When it comes to traveling with kids, many questions often arise. Most frequently, people ask how I can “afford” road tripping or vacationing with kids? Other questions lean more toward, “how do you find time to travel with kids?” One I love to answer most, however, is Why We Love Traveling with Kids! It seems so simple, yet also extremely personal. Why do you love traveling with kids – do you have your answer ready? Through the Families Who Love to Travel Facebook group, a community of family travelers, we’ve gathered our member’s responses as a tribute to the benefits of traveling with kids! For one, we love the flexibility it instills within our kids, the exposure to cultures and diversity across the globe, and the hands-on learning opportunities offered. Not to mention priceless memories for the whole family! Keep reading to learn more about why we love traveling with kids.
Develop Respect for Culture and Diversity
A family vacation exposes children to culture and diversity in a way that staying in their own community simply can’t. One Families Who Love To Travel group member, Kritika Storer, hopes “to instill the love and appreciation of different cultures, food, languages, and diverse landscaping. It’s the utmost importance to us that our kids grow up to be open-minded and respectful individuals, and for us, the best way to do that is through traveling.” Kids who travel gain a better understanding of their place within the world. Plus, they develop open hearts and minds to different cultures, religions, foods, languages, and much more!
When we vacation with kids, remember to allow children the opportunity for self-exploration. In turn, this gives them a little more freedom to take in more of the world around them! “When one learns young to respect the diversity in the world you simply are a more open human.” shares Elizabeth Westman.
In addition, Elizabeth Heiser Beesley adds that “this world is a better place when people are aware of the variety of the human experience. It builds empathy and self-discovery. And I mean that just as much for me as I do my kids.” Developing respect for diverse cultures and identities is one of the most critical benefits of traveling with kids.
Experience the Joy of a Child
Parents can delight in the joy of their kids! Old places are new once more when experienced through the lens of a curious child. Watch an entirely different world unfold when you navigate new cities with little ones in tow. Plus, adults can also be innocent again and charmed by past and new travels alike, brought to life in a novel way through our kids. Erica Hayen loves seeing some of her “favorite places through my kid’s eyes and also experiencing new places. It gives me an excuse to do some things that might be fun for me, but that I otherwise would be too uptight to do as a childless adult (like water parks, Disney characters, crawling around cool playgrounds and parks, splashing in water features, etc.).”Traveling with kids allows us to find small joy in the little things, as well as build connections with those we love.
Build Courage, Self-Esteem, and Flexibility
Family vacations are a unique way to experience the world! Through travel, you can see how other people live, indulge in other cuisine and culture, and learn new languages. This sense of adventure when in a foreign place also builds courage and self-esteem in children! Of course, instances like these are priceless. Gunjan Prakash, CEO and founder of Families Loves Travel, shares, “I want my kids to be flexible, open-minded, and accepting. My best memories growing up were traveling with my parents.”Travel provides children with exciting adventures, challenges, and insights that will carry well into adulthood. It also teaches patience, problem-solving, and flexibility. Overall, traveling with kids allows them to work on intercultural communication and helps them build relationships with people they would not encounter without travel. These life skills are invaluable as a child grows and develops their sense of self! This is certainly one of the great benefits of traveling with kids.
Make Family Memories
Traveling with kids also means more quality family time! What parent doesn’t want that, right? Contributor Antonia Grant is particularly excited “to make memories as a family and to simply see the joy on my daughter’s face as we adventure together.” Travelers of all ages can learn through unique opportunities and challenges presented by your destination. Think of the world like a giant playground we traverse together!
Shared experiences enhance closeness, form relationships, and also allow for hands-on learning opportunities. Christelle Ras wants to teach her kids that the world is an adventure. She wants to show her kids “the world, expose them to cultures, and teach them to enjoy and respect all cultures and traditions.” Children build lasting bonds with their parents while traveling. Additionally, parents hope their children will always be hungry for more discovery through travel! These shared memories truly make traveling with kids a truly unparalleled experience. Making memories together is one of the greatest gifts and benefits of traveling with kids.
Provide a Well-Rounded Education
Traveling with kids is also deeply educational! Not only is it intellectually stimulating, but it also helps them enhance their emotional and social intelligence, as well as their capacity for empathy. “From exploring a museum to walking through a cathedral, travel can bring education to life. All of a child’s senses are alerted with the sights, sounds, and smells encountered in a new place. Hands-on learning allows for creativity to flow and concepts to stick in a way that sitting in a desk or reading about something, simply cannot.”, shares Michelle Hamilton.
