10 Reasons Why Families Should Travel Together
Watching your child’s glee as he or she crawls through the sand for the first time; laughing aloud at the slurping noises of satisfaction your child makes as he or she feasts on his/her first massive bowl of pho; marveling together in an awed silence as you stare up at the David — what do these snippets have in common?
They’re all pieces of memories from family trips that you’ll be able to smile while remembering for a lifetime. Memories created together is just one of the many reasons you should travel with your family.
1. Create memories
All of the memories I mentioned above are actually from trips with my own family — and they are certainly memories that I probably could not have created while at home. Traveling together puts you in new situations, different environments, and gives you the time away from the normal responsibilities of life to spend quality time together and create lasting memories.
2. New experiences
Can’t try Vietnamese food at home? No problem, because you can travel to Southeast Asia together or closer to home, perhaps a nearby large city, and try new cuisine. Maybe you’ll like it or maybe you won’t, but the giggles, slurps, and even yucks will expose you to something completely new.
Don’t live near the beach? Taking a vacation as a whole family to the ocean is such a special experience, especially if your kids have never seen the beach or such a massive body of water.
It is truly special to be able to expose your kids to such amazing sights, no matter their age. And the new experience doesn’t have to be something just for your kids; traveling to a different city or country can expose you to so many new things to see, taste, smell, and touch.
3. Cultural exchange
Learning about different cultures, religions, and beliefs can add depth and richness to your life and your children’s lives. Being exposed to different people will help to grow understanding and empathy, and doing this through travel can be incredibly immersive and beneficial.
Learning or practicing second languages is also a wonderful way to learn more about the world. And practicing these languages with native speakers in an immersive situation is also a great reason to travel together.
4. Get out of your routine
Wake up, work, school, sleep, repeat day after day — breaking out of your regular routine for a trip with your family can help you to find balance, rest, and connect with each other in ways that you may not be able to at home because of responsibilities. Traveling together will help you let go of the day-to-day grind, even if just for a short time.
5. Learn about history
Are your kids really interested in Greek mythology or Roman warriors? How about being the “best mom ever” with a trip to Greece or Italy to explore those ancient times as a family. Learning about history through visiting the place is a special way to expand upon lessons school and create a life-long interest or hobby.
6. Connect with each other
Between work, school, afterschool activities, and everything else on your plate, it can be hard to keep up. Taking even a few days of vacation to just be together with no work or school distractions is so valuable for connecting and building relationships.
7. Limits picky eating
Toddlers and kids are notoriously picky eaters. But I’ve found that traveling and exploring frequently has exposed my toddler to such a huge variety of food that he’ll pretty much at least try anything put in front of him. Imagine not having to endure a fight at every mealtime!
8. Have more time to play
Find joy during your vacation by spending more time playing with your kids. Whether you chase each other through a park along the Siene River or hang out in a giant indoor playground in Rotterdam, try to detach yourself from your phone and other distractions and just play.
9. Figure out challenges together
Lost amidst the winding streets of Paris? Park it on a bench, pull out an old-fashioned paper map, and see if you and your kids can figure out the right street to take. Or, if your kids are older, involve them in planning your day of sightseeing together. This gives your children responsibilities, teaches them to research, and helps them learn invaluable problem solving skills.
10. Learn more about each other
With breaking you out of your routine, you’ll have new options to learn about each other — not only you learning more about your kids, but your kids will learn about you, outside your role as a parent. Let your kids see your innate sense of direction in action, or marvel at your partner as he/she drives effortlessly on the left side of the road. Stepping outside of your typical role as a parent and showing your strengths, weaknesses, likes, and dislikes will show your kids a new side of you.