I admit it—I am a woman who loves to travel. Even if it’s a quick trip to Chicago, or relaxing miles away on a beach in Florida or Puerto Rico, I like to do it all. But as much as I like to travel on my own, nothing beats traveling with my kids. Since both of my children were little people, we’ve been traveling. Both of them experienced their first flights when they were lap babies, and this has continued into their now tween and adult lives.
We are definitely a study on how vacations together bring you closer as a family.
In the span of a few weeks, I have/had trips planned with both of my kids. A week-long Spring Break trip to Orlando to Walt Disney World and to Universal Studios with my 11 year old, and a 21st birthday celebration with my son in New York City. These trips are a way for us to bond while in a different environment, and I wouldn’t trade that experience for anything in the world.
Let me give you some reasons why family travel is a great way to bond with your kids (if you aren’t already a believer):
Different atmosphere brings different experiences
When visiting a new place, you get the chance to do things that you normally don’t get to do at home. During my daughter’s first trip to New York, she took the subway for the first time and showed off her Metro Card. We don’t have a subway here in St. Louis, so it was an opportunity for her to do something she had never done before. We’ve even created a “travel bucket list” of new things to do so we can keep up with all of the “new” things we both want to do when we visit a new place.
Make lasting memories
Traveling gives you the means in which to make memories with your kids. Memories that can last a lifetime—things that they will share with their children and grandchildren, etc. They will never forget the first time they went to Disneyland, or the first time they walked on the Brooklyn Bridge, or the first time they traveled overseas. Traveling is a gift that keeps on giving through memories.
Creates learning opportunities
When going to a new destination, both you and your kids can learn something new. You can seek out art museums, historical places of interest, and try different foods that are popular in the area. Traveling can give the entire family a chance to see and learn about new cultures, which can help them in school and being well-versed.
More time spent together
During the last trip my daughter and I took, we were together the entire time. Of course, at home, we are often in different rooms, doing different things, and I am dropping her off at piano or viola practice. So this gave us the chance to connect more and spend time together that we ordinarily wouldn’t, and because she is a tween and growing older by the minute, I know she will soon be off doing more on her own. I savor our traveling moments, because it allows us to be in a new different place outside of our normal, and we can do it together.
Learn new things about one another
When you are out of your normal, you often can get to learn new things about one another. For instance, during a trip to New York a year or so ago, I learned that my son had a really good sense of direction. I also learned that he had a new found love of soul food (thus a trip to Harlem to eat at Sylvia’s). It’s these little things that you can learn about one another than end up meaning so much.
I hope to be able to have two more family trips this year–at least! The more we travel, the stronger our bond becomes. What are your favorite things about family travel?