As more families choose homeschooling and “world-schooling,” children can now build critical thinking skills through hands-on, real-world engagement. Through travel, kids can also gain first-hand experiences about the cultures, languages, and histories they are also learning in textbooks!
Ani Lacy homeschools her son and travel has been a critical source for his education. She explains “my 14-year-old has experienced so many different countries that it has really helped his creative and critical thinking skills. We also get to see how nature varies from place to place and we check out the local culture both modern and through visiting archaeological and historical sites. I’m fortunate that my work takes me all over the world so that my son is able to grow up feeling that all of our planet is there for him to explore.” An opportunity for a well-rounded education is a major benefit of traveling with kids!
Fill Life with Experiences
In a world where material items are so easily accumulated and then tossed aside, quantity is often valued over quality. This is where traveling with kids becomes all the more significant! And, likely why parents have started giving travel experiences over toys and material gifts. It’s important to instill the importance of gaining quality life experiences. Memories, mental imagery, and knowledge cannot be taken away. Traveling with kids also helps them learn early on the importance of “living life to the fullest” and how valuable time spent together truly is for families. Marz Olda wants her children “to appreciate how good their lives are and to never take it for granted. I want them to understand different cultures, history, lifestyles, languages, and people – and always be hungry for more discovery, experiences, and adventure.”
Our job as parents is to raise well-rounded adults. Traveling with kids, whether on a local road trip or a family vacation abroad, builds character and self-esteem. Additionally, traveling allows children to fill their lives with incredible experiences through engaging in culture and developing intercultural relationships. Who knows, relationships developed at a young age may inspire pen-pals and future travels! Travel teaches kids the value of making memories with the people you love through shared experiences and journeys.
Instill a Love of Travel
Finally, we love traveling with kids to ingrain an appreciation for travel. As Veen Huffnagle relates, traveling with kids means “instilling a lifelong love of travel and building memories.” Parents who love traveling hope to pass this passion on to their children! Discovering new cultures is a tangible reward for kids to experience and ultimately enjoy. Additionally, Veen Huffnagle believes, “the first-hand exposure to other cultures has helped my 4.5-year-old daughter become a very open-minded, curious and accepting individual who’s excited about going to new places and trying new things. I think it’s played a major role in how openly and quickly she engages with people from all backgrounds and cultures for someone her age.”
Not to mention – we simply can’t go without them! Christine Leger also travels with kids because she “can’t leave them at home, [I’d] miss them too much. Now they love it too.” We can’t think of a better reason to travel with kids!
Happy Family Travels!
Parents who embrace and engage in all of the aforementioned benefits of traveling with kids know travel will have a lasting impact! Hopefully, kids will turn around and instill the same lessons in the world around them. From providing a well-rounded education to making memories, building self-esteem, and flexibility, traveling with kids is sure to be an adventure of a lifetime! It also builds a family bond that is invaluable as a child grows. Families Who Love to Travel will continue to share their love of travel with their kids, no matter the reason. Because don’t we all want more open-minded kids who love to explore what the world has to offer? Of course, we do! We hope you can connect with one or more of the reasons why we love traveling with kids.
What do you believe are the benefits of traveling with kids? Share in the comments! We would love to hear from you.
Thank You to Our Community!
A special thank you to the Families Who Love to Travel Facebook community who helped with the research for this article. They are a group of amazing families who love adventure and exploring through travel, especially with kids. Join the Facebook community and find us on Instagram (@families.love.travel) to connect with other families who love the unique experience of traveling with kids, whether by air, train, or RV. It is also a safe place to ask questions and gather travel-related information specific to families. We welcome you!
Michelle Hamilton has been traveling since she was a few months old. Born in California with her heart in Switzerland, where her family is originally from, she now instills this wanderlust into her own three children. Michelle currently lives and works as a Pediatric Occupational Therapist in Colorado, where she owns an Air B&B, and spends her free time outdoors hiking, biking, or skiing. Having traveled much of Europe and Asia with her husband, she soon plans to "worldschool" her kids, merging an enriching education with her family's passion for travel.