Traveling as a family has its joys but so often it is easier to focus on the more difficult parts. It can be expensive. It can be hard. It can be exhausting. It can gobble up vacation time.
But the upside is always so much more than any downside.
In 2013, Disney commissioned a survey of more than 1000 parents with kids between the ages of 5 and 17. “Ninety-one percent of parents reported that quality time is achieved when they learn something new about their child, while 84 percent of parents say quality time means their child learned something new about them.”
They also found that parents were able to have much more quality time with their kids on vacation as opposed to at home. And their time together on vacation was reported to be more exciting, relaxed, and silly than it is at home.
There are probably many reasons you need to a family vacation, but here are five of them.
1. To reconnect
With technology, sports, school, work and friends pulling everyone in a million directions, it is easy to grow apart from each other. Taking a family vacation together can be a way to force everyone, even teenagers, to reconnect. Be sure to have family meals together and spend time just being around each other. If possible, allow older children to help plan, because if they are involved in the process they are less likely to rebel.
2. To experience something new
Doing the same thing every day can get boring. Use a family vacation to spice up your life. Doing something new can be invigorating and shows your family there's more to life than the daily commute. Have an adventure and make some new memories! The new things you experience will be worth the stress of traveling with a family.
3. To expand your horizons
It is easy to believe that everyone in the world is just like you and your neighbors if you don't get out there and travel. By taking your family to experience different parts of the world, or even different parts of your city, you can help the whole family grow and learn the value of different people, places, and things.
4. To spend time with your kids NOW
Your kids will never be this age again. Spend time with them now! Don't put a vacation off until everyone is potty-trained, or out of car seats, or in high school. You will never get this time back. So use it. Time passes so quickly for parents and you don't want to lose the precious moments that are happening right now.
5. To learn
Traveling often provides fantastic learning experiences for the whole family. Learn about beach erosion, instead of just playing in the sand. Practice reading by visiting the local zoo and learning about the animals there. A trip to a place where locals speak a different language is an opportunity to expose your children to a new tongue. Any place can be your classroom.
smile.Sheknows.com. Web. 29 April 2015. "5 reasons why family vacations are important."
Travelpulse.com. Web. 27 February 2013. "Disney sponsored survey reveals new trends for family travelers."
Reviewed April 30, 2015
by Michele Blacksberg RN
Edited by Jody Smith