Summer is the time when kids(and parents) from all over the world look forward to some great travel experience. Something to look forward to outside of their own realm of experience. And to carry as precious memories all their lives.
Millennial parenting puts a lot of emphasis on travel- much more than older generations.
I don’t know about you, but my kids have been making plans for every day of the summer for the last 3 months!
Experts advise that summer breaks should be used to pause or slow down the year-long stimuli to help children rediscover spontaneous activities of their choosing. It is established that this period of wakeful rest gives a unique and much-needed boost to executive functions by reinforcing memory replay for enhanced learning.
Summer also offers the luxury of time to go chasing rabbit-holes and paint our dreamlands.
Though traveling with kids involves a whole lot of preparation, here are some amazing benefits of traveling with children that are simply too good to ignore.
1. They become more inclusive
“Wherever you go becomes a part of you somehow”- Anita Desai.
Children who travel soak up multiple cultures and practices. They become deeply empathetic individuals- one of the most important traits that directly correlated with success in adult life. Needless to say, children who are exposed to multiple cultures mold into confident individuals who are more socially more adept- because they hone their ability for acceptance and tolerance.
2. They become insatiable
Travelling puts us in contact with myriad fields like archeology, art, culture, music, food, languages, tourist highlights- not to mention the hundreds of other travelers who crisscross in and out of your life. There is no better way for an immersive learning experience.
Pro tip: If you think they need more- Use Google. Involve them in the planning to your vacation(with boundaries, of course). For example- give them a choice between 3-4 places that might have similar budgets. Help them look up the location on Google and learn what they can about it before they set foot on the land. Allow them to explore various routes. The richness of the experience is enhanced when children “touch-and-feel” what they read about and imagined in their heads.
3. They let go of their toys
I know kids gain comfort from the larger-than-life characters in toys. But, having fewer toys helps them absorb their surroundings better and invent new ways to engage with the environment. Plus, it helps in traveling lighter!
4. They become polyglots
Children who travel pick up multiple languages quickly and show lesser resistance to learning a new language. Back home, they seek out multicultural groups and are less shy about speaking in a new language.
5. The family becomes closer
When you travel as a family to a foreign land, it is natural to want to stick together as a family. Children are exposed to new cultures, but also learn to value their own identities as a society.
6. The real world teaches them
Children learn exponentially more by being out in the real world than they can ever do in a classroom. Like this dad, who explains it beautifully in a letter to the Principal, who condemned their family vacation. Anyone match this learning experience?
7. They become self-reliant
Make a thousand plans, but the only thing you should really expect during travel is the unexpected. The limits that a backpack or a suitcase imposes on travelers is reason enough to be extremely alert, adaptable, self-reliant and resourceful! Plus, they will come up with a thousand ideas to beat ‘boredom’. And, yes- they will see first-hand the workings of group decisions.
8. Their grades improve
Annals of scientific study have shown that being multi-lingual increases executive function- which is a direct predictor of academic success. Also, a study conducted by the University System of Georgia in 2000, established that children who studied/lived abroad showed improved academic performance when they returned to home turf.
9. You create memories
Travelling with your children not only changes the way they see the world, but it evolves the way an adult sees the world too. It also offers you a window to the world through the child’s eyes.
10. They become citizens of the world
Traveling the world together means you are preparing your child to fit into the role of a Global citizen. They are less likely to be boxed into limited identities – setting the ground for limitless possibilities.
As Ralph Waldo Emerson famously said:
“The mind, once stretched by a new idea, never returns to its original dimensions.”
This article appeared earlier in Kidskintha.
About the Author:
Devishobha Chandramouli is the founder and editor of Kidskintha– a platform dedicated to helping millennial parents raise happy kids. Get your own FREE copy of the eBook “53 Hacks To Raise A Happy Kid” now. She also writes regularly for the Huffington Post, SheKnows, LifeHack, Addicted2Success, Tiny Buddha, Inc., Parent.co and many other publications.
Image Credit: Alex Mihis via Pexels.com