8 Reasons You Need a Trip with Your Children

Family in living room with remote control smiling

Often when we think of a vacation, toddlers and infants aren’t part of the plan. But traveling with children is hugely rewarding, although it does come with its share of struggles and challenges. The majority of the challenges you face with a young family when traveling are easily overcome with advanced planning and an open mind. Traveling with your young children will be almost nothing like the jet-set lifestyle you might have once enjoyed. But then that is why it is so wonderful.

1. Breaks in Routine

Some routines are great, and we definitely want to keep those routines for naps, meals, bedtimes and such intact while traveling as much as possible, but other routines can easily be sacrificed. The stress of trying to get everything done in a day, keeping the house clean, picking up toys, driving the carpool and the endless array of other routines that consume you and your child’s day-to-day life can go away, just for a little while. Just think of a week without laundry or dishes to do!

2. Playtime

The demands of running a household and taking care of children are enormous, and when you’re fulfilling all of those demands, you don’t have much time for playing and just having a good time. But when you’re on a vacation, even just a daytrip with your children, you are free to play and have a great time just being with them. It’s very likely that your children will see a side of you they have never seen before. It’s also a wonderful feeling to watch your children laugh and play knowing that you are very much a part of their happiness.

3. Rest

At home, there is always something demanding your attention, but in a hotel room or cottage, you have all the time in the world. Sit back on a cushioned chair while your children play in the garden or all pile together in the big bed to take a nap together. Hold your children and just sit with your eyes closed while they watch their favorite morning cartoons. The simply pleasure of rest and relaxing in the company of those you love best is wonderful.

A word of caution about rest, however. The best rest is the stillness that comes at the end of a busy day of fun and excitement. If you and your family spend the days lounging about watching television and playing video games in a hotel room so you can lie in, you’re wasting the golden opportunity you have to show them the world, get them active and to exercise yourself which leads to better rest. Additionally, even the mildest mannered children will be climbing the walls after a few hours of television in a tiny hotel room anyhow.

4. Experience Excitement

It doesn’t matter where you go, your children will never have seen anything like it (unless you’ve been there before.) Discover a new form of excitement for showing off your favorite sites and experiences throughout the UK, Europe and the world. Stroll the shore looking for rocks and driftwood. Watch the waves crash and create stories of mermaids and pirates.

Walk the hills picking flowers and smile as you see your children discover things for the first time. Even a trip to a new park or a daytrip to a new city can be an adventure and a mission of discovery. Appoint yourself the guide and programs leader on each trip you take and help your children discover everything there is to see or experience about a location. And don’t be surprised if they teach you a thing or two about having fun.

5. Family Bonding

It takes surprisingly little to bond as a family. Families with young children can cuddle up together to watch fireworks or run along a pathway together laughing and suddenly it is one of your best memories. Older families have many more options of things to do. Try something that you’ve never done before. This is a surefire way to have fun together as a family – even if your children just laugh at your efforts the entire time.

The best ways to bond are to create images and stories of events together. Look for opportunities to go something truly special or to do something totally outlandish. After all, how can you soon forget the time Dad went parasailing or Mom tried cliff diving? But even more reserved parents can find fun things to do that are far out of the ordinary. Make an unexpected stop during the drive or look up funny or morbid landmarks along a drive to take the family to see. Participate in a team event of some kind or just root for the same team. The fun will create wonderful memories and help you stay closer as a family for years to come.

6. Experiences

There is a lot to say for giving your child experiences through travel and day trips. Many children today have never visited a true farm or seen ancient ruins. The concept of fields is lost on them and animals are something seen in a book or exotic pet website. Taking your child to the zoo, the museums, the park, the countryside, the shore, the forests and the mountains will open his eyes to the wonders of the world that you simply can’t experience through books, televisions, or even the best internet videos.

These experiences have an additional benefit as well. Every opportunity your child has to learn or experience something new, his education and success overall improves as well. Seeing and experiencing new things helps to build new connections and platforms for additional learning in the brain, so providing travel experiences is essentially providing learning as well.

7. Funny Stories

While incredibly stressful at the time in most instances, the absolute best stories for the family come while traveling. Inevitably something goes wrong, and the more things that go wrong on the trip, the funnier and more classic the trip is going to be. It’s important to be flexible when traveling, because almost certainly something will change while trying to get from Point A to Point B. You can prevent some disasters by planning ahead.

Fortunately for the story-teller in your family, your child will always be one step ahead of you – the baby has a dirty diaper right before take off and you’re stuck with the stink until the seatbelt sign has been removed, or a toddler immediately spills his grape juice all over the fold down tray and you don’t have any napkins. It’s all part of the fun, and it gets much funnier about a few months later.

8. Focus on Family

It’s possible to do all of these things without every leaving home, but easily the best reason to travel with your children is you’re forcing yourself to focus completely on your family. No office to escape to, no kitchen to hide behind, no garage to work in during the evenings. It’s all family all the time, and especially if you’re not used to that, you’ll have a rough time for the first day before settling in to see and experience all of the best things your family has to offer.

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