The lucky ones among us managed to see the world while we were still at a young age. Most of us, though, had to make do with exploring our own country on road trips and wait for the opportunity to travel abroad as adults. That opportunity usually came in the form of an organized trip with an agency.
Today, we’ve travelled enough to be comfortable to go exploring the world without a package holiday. But suddenly, we’re unsure how to handle ‘this travel thing’ with kids and whether it should even be done. Is that the case for you too?
On one hand, we hear opinions telling us we shouldn’t drag our kids around; that it’s better to stay in the country. Flying isn’t good for them and it’s best not to bother others.
On the other, children, and us together with them, can gain a lot from travelling abroad. How so? Based on our own experience and that of other travelled parents, we’ve put together 10 reasons why you ought to travel with kids:
1. Children see different nationalities and customs, learning tolerance
It’s so hard for us adults to dispel prejudices and so easy for our kids to acquire them. However, if you want to have offspring well-versed with global insight, there is no better way than to go into the world and show them how people are the same everywhere, even though they might look different. Traveling gives children respect for other cultures.
Everything, of course, hugely depends on the attitude of the parents. If you feel the same way, you’ll enjoy reading an article about an American family traveling together with two young daughters. Here is the story about how their little Savannah met a little tribal girl on the island of Vanuatu: http://www.ytravelblog.com/vanuatu-village-savannah-alida/
2. You’ll find joy in discovery
Learning through the eyes of a child is diametrically different from the way adults learn. Go through the trouble of planning a detailed family vacation and then just have fun with the children when you get there. Forget for a moment the troubles of everyday life and experience once again the sincere pleasure of discovering things as a child.
3. Children learn to cope in unusual situations
Travelling, as well all know, is full of unusual situations, and thus teaches young ones how to handle such circumstances and deal with them. Instant character building!
4. Kids learn to survive without a mountain of still toys
At home, kids can literally spend the day surrounded by toys, but when traveling, they have to get by with only a couple of their favorites. Your little ones might complain in the beginning, but after a few days they get used to it. Lots of families rediscovered the beauty of ordinary picture books while traveling – interested in trying it out?
5. Children open up the hearts of locals
There’s no debating it – cute kids bring out smiles on even the grouchiest faces. You’ll find locals are suddenly more helpful, and in some countries even want to be photographed with your little successor. Almost everybody likes babies, whether they’re from China or Mozambique. Take advantage of being “on the same wavelength” and have fun with the locals. Since starting a conversation with the natives is easier when you have a toddler around, you’ll get a deeper understanding and gain greater insight into a country than ordinary tourists.
6. You have to travel slower with kids
Before the kids arrived, you might have traveled under the slogan “see as much as possible and get a good night’s sleep when you get home;” with children, though, you have to slow it down. This is often what allows people to open their eyes and succumb to the beauty of slow travel. This way of traveling gives you a much better chance to really get to know a location, meet locals and, at least for a moment, experience their lifestyle.
7. Give them the experience of a lifetime…
Want your children to live to the fullest from the very start? Then the best gifts are memories. It doesn’t matter if they don’t remember everything. The experiences will stay in your heart and later, many a pleasant moment can be spent with the children pouring over the family photo album of the trip.
8. Discover in yourself unexpected abilities
Unexpected things happen on a daily basis while travelling. Your ability to solve unplanned situations will be stirred awake and trained like a muscle. What’s more, a person learns how to handle their own child best out of the comfort of their own home.
9. Satisfy children’s desire to discover
Children need to discover. It’s true that there is enough to discover in your area, but how entertaining do you find it? Satisfy their desire to explore and head out on a trip that’s an experience for all members of the family, from the smallest to the largest.
10. Strengthen your family bond
Finally, traveling across borders can unite a family. Children and parents get to spend more time with each other and solve situations that occur. And even if everything goes smooth as butter, discovering things together and creating memories strengthens the family for years to come. Later on, just open up the photo album and remember how happy everyone was on the trip and how great it all was.
Whatever you do, don’t be afraid to travel with the kids. It can open up unexpected doors and vastly expand your horizons.
Have you ever gone abroad with your children? How did it go? What do you think of our reasons to travel? Do you have anything to add?