Raise your hand if you’ve ever thought that traveling with kids sounds intimidating and incredibly overwhelming. Me too, friend. Me too! It’s easy to say, “Oh! We’ll travel when our kids get older”, but what if I told you that there is incredible value in traveling with your family right now in your current season? While traveling with kids (especially babies and toddlers) may not be a walk in the park, there’s so many incredible benefits that outweigh the challenges. Still need a little convincing? Here’s 12 Reasons to Travel WITH Your Kids.
12 REASONS TO TRAVEL WITH YOUR KIDS
1. It encourages you to see new places together
“The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page.” Augustine of Hippo
The more I begin jotting down places that I would love to visit, the more I am amazed by how massive and full of wonder this world truly is. Seeing new places cultivates curiosity and a hunger to see more of this great big beautiful world. If you want to read more than one page as the quote above so eloquently puts it, then traveling is your ticket to do just that.
2. It helps you create deeply rooted memories over shared experiences
I don’t know about you, but the older I get the more I am realizing that I want to create deeply rooted memories with my kids instead of acquiring piles and piles of stuff. Don’t get me wrong, I’m definitely a fan of thoughtful gifts, but I long to give my kids a rich heritage of shared experiences. Traveling helps you create many “remember when” moments as a family. Even if you are just traveling down the street in your city there are so many amazing experiences out there that can help foster incredible family memories.
3. It pushes you out of your comfort zone.
“Move out of your comfort zone. You can only grow if you are willing to feel awkward and uncomfortable when you try something new.” Brian Tracy
You really don’t have to travel that far to be pushed outside of your comfort zone.
Travel puts you in unfamiliar places and gives you opportunities to do things you wouldn’t normally do. Sleeping arrangements, food, schedules, etc. might look different that what you are used to. Stepping outside of your comfort zone is a good thing, pinky promise.
4. It teaches your family how to be flexible and adaptable.
When you’re traveling it’s inevitable that everything will not go as planned. Flights will get delayed, plans will get altered, and you might need to take a detour or two. Going on a family adventure gives your kids real life opportunities to learn how to be flexible, go with the flow, and adapt to unique circumstances. Doesn’t that sound like something your kids will need as adults? What an incredible life skill you can give your kids beginning at a young age!
5. It allows you to see firsthand that not everyone is just like you (and how that’s a good and beautiful thing).
Can you imagine how boring it would be if everyone thought just like you or looked just like you? Travel broadens your perspective and helps you encounter the richness of other regions and cultures. It also helps you and your kids to see that the world is not all about you. I definitely need that reminder often.
6. It reminds you of what is important.
When you are traveling you realize how little you actually need. Less stuff=more head space to invest your hands and heart in the people that are right in front of you.
7. It gives you a unique opportunity to see places together for the first time and soak in the wonder and excitement of it all.
“To my mind, the greatest reward and luxury of travel is to be able to experience everyday things as if for the first time, to be in a position in which almost nothing is so familiar it is taken for granted.” Bill Bryson
There aren’t many things more magical than seeing kids experience new things for the first time. Watching their eyes fill with wonder, excitement, and joy makes all of the challenges totally worth it!
8. Being a tourist in your own city will help you fall in love with where you live.
“We live in a wonderful world that is full of beauty, charm, and adventure. There is no end to the adventures we can have if only we seek them with our eyes open.” Jawaharial Nehru
You don’t have to plan a big fancy trip to experience the benefits of travel. So often we forget about the incredible things that our very own cities have to offer. You can (and should) create wonderful adventures and profound experiences right where you live. In fact, exploring new to you places or activities near your home can be just as impactful and memorable. Plus, it will help you truly appreciate where you live and the unique things your city has to offer. This is one of my favorite reasons to travel with kids because it can create lots of special memories and is pretty affordable!
*Exploring Your City Tip: Do a google search of your city and see what activities, restaurants, and experiences come up. Sometimes we get stuck in the monotony of our days and weeks that we forget about the adventure that lies right in our own backyard.
9. Things won’t always go as planned, and that’s ok!
Teaching our kids that life won’t always go as planned is so essential. In fact, it’s an incredible gift to show our kids that failure isn’t the end of the world and that they can choose to respond well even when things don’t go their way. Travel gives you a unique opportunity to model this for your kids, because let’s be honest things don’t always go as planned when you’re traveling.
10. It forces you to slow down.
Taking a step away from our normal rhythms allows the white space for slowness and stillness. Since you likely don’t have all of your normal responsibilities (cooking, cleaning, laundry, work, etc.) there is incredible opportunity to be present. This isn’t always a given when traveling, because it’s easy to cram your schedule in an attempt to do all the things. If you normally jam pack your travels with activities galore I encourage you to view your next trip differently and give yourself (and your family) the gift of slowing down and enjoying your time together undistracted.
11. It gives you incredible opportunities for hands on learning.
There is no better way to explore and learn about the world around you than in a hands on way. Traveling gives you so many unique opportunities to engage, learn, and explore! When you are visiting a new place think about ways that you can incorporate learning experiences into your travel plans.
12. Life is too short not to.
“We travel not to escape life, but for life not to escape us.” – Anonymous
In case you haven’t heard, life is incredibly short. If you spend all of your kiddos younger years waiting for the perfect time to travel I promise you that you’re never going to travel (because there really is no perfect time to travel). It’s easy to wait for the perfect season or circumstances, but I’ve learned firsthand that waiting for the perfect circumstances usually means putting off truly living right here and now. Let go of perfection. I promise you it’s so freeing when you do!
*BONUS: Believe it or not, it can actually be really enjoyable!
This probably goes without saying, but traveling with your kids can be really fun especially when you let go of unrealistic expectations. Preaching to myself here!
So there you have it…12 reasons to travel right now WITH your kids. I hope that one of these ideas resonated with you and you feel inspired to hit the road in whatever season you are currently in. While traveling with young kids isn’t the easiest thing in the world, the benefits remind me time and time again that it’s truly worth the planning, effort, and time involved.