You might already know that traveling is a great thing for the family. There are so many more benefits by traveling together than there are drawbacks.
As travel -or vacation- loving adults we tend to count the days, until we get to our next vacation. But we might underestimate how great the vacation-time are for our children as well.
The children will cherish the attention from the parents, a luxury that most families forget to do in the routines of everyday lives
What are some benefits of traveling as a family? The most beneficial reason to travel as a family is the amount of quality time spent together. Both the parents and the kids get a break from the stress of the daily routines. It is a chance to slow down and enjoy each other’s uninterrupted attention for a while.
One of the key components to making a family vacation a great time for everyone, and especially the kids, is to do a technology disconnection while on vacation.
You have the opportunity to give and to receive the full attention from your kids and your spouse, and you should really embrace this chance to enjoy each others company, instead of letting the smartphone eat up all of your vacations.
#1 Best Family Bonding Experience Ever!
You have to be close when traveling together, you are likely to sleep in the same room, and you will spend time being really close in both airplanes and on other transportation means.
Experience each other in all situations. You don’t get to opt out of being together on a vacation, for the sake of the longevity of the family relationship, you will be bonding like never before.
Did you know, that many parents do not know how to play with their kids? I get sad when I hear this fact, they need to spend some time together away from it all.
Do you know how to be together, and to play with your kids?
If you don’t, then just quit everything you are doing right now, sell some of the useless junk lying around the house. Would you rather have 3 flat screen TV’s or would you want to get closer as a family?
Remember, that a vacation doesn’t need to be in a fancy hotel, on a fancy tropical island. A week in a secluded cabin without smartphones, will probably do the trick.
Now is the time to get closer.
#2 Removes the Stress of the Everyday lives
In section 12 of this post, I will write about how you and your kids will get better mental health by just being outside, and show you an article about it as well.
As I understand, is that by slowing down and removing stress, you are much more likely to get along and relax.
It is not only the parents that need a break from their jobs, and responsibilities of their everyday lives. The kids need a break as well.
#3 A Great Learning Experience
Both you and your kids will learn something new, every time you go traveling to a new destination. You might only learn a few things, but think about how many things the children are seeing for the first time in their life.
They will learn to adapt to different environments, temperatures and they are being tested physically and mentally.
You will see this part, by probably having much more tired kids in the evening.
#4 Complete Technology Detox is Great for Everyone
If you have read more blog posts on this website, then you would know by now, that I am banning smartphones and connectivity in general while being on a family vacation.
This is not only great for your health, and bonding as a family, but also vital for the family relationship.
By bringing the smartphone, and letting it grab all your attention, you are essentially telling your kids, and your spouse, that everything online, is more important to you, than your family is.
Nothing is more important than family, in my mind.
TIP: If you have kids, who are old enough be connected via smartphone or tablets, you might want to go offline a few days before traveling.
There are stories about kids going bananas during take-off because they weren’t allowed to watch iPads.
I did a whole blog post about things that can get you kicked off an airplane, and also another blog post about, how you are able to get kicked off a plane, if your child screams.
An online-detox is not fun at first, it will require everyone to adapt. But it is just so great when you have settled into not being online.
#5 Teaches Diversity and that Everyone is different
Meeting new people around the world, seeing different faces, meeting different cultures and making friends across languages are great skills for anyone to have.
I remember playing with kids, that did not speak the same language as me. Somehow kids are just able to break the barrier of verbal communication.
This will definitely make them appreciate diversity and more grow to be more acceptable for other cultures as well.
#6 Become more Responsible and Independent
If you want your kids to grow, then throw obstacles at them. Especially the traveling part of going on a vacation, like going through airports and public transportation are really great opportunities to evolve.
TIP: Help them grow, by making them responsible for a very simple task on the travel.
Don’t make them in charge of the passports or tickets, but you instead make them responsible for carrying around and their own snack-pouch or toy-trolley.
