Will it require some extra work and expended energy when traveling with kids? Yes.
Will things always run smoothly when traveling with kids? No.
Despite these nuances, this article will help you consider 8 unexpected benefits of family travel!
Upon reflecting on these thoughtful ideas, I hope to inspire you to imagine the amazing possibilities of traveling together with kids in tow.
Benefits of Family Travel
Perhaps you are discouraged and feeling that your children are too young and won’t remember a childhood family vacation?
Plus, it costs more money for plane tickets, food, and expenses when bringing the kids along.
Before you count them out, however, read the next few paragraphs and open up your heart to considering the many unexpected benefits of family travel that we have discovered throughout the years.
1. See the world through their eyes.
Kids are fascinated by everything because it’s all new to them. They often show a positivity-bias.
Through the eyes of a child, each new day is a clean slate full of endless possibilities versus mundane tasks.
Instead of being apprehensive about a new or upcoming travel adventure, see the world through the eyes of a child and let your imagination go wild.
Planning tip: To help inspire your wanderlust, and to immerse older children (and adults) who love to read into their travels, consult this list of the best books to accompany your travels.
2. Travel slower and see more.
When traveling with kids, you need to accept that you are on ‘kid time’. Kids walk slower, take longer to do things and ask a lot of questions when in a new situation.
Being on ‘kid time’ means allowing for unexpected bathroom breaks, factoring in time to help them adjust their attitudes, and allowing for rest stops.
The unexpected benefits of traveling with kids
Instead of viewing the slower pace as an annoyance, consider it a rich opportunity to see things you may not have otherwise seen.
Take time to stop and appreciate each passing moment while being sure to soak in every detail of your colorful surroundings.
3. You will think more positively.
Kids don’t automatically think the worst when they’re presented with a new experience or situation.
Because so many of your travel experiences will be new to a child, they will automatically have a positive attitude towards things. Likewise, they are always eager to try something new, especially if it is presented as an adventure to them.
Instead of being apprehensive or fearing the unknown when traveling, feed off of the positive attitudes of your children.
Likewise, turn your worry into curiosity and be just as excited as they are about the endless possibilities that await!
4. Kids are built-in entertainment.
Children connect to the world around them through play. Watch their moves, conversations, humor, and most of all, play.
Bored on the airplane? Turn to your child and have a fun-loving conversation and engage in their in-flight activities.
Can’t figure out what to do next? Embrace being in the moment with your child(ren) and laugh along with them.
Kids are truly built-in entertainment!
5. Family travel brings out the best in them.
By making the conscious decision to travel with a plan, this includes connecting with your kids beforehand on what they can expect.
Review the things that you will see and do together. Help inspire their imagination by turning to the best travel books for children in order to ignite their passion for traveling.
By staying emotionally close to your children in this way, they are more likely to behave and engage better during your family travels.
By continuing to treat the kids like they are cooperative, intelligent, and an integral part of the travel plan, the kids are more likely to live up to those expectations. As a result, you will see the best of your children and each of their shining personalities.
You will witness your children learning to plan and navigate. You will witness their patience and flexibility.
Traveling truly has the opportunity to bring out the best in your child!
Infographic provided by Alaskan Tour Guides
6. Experience full days and long, restful nights.
Kids typically start every day full throttle and only stop for an occasional nap if they are an infant or toddler. Quite simply, it is a scientific fact that kids have more energy than adults.
As parents, we can feed off of this energy by keeping our children entertained and occupied. This means packing your travel days full of fun and exciting adventures and experiences.
Busy days mean restful nights.
We try to stick to our kids’ normal bedtimes when on vacation to ward off tiredness, bad moods, and illness. Getting the kids to bed on time gives you as an adult the chance to get plenty of rest yourself.
Think through the sleeping arrangements, make the room dark, and go to bed early. Everyone will wake up rested and ready to take on the next new day!
7. Family travel provides a break from the digital world.
Going on a family vacation provides a great opportunity to unplug from the digital world that now consumes us.
Perhaps you are going to an island that doesn’t have phone service. Or a cabin in the mountains that doesn’t have WiFi.
Regardless of the physicality of being able to digitally connect or not, encourage both kids and adults to halt their electronic use when traveling together as a family.
The gift of travel provides experiences and connections that can only be formed when concentrating on the people and places around you.
When looking back on the amazing memories from your vacation or trip, your kids will surely be grateful that you encouraged them to take a break from the digital world.
8. Family travel connects you with other people.
One of my favorite things about traveling is meeting new people. For some reason, kids are the best catalyst in making this happen.
Families are naturally drawn to other families when traveling and you end up greeting people you may not have if you were just traveling as a couple.
Kids find other kids to play with which finds you connecting with other parents. You quickly realize that parenting is a universal language!
“Not quite sure if a family vacation is affordable at this point? Check out this post from my friend Teresa at Happy Mom Hacks who outlines easy money-saving tips for a family vacation.“Jen
If you like our article on the 8 Benefits of Family Travel, click here to discover our Related Posts:
- The Ultimate Guide for International Travel with Kids
- Family Vacation Packing Tips: How to Pack Like A Pro
- 16 Top Tips for Flying With Kids
- Top 10 Tips for Planning A Family Road Trip
*Before leaving, be sure to check our Travel Resources Page to find exclusive travel discounts and to book hotels, rental cars, and guided tours.*