Need more reasons to hit “book” on your next family vacation? We have you covered. Here at Curious B.E.I.N.G.s, we believe it’s important to nurture courage and promote growth mindsets in kids, and traveling with them is a great way to do this!
While traveling with toddlers and young kids can be intimidating, it can significantly boost development. Traveling expands kids’ horizons, allowing them to explore new experiences and encounter different situations. Check out these 7 reasons to travel with your kids:
As a parent, hearing “remember when we…” during a car ride or at the dinner table is so meaningful because it shows that these trips have a lasting impact on our kids. No matter how big or small the experience, traveling is an opportunity to spend quality time as a family and create memories that will last a lifetime.
We’ve had the good fortune to take our kids on trips within the U.S. and internationally. From Mt. Rushmore to a safari in Tanzania, our focus tends to be around the outdoors and animals. Sometimes we travel with another family, and sometimes it’s just us! But, in either situation, we find ourselves with uninterrupted time to talk and be a family without the pulls of our everyday life.
Allowing your children to see the world, get closer to nature, and meet people with different backgrounds can never be mimicked in the traditional classroom setting. With so many new sights to explore, kids will have constant entertainment while learning plenty of new things along the way!
My favorite memories are watching my kids learn about and experience something for the first time, whether that is a glacier in Alaska, hummingbird station in Ecuador, or speaking a few words in the native language of the country we’re in! I believe these experiences are growing my kids' minds because they come away from these experiences with new knowledge about the people and world around them.
Travel is the perfect way to get your kids away from their devices to enjoy the beautiful world around them. While they might still use their devices during the road trip or plane ride to your destination, the pull of technology becomes less strong when there are new things to do and see.
Some of the places we’ve traveled have been remote enough that there is a lack of connectivity that naturally forces kids off their electronics. If they don’t choose to put them away, we’ll have them do so for periods of time to ensure they are truly present wherever we are. The good news is that we normally don’t have any arguing as they enjoy where they are just as much as we do!
When exposed to new cultures, children gain an awareness for cultural differences, which allows them to grow intellectually and establish a positive viewpoint of diversity. Giving them these life lessons is an integral part teaching empathy and inclusion.
We recently traveled to Tanzania for a safari, but we had a few opportunities to engage with locals. We visited Shanga, which is a nonprofit in Arusha that employs individuals with disabilities to make crafts. We also visited a Maasai Village (Boma) and sat inside a home and heard from the chief’s son about life in the village. We even went to their schoolhouse and met some of the kids during their daily lessons. It was an invaluable experience for all of us to see individuals making a good life with what they have!
Toys will break, get lost, or even just get old, but experiences can never be replaced in a young child’s memories! Travel allows kids to connect with others for an extended period of time instead of getting lost in all their stuff.
Shared experiences are priceless because they are with you forever. They allow you to laugh over a fun memory – from singing songs as we drove to and from South Dakota to see Mt. Rushmore or marveling at a rainforest walk that ended in a swim in a waterfall in Ecuador.
Family excursions are a great opportunity for your kids to push themselves out of their comfort zone and grow their confidence by trying new things. There often isn’t a Starbucks or McDonalds on every corner, which means you’ll have to try something new. Besides eating, you may need to communicate in a foreign language which is always appreciated by the locals. Trying and learning new skills makes kids feel capable and confident that they can tackle whatever comes their way.
Being away from other friends is the perfect opportunity for developing deeper connections within the family. One piece of advice for connecting with your family is to try a wide range of activities during your trip to learn more about your loved ones’ preferences and get to know them on a deeper level.
What I have appreciated about all of our travels, whether it is a beach trip or an adventure trip is that my kids are up for just about anything. While I know that my kids’ personalities are different, we work together to be sure we have a trip that all can enjoy!
I hope you can use these tips and advice to plan an enriching and memorable experience with your family!
For more ideas of how to teach kids about kindness, compassion and curiosity, follow Curious B.E.I.N.G.s on Facebook and Instagram and subscribe to the Curious B.E.I.N.G.s newsletter.