I help busy parents, overwhelmed family reunion organizers, and groups of friends plan vacations filled with unforgettable memories.
When parents think about planning trips, a common concern is if everyone in the family is going to benefit from their travel investment and experiences. Are the kids too young? Should we wait until they are older? Should we wait until they will remember it? Often, parents ask me these questions.
While some may believe that traveling with kids is a waste of time because they won't remember any of it, that's not always the case. The first time that my family traveled to the Walt Disney World Resort, my kids were young, wee little ones. To my surprise they kept talking about their favorite experiences and then started asking to go again, again and again. Many don't realize that traveling with kids is just like any other experience—be it reading to them in the library or going to the playground. You're creating endless possibilities and character-shaping learning opportunities. Here are 7 reasons why you're not wasting travel on young kids. Also, in case you need to hear this -your memories matter too.
1: Travel enhances a child's developmental milestones
From the moment they're born, babies and young children never stop learning. Traveling opens the door to many colors, faces, languages, sights, smells, and sounds. Your child might say their first word during a trip or discover that they love the feeling of swaying in the water while on a cruise.
2: Traveling helps children become adaptable and flexible
Traveling helps children feel comfortable sleeping anywhere from beds to on an airplane to outside underneath a blanket. They'll adapt to eating while in different settings. Exposure to a variety of cuisines opens the minds of even our littlest of picky eaters.
3: Travel teaches children that a fun way to experience the world is through multilingualism
As you travel more with your children, they'll become more inquisitive regarding languages they will hear and they'll be able to distinguish differences. Your child learns that people speak different languages throughout the world. Children always find a way to relate to others even with language differences.
4: Travel makes us more human
Traveling offers an excellent opportunity for your child to experience the best of humanity. It inspires all of us to be more compassionate, to bridge our differences, encourages empathy, deepen our understanding, escape our comfort zones, immerse us in different cultures. All of these can literally re-wire our brain and alter how we see the world and treat others. Young children will notice differences in people, cultures and different ways of life. Acknowledge the differences and use this opportunity to have deeper conversations with your child. Your raising little travelers to be changemakers!
5: Traveling makes children curious and instills a love for adventure
Traveling with your child helps ignite their imaginations and engage in creative play. We feed our brains while traveling. It sparks new ideas. Our minds open to new possibilities in the world. While it might seem unnerving to experience global destinations with children, their imaginations will run wild.
6: Traveling encourages children to try new things
Traveling with your children familiarizes the unfamiliar. Endless opportunities present new experiences while traveling. Children will be encouraged to try new experiences more often and try new things. Just like all things, it may take a little practice or they could jump right into the new adventures! No matter if it's camping in the desert, ziplining in the jungle, or flying on Dumbo, there are endless possibilities to become open to new ideas and not be afraid of trying new things.
7: Traveling increases a child's interest in airplanes, geography, and world maps
First, let me tell you that my son loves maps. At 14, he still reads the airplane safety pamphlet every. single. trip. I swear it's to see if anything has changed since our last trip! He's interested in different aircrafts as well. My kids are the first to run to grab maps. One time we brought tourist maps home and shared with all of the kids in their classrooms. It was a big hit! My daughter, at 12 years old, has a list of international destinations on her to-go list longer than my own! When you travel with your children, that means you're exposing them to airplanes, geography, and world maps early in their lives. They will understand that there's much more in this world than their surroundings.
How much your child enjoys traveling has everything to do with your mindset. Plan for hiccups, don't expect perfection and focus on creating life-long memories. And enjoy these moments, one day you'll be looking back at your time spent together.
Amazing travel experiences are in your future and raising amazing people are too! Whenever you're ready to say GO, we'll be ready to guide your family!