There is a sign in the kindergarden my son goes to, where it says something that roughly translates to. “Everytime you do something for your kid, you rob them of their opportunity to learn a new skill.”
By that, they mean if you take off their shoes, gloves, and jackets, instead of making them do it themselves. They will never learn.
Make them responsible for more and more, each time you go traveling, and at some point, you will have small helpers along instead of having extra burdens, and more stuff to remember.
The worst thing that could happen is that they lose some toys, which will provide them with a great life lesson as well.
#7 You Get to Be a Child Again
Ever just walked around town with a curious 3-year old? They observe the world differently than you and I. Take it all in and learn from them, get another perspective on things.
Also, if you are traveling with bigger kids, you get to go on waterslides and you get to try roller coasters and other fun rides in amusement parks if you are going for this kind of vacation.
I can’t wait until the day where my kids are old enough to go play in Legoland, Heide Park, and other amusement parks, I absolutely love it, but sometimes going on rides that are mainly for kids, as an adult, without a kid, just looks creepy.
Enjoy it! Release your inner child and have some fun.
#8 Slow Down and Create Lasting Memories
We don’t bring the smartphones, but we do take photos and create lasting memories with disconnected devices.
I have talked about how you will have a much better vacation if you turn off the smartphone, but if you do, you might want to bring another camera.
In this article, I have rated some waterproof pocket-sized cameras you can buy on a budget of only $200
REMEMBER: Don’t take photos to create memories; save the moments and enjoy each others’ company.
#9 Bringing Grandparents is Great Too
We are lucky that my parents live very close to us, 15 minutes of driving and we are able to spend time together
We are just as lucky, that my girlfriend’s parents have an enormous house, so when we make the 2-hours drive, we usually stay for a whole weekend.
The weekends at my in-laws is the most relaxing times we have, we slow down and have more time with our kids, and our kids enjoy some quality time with their grandparents.
If you don’t have this opportunity, I think that having the grandparents along will make the vacation even better. The more adults per child, the better, the children will love the undivided attention from both parents and grandparents.
As another treat, bringing the grandparents will make it possible for you and your spouse to go out one night alone, at a restaurant. We are considering bringing my girlfriends parents on our next trip, just to be able to get an hour or two, some days, by our self.
#10 Happier Parents makes for Happier Kids
When you have the time to really focus on your kids and on your family, the kids will shower in your attention and most likely be a happier version of themselves.
You know from yourself, if you have traveled a lot and have a stressful job, or just by keeping the household together. When you are away on vacation, you are a different version of yourself.
Show this, better, improved, and happier version of yourself to your kids, as often as possible.
#11 Makes Kids Appreciate Experiences over Possessions
This might be more of a personal thing for me, but I would really like my kids to be able to appreciate adventures and experiences, more than unimportant stuff.
They are growing up in a world, where you are measuring happiness by the size of your house, car or by the number of hours you are willing to work your ass off.
I do not care about those metrics of happiness, I actually think they are completely the opposite. I dream of a debt-free life of living with less and having more experiences instead of stuff.
By giving your kids great experiences and memories early on, I am sure that they will learn to appreciate them more than their stuff.
We actually have a screensaver on our television at home, with all of our family vacation photos in a loop. Sometimes we will sit and talk about the trips with our kids, we all enjoy that.
#12 Better Mental Health and Concentration Skills
I did not know this, before researching for this blog post, but both the Huffington Post and the Telegraph are writing about this. The author of the article at the Telegraph is British child psychologist and psychotherapist at the Centre for Child Mental Health.
So, I would consider it to be quite true, and I do understand why it could be true as well.
To sum up the article, the theory is that based on research, kids with attention problems and ADHD will be better of after being out in nature for only 20 minutes, than to do the drugs they are prescribed.
The study reveals that even a walk together in green spaces calms the body and lowers the blood pressure. This means that parents and grandparents will benefit mentally by taking an outdoors vacation.
If I understand this part right, then a trip to the forest, tenting or caravaning in the woods could improve you and your children’s mental health and development.
