment.
Of course traveling with family doesn’t just benefit children’s education. I believe we all learn so much from traveling. Experiencing different cultures, interacting with people outside of our normal circles, and learning about nature in different parts of the world are tremendously valuable to all of us.
I know, getting ready for a family vacation can sometimes feel quite stressful. But really, once you’ve left home and are traveling with family, it does help all of you to destress.
A Journal of Family Psychology study found that stressed parents are less supportive when responding to their kids’ negative emotions.
And kids deal with their stress too. A 2014 Stress in America survey said that teens’ stress levels are higher than adults.
Going on vacation is an excellent way for you and your adolescent child to reduce stress. Spending time with them away from daily life’s distractions can be a mood booster for you both.
It does wonders for kids to step outside their own homes and neighborhoods. It allows their understanding of the world to expand.
Seeing how people live in other communities can be a concept that’s difficult to grasp. Children need to see it for themselves to understand. They discover a world that’s different from their own. They learn that even though everyone may look different and sound different, we’re similar in many ways.
A child that travels is also more likely to be outgoing and be better at expressing himself. Teachers surveyed by the Student & Youth Travel Association (SYTA) reported that students who travel are more sensitive and tolerant toward others.
Travel helps every family member get some much-needed R&R.
Say you’re in the Caribbean with your grandparents, husband, and twin daughters. Being with younger kids and older adults helps you take things at a slower pace. In doing so, you get to linger over the scenery. You can breathe and take in details you might have otherwise missed.
In our often busy and hectic daily lives it’s difficult to ”smell the roses”. But slowing down during a family vacation while your kids are taking a nap or playing in the pool, or while your grandparents are taking more time to explore the town, will help you relax and maybe quite literally smell the roses!
Traveling with kids makes it so much easier to interact with other people!
Kids will find other kids to play with, giving you an easy opportunity to meet the parents.
But it helps you interact with locals more easily as well. From restaurant staff to people you pass on the street, they are much more likely to start a conversation once your kids say or do something.
Travel teaches kids compassion and empathy. Many kids are oblivious to how lucky they are to have a roof over their heads and food in their stomachs. And watching news stories isn’t the same as seeing firsthand the conditions many people live in.
Seeing other families living in difficult situations encourages gratitude for what they have. And it helps them become compassionate about the plight of others.
And of course it’s a good reminder for ourselves as well to be thankful for what we have. And to be thankful for the family members we get to share it with.
Of course, it’s not all treats and tours when traveling with kids. Interspersed with all the fun are long flights or long drives with the kids cooped up in the backseat.
Kids become restless within the first few hours of travel. You need to be prepared to cater to their notoriously short attention spans.
Here are some ideas to keep the youngest travelers in your group entertained.
Art bins are filled with crafts and snacks handpicked by your kids.
Letting each child decide what goes into their art bin will make them more excited to open it. You could even add mini board games without telling them and have that element of surprise.
You can only carry so many craft supplies and toys. So downloading fun apps and online games are a great alternative. These two are worth checking out:
Disney Now – This app has offerings for all ages from Disney’s most popular franchises and channels. Think Marvel, Star Wars, Disney Channel, and Disney Junior. There are countless hours of games, radio, and trivia too.
PBS Kids – A website where you can find a wide variety of video and game apps well suited for younger kids.
I’m a Puzzle – A good website for online puzzle games. They have a ton of interactive games to sharpen your child’s brain and stimulate their imagination.
Also Read: How to Stay Entertained During a Layover
The CDC says traveling is safe for fully vaccinated people. Yet, it’s still essential to follow some common-sense precautions like social distancing.
Check the COVID-19 protocols of your destination ahead of time. Know if it’s possible and safe to travel with young children or senior citizens.
Note that not all trips carry the same risk. For example, traveling by car to a vacation rental home is safer than flying to a busy hotel. Think about the close contacts you’ll likely have during your travel plans. The more contacts, the higher the risk.
Traveling with family is one of the most rewarding experiences you can have. Visiting a new city or country enables families to form a stronger bond.
Little ones learn new skills. They develop a better understanding of the expanding world around them.
Adults get to move at a slower pace. They gain a greater appreciation for life through memories made.
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