The benefits of traveling with children

Travel Perspectives — By on September 2, 2009 at 7:20 am

Most of us don’t need to be reminded of the challenges of traveling with children, but how often do we stop to consider the benefits that we also get from taking a trip with our sons and daughters? Karen Banes has an interesting take on this topic in an article she recently published for BootsnAll. It’s a nice perspective to hear. Following are three of her reasons for why children can help to enrich your travel experiences:

You get to see the world through their eyes – Kids see things differently. They have a whole different angle on things, and it’s not just because they’re shorter and therefore closer to the ground, although that can help sometimes too. Kids see the wonder in a new place, new activities, new animals and new food…As an adult it can be hard to feel the true sense of wonder you probably should at seeing your first real live kangaroo, orangutan, or giant bird-eating spider, and you might miss that giant earth worm or strange looking lizard completely because you’re just too high up. Kids will draw your attention to all that and more…Traveling with kids means you get involved in activities you might have missed out on. Would you have taken that miniature train ride, visited that wildlife rescue center or talked to that snake charmer if your kids hadn’t insisted on it. Maybe not, and often your travel experience is richer for having done these things.

You have the pleasure of seeing your kids grow and learn in a way that just isn’t possible back home – Traveling is an education. An altogether different, more challenging and more pleasurable education than your kids will ever get in school. You’ll get to see your kids learning a few words of a foreign language, how to make and break camp, how to hike through wilderness areas without impacting the natural environment, and how to read a map. You’ll see them gaining a knowledge and understanding of other cultures, and witness the sense of connection they feel as world geography and history starts to make sense to them, based on their own experiences and observations.

You become closer as a family – In a world where many families don’t even have time to eat dinner together on a regular basis, imagine a few weeks, months or even years spent traveling together, eating, sleeping, learning and adventuring together. Imagine building a foundation of shared experience and memories to draw on as your kids grow up and away and start families of their own. Traveling together gives family members one of the few things money can’t buy – the time and opportunity to grow closer as a family. Doesn’t every kid, and parent, deserve that chance?

What do you think, does she make a case for some of the wonders of traveling with children? Check out the entire story to see some of her other reasons.

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