Traveling with children can seem daunting, especially if you’re traveling internationally. With long flights and long travel days, differences in cultures, and many other obstacles that can occur, it makes sense why some parents might be reluctant to bring their children on the journey with them. However, traveling with your children, particularly internationally, can provide a vast number of benefits to your children’s lives. Here are just a few reasons that you should bring your kiddos along on your travels.
When you travel with children, you are giving away something that can never be taken away. Experience, exposure, and way of life. — Pamela T. Chandler
Most children learn about the history and culture of other nations in their classrooms at school, but when you travel with your children, they get to see these places for themselves. Your kids will be immersed in many cultures and will learn about people, traditions, food, agriculture, and other areas. Because they can relate it to their personal experiences, this can help children better understand and learn at school.
There is always the possibility of hitting a roadblock when traveling, no matter how well-prepared you are, such as missing luggage or a delayed flight. Many things outside our control interrupt our plans, which is an unavoidable part of traveling, and it is a great way for kids to learn to problem-solve and make the best of difficult situations. Children may also discover that different amenities exist than what they are used to at home. And, depending on where you’re going, items or tools might not be as readily available as they are at home, which is another excellent method for kids to learn to adapt and go with the flow.
Your children can meet other children from other nations when traveling, and they may discover that their way of life differs from their own. They may notice socioeconomic gaps and understand that not all children in the world have as much as they have, leading to empathy for others who do not have as much as they do and appreciation for what they do have.
Many people, I’m sure, can recall the majority, if not all, of the travels they’ve taken. How about the very first toy you received? Can you remember all of the toys you used to have when you were a kid? Toys are fun, but they don’t usually have the same lasting impact as the memories we make when traveling. When children grow up, they will be able to remember all of their travel memories, whether they were nice, funny, or strange, as well as the people they spent time with and met along the journey.
We may be moving out of our comfort zone a little when visiting new places. Nevertheless, each time we do, we gain a little more self-assurance. Similarly, with children, someone might be nervous about the activities/excursions that you have planned. When kids begin to travel and these opportunities become more common, they become braver and their confidence grows. That confidence stays with them as they go back to their regular routines in everyday life.
By seeing the world firsthand, traveling can also help children figure out their passions more creatively and intuitively. For example, perhaps you’ve noticed that your child enjoys the adventure component of travel and that every time you visit a new country, they want to plan all the outdoor activities they can! Perhaps your child is interested in art and is fascinated by architectural details, and he or she wishes to visit art museums. Learning this about themselves might help them in determining what interests they would like to pursue, or even potential career paths that would be appealing to them.
Another aspect of self-discovery that kids may learn while traveling is taking on responsibilities. All children will have to learn to take on responsibilities at some point. Giving children tasks when traveling can help them to feel more confident in their own abilities. Perhaps their first obligations are to ensure that they have their belongings, and they must manage their items when changing hotels or between airports. Having them organize a portion of the trip may enhance their personal accountability as well. Not only does this help children gain confidence, but it also keeps them engaged and allows them to express themselves.
Teaching kids to count is fine, but teaching them what counts is best. — Bob Talbert