“Remember that happiness is a way of travel – not a destination.” – Roy M. Goodman
Since our first daughter was born, six and a half years ago, we traveled as a family to Poland, Croatia, France, Barbados, and Cuba. We visited far regions of our province Quebec and while at times it was difficult, it was also something that I’ll never forget.
Because travelling with kids is being really present in the moment, it’s enjoying the unexpected and not planning too much.
Of course, travelling with babies and toddlers isn’t for the weak: kids might sleep bad and whine half of the time. Sometimes the planned sightseeing attraction can turn out to be the-biggest-tantrum-trigger-ever, but then the unplanned stop to soothe a crying baby can turn out to be the most magical place on the way!
Traveling with kids is also a patience test : the time it takes to dress, the time it takes to get to the beach, the time it takes to look at all the rocks and flowers on the way.
But it also means that while traveling with kids, you see more details. And sometimes they’re so lovely, you’re happy you took time to slow down.
So if you’re still doubting if your family is ready to travel together, here are the reasons why I think you should give it a try:
- Family bonding. While family bonding can happen anywhere, it’s during travel that families bond the most. Sharing new experiences with people around us leaves us with the feeling of closeness, and having more time together then usually, mixed with the lack of every-day responsibilities, results in stronger attachment and bonding!
- Natural learning. Instead of teaching kids about other cultures, show them other cultures! They’ll remember much better the differences between renaissance and middle ages architecture if they’ll get a chance to see that architecture in person.
- Developing self esteem. Kids who travel and are put in new and challenging for them situations – such as ordering food in a new language, making new friends on the beach, helping with packing and travel organization – grow to feel competent and mentally strong.
- Language skills- we all know that learning a new language at home with a book is never as efficient and fun as being emerged in that language. And even if the trip lasts only a week, it can sparkle the motivation and curiosity needed to learn a new language!
- Making memories that will help in dark moments. We all have moments of self doubt, sadness and loneliness – even our kids. Having a bank of happy memories to look back at during these moments can help dealing with stress and anxiety.
- Time passing slower- with lots of things happening within one day, our brains get tricked in to experiencing time differently then during the day filled with repetitive every-day activities. When we travel we get to see so many new places, people and things that our brains are much more busy then usually with processing it all – and in the end, we have an impression of the time passing slower, and our days happier then usually.
And in the end, I really believe that travelling kids is like depositing coins in their own bank of happiness- and ours too. Even if we’re traveling with a baby who won’t remember anything on a conscious level – they will take in the atmosphere of excitement, smiles of relaxed parents and sound of a new language. And I think that this is truly priceless.
And if you’re wandering HOW to make travelling with kids easier, here are my best tips for traveling with a toddler, and here are my best tips for camping with kids! Also I’ll be sharing more of my tips and tricks for plane travel soon, so stay tuned!