The Life Changing Magic of Traveling with Children

by Samantha Ballenger

Children are born with an innate sense of wonder. They learn from touching, tasting, and looking at everything, often much to our dismay. However, traveling with children offers an abundance of benefits that will serve them well throughout life. I know you might be thinking of all of the reasons traveling with children is a hassle; let me assure you the benefits outweigh the struggle.

Family going on a roadtrip with luggage and baby eating

Learning About Other People and Cultures Teaches Tolorance, Appreciation and Acceptance.

Imagine seeing the world through your child’s eyes. In a world that is increasingly accessible, it is more important than ever to understand that we are more alike than we are different; what better way to see this in action than with traveling. The various sites, sounds, colors, and smells of a new place offer a fantastic backdrop for learning. In fact, according to the U.S. travel association, 55% of families travel to learn something new about a place, culture, or history.

Including children in the learning process of travel teaches kindness and empathy, qualities that we can all agree are important for everyone. When you are on your vacation, ask your children what their thoughts are about the location, you may be surprised that they notice more than you do.

Family traveling young girl holding a passport

Traveling May Make Your Children More Likely To Succeed

According to a survey of nearly 1,500 teachers, students who travel reap great benefits. This survey, conducted by the Student and Youth Travel Association (SYTA), found that 73% of students who travel had an increased desire to learn and explore new things. Traveling with children gives them a safe space to explore new things at an age when they are more open to ideas.

As a child, we often took long road trips where we stopped in small towns and were able to experience people and places different from us. We tried new foods and talked to new people. Looking back, the most important thing we learned was that we were able to choose what we wanted to do in life, where we wanted to go and live, which is the beginning of success.

We know that success is subjective and comes in many forms. However, I bet we can all agree that we want some form of success for our children, and while traveling doesn’t ensure success, it does open new possibilities.

Family with luggage walking on cobblestone street

Traveling Builds Resilience

We took our young children to Anguilla. We had to land in St. Martin and take a boat to Anguilla to get to our resort. Unfortunately, the water was rough that day, and while we were all a little concerned, my then 6-year-old son was beside himself. We thought after that boat ride; he would never get on a boat again. Once we arrived at the resort, we spoke with him about the boat ride. He told us how scared he was but understood we had to go through the rough water to get to our beautiful destination. We were impressed with his ability to move forward, although it started off rough.

While that story might seem small, it’s the perfect analogy of how travel builds resilience. Whether it’s standing in long lines at the airport, being hungry and the restaurant is an hour away or taking a rough boat ride to get to your destination. Building resilience is fundamental. Why not do it while enjoying a vacation.

Build a Stronger Family Unit

Sometimes, spending quality time with your children can be challenging between work, school, after-school activities, and other obligations. Traveling with your children allows you to build relationships outside of our sometimes chaotic lives.

One of the best ways to build a strong connection with your children while on vacation is to let them help pick activities or excursions for your trip. While planning your trip, take some time to tell them about where you’re going and the activity options. We’re planning a trip to Dominica during spring break and picked out some kid-friendly activities we think we all might enjoy. A few weeks before we go, the children will decide which activities they want to do. This gives your children the chance to contribute and encourages family bonding.

I know packing for children, figuring out travel accommodations, entertainment, and let’s not forget the additional costs, make traveling with children difficult. However, we know the benefits of taking them on vacation outweigh the difficulties.

Ready to plan your next family vacation? Here are a few posts to get you started!

10 Best Places to Travel with Families in 2022

10 Best Places to Travel with Families

The 10 Best Hotels for Families

The Top 10 Reasons to Visit Puerto Rico for a Family Vacation

When was your last vacation with your children? What did you do? Where did you go? What did your family learn? Let me know in the comments.

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