There’s no doubt that travelling with children is a little more complicated than travelling without them. Childfree travellers might pack their bags and hit the road on a moment’s notice, but those of us hauling wee ones need a bit more time to organize. But while trip preparation with children can be slightly more daunting, travelling with children is well worth the fuss. Not convinced? Check out these six great reasons why you should travel with your kids.
- Expose your kids to different worlds
A child’s world can be very small—she may be familiar with home, school, her grandparents’ house, or local shops and restaurants—but when a child travels she learns of the very big world outside of her hometown bubble. Exposing a child to other cities and countries expands her horizons and shows her different ways of living, making foreign concepts a little less so.
- Show your child how to be adaptable
When a child travels, he sleeps in new beds, adopts new routines, and is introduced to new foods, landscapes, and languages. While some kids have a hard time adjusting to shakeups in their regular schedule, most learn to adapt and thrive in new environments—a skill that will serve them well as they grow.
- Meet new friends
Parents that travel with children know that kids are natural icebreakers. Not only do children make friends with other children (thus connecting parents to one another) but travelling with a child also makes it easier to relate to the local people. Most cultures around the world adore children and travelling with one makes you more approachable. When you travel with a child you are no longer just a tourist, you’re also a parent, and that puts you on common ground with people all over the world.
- Learn new things with (and about) your child
It has been said that travelling is the best education. Geography, language, and history lessons all come to life while travelling, and children have the chance to pick up hard skills like map-reading and soft skills like cultural awareness. But perhaps the most important lessons your child will learn are internal. Exposing children to new environments often encourages them to push their boundaries and try new things—from braving that intimidating zip-line to ordering off of a menu in a foreign language. Conquering new skills helps build self-confidence and self-reliance, two useful traits that parents will be proud of.
- See the world through their eyes
There’s no better way to feel like a kid again than to travel with a child. While a theme park like Disneyland may not have beckoned pre-parenthood, add a kid to the mix and it suddenly does feel like a magic kingdom. Likewise, excursions, tours, and simple activities like building sandcastles or beachcombing become fun again when you’re sharing those moments with your child. Kids bring an excitement and energy to travelling that parents find hard to resist.
- Create lifelong travelers
Perhaps the best reason of all to travel with kids is to lay a foundation that will last them a lifetime. Traveling instills a curiosity about the world and helps to debunk fears. After all, foreign countries seem a lot less foreign once you’ve been there. As travelling children grow into adults, they retain the skills, confidence, and good memories that will keep them exploring the world.
For more travel tips and stories, visit our blog page to hear what our other authors have to share!