My top 5 reasons to travel with kids
Ever since my childhood, I’ve loved to travel. I love the adventure, I love learning about different cultures, I love seeing architecture and design unique to the geographic location; mostly, I love the memories and the family bonding it creates. I just love everything about it. My husband and I were struggling with infertility during the first years of our marriage and one of our coping mechanisms at that time was traveling and enjoying each other’s company.
Though our life shifted drastically with the adoption of our five children, though our life’s journey is extremely busy and somewhat challenging, our desire to travel and see the world hasn’t dissipated. Not only did I not want to sit around and wait for my kids to get older before traveling again, I actually wanted our kids to explore the world together with us.
Many people tell me, “oh my, I would never travel with my kids, it’s too hard, too expensive, so stressful” and while all of those points are true and valid, I still think it’s worth the time, effort, every penny of costs, every headache, every hair pulling moment, it’s all worth it and here’s why:
- COMPASSION – When you travel it opens your eyes to what’s going on in the greater world. You are forced to look beyond you four walls, your local comfort zone. When you see how other people live, what other countries or societies struggle with, you develop your sense of compassion and empathy for others and learn to care about more than just yourself.
- EDUCATION/CURIOSITY – Because we travel, our kids are constantly looking at maps, atlases and travel books, talking about where they wish we could go and why they are attracted to those specific places. This in itself is great, as it leads them to want to learn more about all these places and second guess themselves and perhaps their priority for travel. Furthermore, when we actually go somewhere there is so much to learn; learning from different cultures, languages, history and of course food. This gives them a broader, more educated, view of the world. As a bonus, even learning how to pack, stay organized, follow instructions is nothing to sneeze at.
- Flexibility – OMG have you ever been on a trip where everything went according to plan? Well I definitely haven’t! From flight delays to no electricity in your apartment rental, to your luggage not showing up. I mean, we’ve had some crazy things happen to us. But honestly, what’s a more valuable lesson than learning how to manage and react to things that are out of our control? You gotta roll with the punches or you’ll end up being pretty miserable. The lesson of flexibility can be learned anywhere but I feel like when you’re out of your comfort zone it can be pretty powerful.
- Memories – Some of my best childhood memories are of our family trips. There’s nothing comparable to those special memories of family focused adventure. They are not going to remember every toy you ever bought them but trips you can bet on, will stay with them for a lifetime. Really important: You don’t have to go to some exotic location to create these memories; anywhere you go can be a special experience. The key Is to be present and focused on the family unit.
- Self-Discovery – As they learn so much about the world around them, it will give them an incredible opportunity to open up and Learn so much about themselves. What piques their curiosity, what scares them, what excites them… they will learn so much about who they are and develop skills that they can use throughout their lives.