Going on family a vacation is one of the fantastic experience for all the members involved. But, it’s exciting for the children as they look forward to fun, explorations, and discoveries with the others around.
With children, traveling is not always easy. You have to prepare many things for them when away from home. However, there are a lot of advantages of traveling together as a family.
Here, I’ve laid out the 15 benefits of traveling as a family with your children.
1. Children make you travel slower and see more
One of the best advantages of traveling with children is that you travel slower. You see more and spend more time enjoying the beautiful view. As a result, you see all the little things which would have remained unnoticed if you were traveling without children.
2. Children encourage you to make every moment count
During your travel you can get tired and lazy, and just want to read a book and drink coffee all morning. However, children are always full of energy so that they like to engage with outdoor activities (playing at playground, parks or the beach, swimming at the pool, elephant riding, oxcart riding, horse riding, etc.).
You have to accompany and engage with them much in the days. This gives you quite more moments with them.
3. Children give you a clearer lens of the world.
Do you get question after question from your child about who, what, when, where, why, and how during your time on a trip? Children make parents more receptive to the things going around them. Many times, when we are traveling, we don’t take time to reflect and capitalize on the self-discovery that travel magically creates. By being more observant and providing simple answers to children’ endless questions, we become more mindful of ourselves as well as the world we live in.
4. Children are great conversation starters to begin talking with other people.
With your young children, your travel seems very interactive with other people. People will go out of their way to talk to you. Particularly, they will comment how cute your children are. Conversation begins from parents to parents and children to children.
How often do you say ‘Hi’ to a stranger when traveling as a couple? When you travel with kids, it just happens. All the time. And I’m not even talking about the pleasure of meeting hundreds of friendly travelers smiling and nodding and asking to take a picture of your kids.
5. Children make people more generous and compassionate
Kids are souls of love, generosity, and compassion. People will do things for you that normally wouldn’t happen if you were traveling without children. People will give you first priority with your kids for instance buying tickets for Artbox 3D Photo or Phare Cambodian Circus.
Even at a crowded restaurant, people will be nice to offer a table with your kids with good location for the dancing show.
At popular parts of the temples where people like to take photos, people will let you take photos with your children first.
6. You learn to enjoy the peaceful moments of travel days more.
When you actually get peace and quiet early mornings, afternoon nap times, and late nights after bedtime, you value these moments more than if you constantly had quietness in your room at home. Some people usually enjoy watching TV in their rooms or sit at a coffee shop. Quiet time for parents is sacred and golden and is always appreciated when received.
7. Traveling with children has its perks.
We all know how expensive family travel can be. But don’t forget that often children travel free. They have free access to transportation (trains, buses, boats), discounts at hotels (if you can all squeeze in one room, of course), you have to pay less or no entrance fees for the kids when sightseeing, and often all kinds of day trips and excursions are free for young children too.
For example, at Artbox 3D Photo local Cambodian kids ticket price is only $3 per kid whereas Angkor National Museum ticket price for kid aged 1-5 is free of charge. At Phare Cambodian Circus kids below 4 years old can visit for free but with no allocated seat which you have to sit on a crowded seat with your kids on your lap, and it’s your advantage too!
8. Children make your family closer together.
Traveling is the best way to bond as a family. Whether being stuck in a row of seats on an airplane or squeezed into a small hotel room, you physically stay close to each other. Because you’re in it together and sharing the travel experiences as a family, your connection and communication only gets better and better.
9. Children will develop better habits.
While on family vacation (even well-planned ones) things can happen. Kids can get sick. Flights can be delayed. Cars can break down. The weather can change. In all of these situations, parents are put on the spot and have to deal with the situations. Kids see you model real-life problem solving and situational adaptability, which helps them understand self-reliance and encourages independence and self-confidence.
Another truth is to get your kids to eat all the food in their bowls at meals. It’s hard. Explaining or telling them won’t resonate as much as having your kids actually seeing hungry kids and the conditions they live in for themselves. Want to teach your child how to prioritize and be responsible? Have your child pack their own backpack for all their toys, games, and activities on the trip. They pick what goes in it, they manage all the contents, they carry it, and they clean it up.
10. The outside becomes their classroom
Once a child enters school, their innate desire to explore, ask questions, and goof off slowly gets shoved back into a box of rules, regulation, and conformity.
When you travel with your children, all of this is removed.
The outside teaches your children based on their curiosities and interests. It’s a natural absorption of knowledge and inner knowing and experiential based learning schools can never replicate with such enrichment.
The earth becomes their classroom and all its inhabitants with varying degrees of behaviors, languages and beliefs become their teachers.
11. Children will realize just how fortunate they really are.
Kids, especially those in cities, are blessed with endless toys, games, devices, books, recreational activities, etc. From a very early age, kids live in a bubble that we, as parents, create for them. If you want your kids to be humble, generous human beings, take them outside to see poor conditions that most people in the live in. When your kids realize that not every kid around has nice clothes, clean shoes, and a lot of food to eat, they will become more compassionate and considerate children.
12. Children become physically healthier
Traveling involves walking, running, and staying away from technology. All these things largely contribute towards the improvement of your child’s physical health, because during their normal course of life nowadays they are always glued to the laptop screens. Staying away from technology, verbally interacting with people, and going for walks, will improve their physique as well as mental health, which is essential for being healthy overall.
13. Children discover many of their dormant passions and talents
Have you ever accidentally discovered something about yourself? If not, it is time to try out new things and explore yourself more, especially if you are still young. As kids go to new places each time, they get engaged in various new activities during the vacations, and thereby get an opportunity to discover their hidden talents. Once a child unleashes their inner potential, they cannot be held back from nurturing the latter. They can even harp on to these talents and improve them, whereby they can receive a sense of fulfillment.
14. Children become smarter
As you all go out for adventures and try out new things every day, during the family vacation, your kids observe the world and try out new things. This makes them smarter than they already are. This is because as they get to see different places, they learn how different places and people can be. Along with this, they also get a feel of each place they go to, which gives them a greater idea about life, different cultures, and how to behave in certain situations. The better they know, the smarter they become!
15. Quality time and shared memories
Throughout the year your kids are at school and you are working. You see them only in the evening when they have to do their homework and you are cooking, or on weekends when you are taxiing them around from one activity or birthday party to another…
When traveling with your family, you get to spend the whole day (and night) with your children. You do sightseeing together, you go hiking, you have picnics together, you often even sleep in the same room with them… They love it! You do too, sometimes… They will never forget the experience. And neither will you!
These days, everyone becomes much more busier and busier but having time with your children is really important.
While your children are young, plan a lot of trips (both short and long) to make them get the best from life. This way, you do not only detach yourself from your daily stress, and also develop intense bonds with your children to make them feel tremendously loved. A family that spends more time together, has a happier index of peacefulness, harmony, coordination, cooperation, and understanding. All are accomplished by a family vacation.
Have you traveled with your children? Which benefits out of the fifteen I shared in the article impressed you the most? Or have I missed anything you would like to add?