What! Bring my kids with me?!... Yes!
Traveling with kids may be a different type of vacation but it is just as amazing and beneficial. Even young children, who may or may not remember the trip, will grow from their experience! AND the best part of all is they learn organically through experiences rather than being forced to sit down behind a desk. You know how tough that can be!
Of course there's travel advantages like family boarding but here are our top 11 reasons why we love to bring our children along with us!
1. Travel teaches patience
Don’t we all want our kids to learn a little more of this? Patience is a skill that requires practice. When you travel, children have to learn to wait in long lines at the airport, find ways to amuse themselves on long car rides and wait while their parents figure out the map on a subway. Plus, when you have an audience of little eyes staring at you, you muster up your own inner patience too. They get the chance to practice skills and techniques first hand in each new place. The best part is they will bring these skills back home with them!
2. Travel builds confidence and independence
Traveling nudges kids outside of their comfort zone (while it's still cool enough to have mom and dad there). It’s a positive atmosphere that will expose them to new things which builds a greater sense of security because now they can relate to it! Each success brings them closer to trusting themselves as they recognize new tested strengths through a series of achievable mini goals and build self-esteem through these little victories. While kids learn resilience by overcoming obstacles.
Travel gives kids the opportunity to make little decisions for themselves and empowers them with new little responsibilities such as pulling their own luggage. Nothing is better than hearing them confidently say “I did it!”
3. Travel builds stronger families
The quality time spent on a trip going through new experiences, trials and adventures together builds confidence and trust in each other and brings families closer. Travel strengthens communication and understanding by working together on problem solving and play. It’s like weekly family game night on overdrive and builds lasting memories that are the underlying bond of relationships. Time is so precious and you’ll never regret spending more time with your kids.
4. Children gain cultural empathy
Travel connects us to other people and gives us a deeper appreciation for them. Children learn the stories and dreams of people from far away. They learn first hand our differences and similarities and how we are all striving for basic needs and happiness. They learn tolerance because the fear of the unknown has turned into meaningful experiences which are the cornerstone of friendships. I’m amazed at how easily children befriend others and they’re great examples to bring along a trip.
5. The Chance to be a kid again
One of the magical things about traveling with kids is seeing the world through their eyes. Everything is new and magical again. A place you are underwhelmed by suddenly becomes fresh and wondrous again. You can relive nostalgic memories visiting places you went as a kid and watch your children light up.
6. Children learn to adapt better to new situations
Traveling is a constant state of change. Children have to learn to sleep in new beds, have inconsistent nap times, adjust to time changes and try new foods. The more experience they get with change the more flexible their expectations are to new environments.
7. Travel builds social skills
Children have to learn to speak and interact with new people. They pick up on native languages, how do you say hi, what are their cars and houses called. Scientists have proven that early exposure to new languages helps children learn languages faster when they’re older.
8. Draw closer to nature and the world around them
Our children love the outdoors, the fresh air, there’s something so calming to them when you're outside. Kids gain an appreciation for the environment when they’ve been there to gaze into the vastness of a huge canyon or see an endangered sea turtle.
9. Travel builds worldly knowledge
No matter how you travel it will be educational. Kids will get a broader sense of culture and history because they’ve been there. Every piece of food, stone wall or fabric is a sensory experience. Their experience will not only help them recall facts easier in school but also sparks more interest in those areas.
10. Travel fosters a sense of adventure
Children are fascinated with story books of far off places and adventures. Traveling with kids makes the story books come to life. Its magical! There's nothing more exciting to a young child's eyes (or moms for that matter) than waking up in a new place full of wonder and potential. New places build curiosity with the world around them and fosters imagination.
11. Learn to live with less
Children learn that they don't need much to be happy. Or rather I realize we don’t need much to be happy. When we travel we might have one stuffed animal, a coloring book and a few small toys but that’s it! Kids become more creative with the world around them when there's less stuff around them. Let's be honest, we all know kids are more excited for the Amazon boxes than what's inside. I’ve learned travel is a better investment than material things and leads to more fulfillment.
Time moves so quickly and there’s never a better time to bring them along, build skills and make lasting memories all at the same time. Will you have to adjust your trip expectations a little? Sure. Will it be amazing? Yes. So don’t wait for them to get older, apply for your child’s passport and book that trip you’ve been dreaming about.
You’ll be glad you did!
Aloha and happy travels,
The Adventure Ohana