When you are looking to give your family unit the best experiences in life, traveling, undoubtedly, is one of the most beneficial. It gives us all the experiences we wouldn’t normally have in life, not to mention a unique sense of perspective, but as a parent, is there a cut-off point? While we may have the wanderlust and ambition to travel to new places each and every year, when we have the travel bug, and we’re exposing our kids to it, is they’re only so much we should do for their developmental benefit? Let’s dig a little deeper.
It is Ok To Travel Without Your Kids
Yes, we all want to have a family vacation, or or instill a sense of wanderlust and adventure in our children. But I want to share with you a few reasons it is ok to travel without them once in awhile.
I’m curious to hear what you think too! Do you travel with your kids all the time, or do you take adult-only trips?
Do Children Need Stability?
It’s something that’s constantly spoken of, children need stability- a sense of grounding. But as we have experience of the world, don’t we just want to pass it on to our children? On the other hand, that constant uprooting of our kids and moving them to another side of the world could have negative repercussions. That mentality of being a constant traveler can instill a sense of instability. Because we can get itchy feet somewhere, and that desire to get up and go somewhere else can satisfy our cravings, we’ve got to think about how it affects the children in the long run.
While it’s one thing when they’re so young, if it has got to a point where they are forging meaningful friendships in life and you’re taking them away from everything they know and care about, and you are doing this on a regular basis, will they ever make any meaningful friendships?
Children need stability, and traveling parents can feel that they shouldn’t put their lives on hold, not even for their children. But there is a balance. You’ve got to think about the incessant traveling and how it affects their frame of mind. We know that traveling is stressful, and when you see those parents taking their children on long-haul flights, even when those children are too young to really comprehend what’s going on around them, you can’t help but think that the parents are either incredibly brave or they are a sucker for punishment.
And what if you struggle with traveling at the best of times? Do you have a travel curse? Every time you’ve got on a plane, something’s gone wrong, or it’s never been plain sailing as far as getting your ticket is concerned. Imagine doing this once or twice a year with children in tow! It’s not going to make you feel stable!
The Gift Of Experience
On the other hand, our children can benefit from seeing the world. Now, not to say that traveling is terrible for kids, and in fact, taking our children out of a standard structure and exposing them to new and interesting things can give them an appreciation of everything in life. It gives them a unique sense of perspective, it can help them to not feel complacent about things, and these are all admirable traits.
But the one most important thing about traveling for our kids is that they can learn so much about the world that they can apply these things to their lives when they’re older. Not just in terms of architecture or geography, but that tangible feeling you get when you land in a foreign country, you’ve got to learn how to find your feet quickly, and get around somewhere that you have no clue about.
These things are worthy skills that we can pass on to our kids. You’ll see many parents arguing with each other because they can’t decide on which way to hold the map, and then you see the children and feel sorry for them because you can tell that this is such a regular occurrence. But the parent who is constantly on the go learns how to make the most of any environment. Children need to be taken out of their comfort zone, and this is how we can all grow as people.
How Can We Get The Best Of Both Worlds?
So, we want our children to have stability in life, but we also want them to get up and experience as much of the world as possible? Surely these are two opposing concepts?
If you want your children to experience the world at a young age and get them acclimatized to diversity we can begin from a place of stability. After all, our children, up to a certain age, look to us as the litmus test of how they experience the world, their views, and opinions, and how they deal with life. So if we have an excitement towards traveling the great benefits of staying in one place is that we can plan our journeys as comprehensively as possible.
And financially speaking, if we take the opportunity to travel for 2 months out of the year, when the children are on their summer break, this is something that we can all look forward to. We can take the opportunity to work towards something that can give the entire family an experience of a lifetime every year. And as our children grow older, as a family, we learn to bond through experiences rather than material goods, which sets the kids up for life. Traveling as a family can help you to stick together, but it’s that wonderful thing where are you all learn how to adapt to a new environment together.
To an extent, your children will look to you to get you through it in one piece, but as the children get older and you learn how to work together, your relationship will be far better as result. So instead of buying your children gifts every year, saving towards an experience won’t just help your children to appreciate the world but it will make them well-rounded people.
Should we take the children traveling? It depends on what your definition of traveling is. If you are constantly on the go every few months, it’s going to wear everyone down, not least of all yourself. Navigating different time zones with babies that don’t sleep is something you can only do for so long. But when you look to traveling in general as a way for your children to become more appreciative of the world, why don’t you set aside the school holidays so you can all travel and grow together?