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9 Compelling Reasons to Travel with Kids

Do you travel as a family? Are you always counting the days until your next adventure? Or do you feel overwhelmed and short of breath at the thought of leaving home with the kids for more than a few hours? Perhaps you’re waiting for the children to be a bit older so they will remember the details of your trips?

No matter where you fall on this spectrum, here are nine powerful reasons why you should travel with your kids. If you haven’t started yet, we hope these will encourage you to take the plunge. And if you already do, then these are great arguments to have in your back pocket the next time anyone questions your sanity. Or they can just serve as simple reminders to yourself on why it’s all an effort worth making.

kid on train

1. We Are What We Experience

Research shows that our views of the world and of ourselves are shaped by the personal experiences we encounter throughout life. The more experiences we have, the broader our horizons, the stronger our confidence.

In the words of cell biologist Dr. Bruce Lipton, “our first 6 years we are actually not engaging in consciousness, we are just downloading experiences.” He continues to say that we then basically replay these experiences throughout our lives. In other words, make them count!

Don’t wait until the kids are older to start traveling. The lessons they learn during these early (and truly formative) years will be carried for life. How amazing is that?

2. A Different Perspective

Have you watched that video of a toddler experiencing rain for the first time? “WOW,” she says. And “wow” indeed. Is there anything more magical than seeing life through the eyes of a child?

Traveling with kids – no matter your destination – is just like seeing that rain for the first time, over and over again. It’s about noticing and appreciating the little things around you — often with unbridled enthusiasm — and watching daily actions unfold into something extraordinary. And, best of all, you don’t need to go far to appreciate things from a new perspective.

first snow

3. Slow Down

We’re too busy, too rushed, too impatient all the time. Travel is the perfect chance to slow down. In fact, you will most likely have no other choice when globetrotting with young ones. Those little legs can only go so fast. So why not make it a conscious decision to explore the world at your kids’ pace?

Pole pole. In swahili this means, “slowly, slowly.” Embrace this mantra and make it your reality while traveling with kids, adapting to their rhythm, fully enjoying their company, sharing new discoveries as a family.

4. Connect with the Locals

Do you know what happens when we bring the kids along? True and authentic cultural immersion. We are likely to find the nearest market, the best bakery, the next open pharmacy. And, these days, chances are that we’ll be renting an apartment — so, before we know it, our routine becomes that of a typical local family.

Kids are also the best ambassadors. A fast-track ticket to being accepted by the local tribe. Since kids are naturally open, curious and inquisitive, just follow their lead and you’ll have a better chance of connecting with the people and culture around you.

Our Whole Village241

5. Nurture Empathy, Respect and Compassion

We can (and should) talk about empathy, respect and compassion to our kids. However, these values are truly absorbed when practiced.

Traveling provides our families with the opportunity to venture out of our comfort zone, witnessing different realities. And by immersing ourselves in unfamiliar customs and cultures, experiencing these differences first-hand, we get our kids (and ourselves) to think about others in a more compassionate way.

6. Learn and Grow Together

Perhaps parenthood’s first and most humbling lesson is that we’re in this to learn as much (or more) as we’re in it to teach. Traveling is the ultimate celebration of that realization and quite possibly the best form of education. A tribute to the beauty of growing together with our loved ones.

The best gift we can give to our families, traveling holds something unique and thrilling for everyone: a new friend, an exciting dish, a glorious landscape, an extraordinary monument.The kids learn to make pasta

7. Spend Quality Time as a Family

Our time is limited. Period. There’s nothing we can do to change that. But, how we spend that time is completely up to us. It is our choice whether we decide to spend our summers in front of a screen or sharing meaningful experiences with our families.

Traveling is a wonderful bonding experience. It’s about building a stronger connection with our children, exposing them to infinite possibilities and watching them discover their preferences and personalities as they interact with the world.

8. Build Incredible Memories

Your kids might not remember the details of your first family trip but, guess what, you will. And, truth be told, they might not remember the specifics, but they do not forget the feelings, the sensations and impact of new discoveries. (remember #1?!)

Perhaps our kids won’t know if they visited China, Germany or the Amazon when they were little, but they will never forget the joy of exploring a new playground, the thrill of reaching the top of a mountain, or the pleasure of selflessly caring for others.

Children in a park; Shutterstock ID 174217022

9. Raise Global Citizens

Last, but not least, the world needs good global citizens. By traveling with our families, we can raise kids who embrace our differences, are compassionate toward others, and are as aware of the big picture as they are of themselves.

9 Compelling Reasons to Travel With Kids


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(12) Comments

  1. Kersten

    I agree with these! I like the first point and feel extra justified now that we’ve been globetrotting with our daughter since she was 2 months and hope even the travel in her early years will add to that bank of experiences that form who she is in a positive way.

    1. Patricia Monahan

      Cheers to that, Kersten!

  2. Alyson

    Well you know I agree! I think my boys are on about 25 countries now, maybe not as many as some visit in 2 years of non-stop travel, but we travel slooooow.
    But you missed number 10…Education!

    1. Patricia Monahan

      Good point! Though I see “education” as part of number 7. I learn as much as they do when we travel! xoxo

  3. Andi

    This is great! I often times get so caught up in the fear of traveling with my kids…will they behave, will I have to give time-outs in the middle of a busy train station, etc. I just love the exposure of travel and think it is SO important.

    1. Patricia Monahan

      I hear you, Andi! And kids do pick up on how WE feel, so working on your mindset is definitely key! 😉

  4. Pam

    Great post, Patricia! I’m actually taking my daughters on a mini-vacation next week. Perfect timing 🙂 Going to share this on my Less Drama More Mama FB page! xo

    1. Patricia Monahan

      Thanks, Pam! Enjoy your vacation with your girls! xo

  5. Rhiannon

    A brilliant blog! I loved reading each of the 9 points. Number 7 especially resonates “how we spend that time is completely up to us”. What we prioritise and how tuned in we are to our children while we are with them really does matter.
    Thanks for sharing, I’m off now to book our next family holiday. 🙂

    1. Patricia Monahan

      Thanks, Rhiannon! And, yes, how tuned in we are to our children makes all the difference. Let me know about that family holiday. 😉

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