By reading about this, I am already thinking about doing more weekend trips in the outdoors. This sounds like a piece of great advice for all parents.
Read the whole article here: https://www.telegraph.co.uk/tr…
#13 Become Well Rested and Relaxed
When you go traveling with your kids, you can’t very well go out to bars late at night or go on a 100-mile hike through mountains.
I get that this is stuff you might enjoy doing, but just as your everyday lives have changed after getting kids, your traveling life has as well.
You have to go by the pace of the kids, which means that you will have plenty of opportunities to go for some fun activities during the day, but it also means that you will go to bed pretty early.
You don’t have to go to bed early, but you will have to stay in your hotel room, while the kids are at sleep.
TIP: Book a room that has a balcony with an acceptable view, so that you can enjoy a book and a glass of wine.
After the kids are tucked in, there is also the possibility of just embracing the kids terms and go to sleep when they do, it is great for you to relax while on vacation.
Recently I wrote a post about how to get toddlers to sleep at hotel rooms, you can read the post by clicking here.
#14 Kids Travel for Free, in the Early Years
Depending on where you go, kids will travel free until a certain age. Most of the flights I have researched, you don’t pay for the kids while they are younger than two years old, and some airlines will charge you 50-75% for kids just slightly older than this, I have read, that is because that they weigh less and most likely do not bring any carry-on luggage.
But flying and traveling is only a part of the entire vacation-budget. Some hotels around the world do not charge to bring kids, up to a certain age, depending on where you go.
Then there is transportation, in Budapest, as an example, kids under the age of 7 will get free passes on all public transportation.
The older they get, the more expensive it gets to bring them along, the more they will eat, and the more activities they will want to try out.
#15 You Will Never Get Bored
Let’s face it. If you are going on a vacation just as a couple, there are times when you are just plain bored. Especially if you go on a cruise or go to stay in a resort, and you don’t go on an adventure.
My girlfriend and I, have been bored on several vacations, not that this is completely a bad thing, but I remember times when we agreed that a week was enough at one spot, when going home. Especially Tenerife had not much to see or do, at least we didn’t think so.
When you travel with kids, you don’t really get to be bored. Immerse yourself in their world and do the vacation on their terms, and you are likely to enjoy the time more.
The worst thing about this is, that the time will fly by, and one week will seem like no time at all.
I have also read on other blogs, and travel-related websites, that they find traveling with kids on a plane, tends to shorten how long the flight feels.
I can agree with this, but I do not think my girlfriend agrees because before having kids, she just slept through the whole flight, all the way from take off to the landing. And I didn’t, so, I have always been pretty bored on flights.
#16 Curiosity and Sense of Adventure
If you want to travel with your kids for the next years to come, or you just want to pass on the wanderlust, then going traveling together is the best way for awakening their curiosity and sense of adventure.
When traveling, you might want to see some cultural stuff that kids might find pretty boring. The best way to keep them happy is to keep the curious and make them a part of the adventure.
TIP: If you go see ancient ruins, then try telling them some stories on what you are looking at, if they are small, you can even make up stuff just to make it more exciting.
At some point, they are likely to enjoy these trips to go see something.
#17 You will Fall in Love Again!
While you are on a vacation, you are more likely to be a happier, and stress-free version of yourself. Which also means that you are likely to see your spouse as clear as the day you met.
If you do turn off all connected devices while away, as really recommend doing, you will be able to give and to receive much more attention from your loved ones.
This is not only about the parents, but also about the kids. The reasons are, that when you reduce the stress of everything you have to do in a day, you are less likely to reach grumpy when your kids are needy.
And when they discover that you are giving them, all the attention they need, they are less likely to be difficult.
So if you don’t remember doing it, in the stress of your everyday lives, then this is a perfect time to practice saying “I love you” and “I appreciate spending time with you” for every member of the family.
When you get to experience this, you do not want to go home, ever again. This will spark a wanderlust that will stay with you and your family forever.