Many parents wonder whether to travel with kids or not. It can get expensive and the planning can be exhausting, and family members start chiming in that the children won’t remember anything anyway. However, as a fan of family traveling, I have to say that every penny we have spent on a vacation with my kids has been worth it. All the minor inconveniences during long plane rides? Also worth it. As my kids get older, we have had some of the greatest conversations while we are 30,000 feet up in the air.
This love of family travel is something I inherited from my parents. I boarded my first plane from Texas to Ecuador at the tender age of three months old. My jetsetting adventures with my parents would take me later to Mexico, Europe, Hawaii, Argentina, South Africa, Ukraine, Russia and the Caribbean. This is something my husband and I have decided to pass on to our own children. Ever since they were babies, my kids have had a passport and learned to board planes, go through immigration and even adapt to time zone differences. As they grow, it gets easier and easier to travel with kids, even on overnight flights.
Perhaps travel cannot prevent bigotry, but by demonstrating that all peoples cry, laugh, eat, worry, and die, it can introduce the idea that if we try and understand each other, we may even become friends.
If you’re still unconvinced, here are 5 reasons your should invest in traveling with your children:
1. Children learn about other cultures.
Exploring different cities and countries allows your kids to come face to face with the fact that there is beauty in diversity. Travel opens the door to understanding, tolerance and respect because it stretches your child’s mind and world.
2. Kids learn to explore.
Traveling with children gives them the opportunity to explore new places. Part of the magic of seeing new cities is allowing for the unexpected and unplanned, so it’s a great moment to teach kids to be spontaneous and to let themselves get to know new parks, sidewalks, surroundings and people. Even better: open a map (an old-fashioned one, not an app) and have them pick one place they would like to go to.
3. It fosters adaptability.
Children tend to get stuck in certain routines, just like adults. For some, it’s a necessity, but most kids benefit from shaking things up a little and learning to adapt to new surroundings, food and even sleeping quarters. Even if it might be difficult at times, they do learn to adapt and realize that there’s not just one way of doing things.
4. Traveling makes learning fun.
Although not everything involved in traveling is fun (airport security anyone?), when visiting new places you can take advantage of museums and historical locations to help your children learn without even realizing it. It’s one thing to read a book about immigration in the United States and a totally different experience to visit Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty. Guess which one is bound to make a lasting impression?
5. You create family memories.
Traveling as a family allows you to create memories for a lifetime. Even if your children are young, the moments you live together will stay with you forever. If you’re worried about forgetting your adventures, snap enough pictures and later make the time to print a photo book or album. Your kids will love looking at those pictures!
Do you have any questions about traveling with children? Feel free to ask below and I will try to help you out!