When doubt starts creeping in, I have to remind myself why I even want to travel in the first place. If I stop myself before I get too far off the “what if” track, I can wrangle myself back to the present by asking why family travel is important, to begin with.
Getting In Touch With Culture Through Family Travel
Traveling opens you up to what so many people have to offer. There are so many languages, foods, art, customs that we know nothing about. We are living in our little bubble wherever we are. While there is nothing wrong with that life, there is an understanding of others we cannot get by being in the bubble. It takes stepping out of our comfort zone to explore and understand how people live. This can, also, teach gratitude.
Mix It Up
Heading out on a trip together changes the routine for kids. Even day trips for us can break the dynamic of the usual rut of kids fighting or complaining. We get bogged down with the day-to-day tasks of errands, school, and activities. Travel does not make those things go away, but it takes a group effort to make those things happen. There is something about traveling that doesn’t make kids unhappy when you tell them you have to go to the store.
There are times during travel when flights are delayed, trains are missed, or hotels are full. This is when I tell my kids, “it’s time for Plan B.” Now, I don’t always have a Plan B, that just means we are going to quickly come up with what to do next. But how great is it for kids to see how to solve these problems or adapt to these predicaments that arise. I love to use this in the ordinary routine when things don’t work out the way they expected them to. I remind them of the time something didn’t work out, but we went to Plan B and everything was fine.
At home, we tend to get busy and focus on our own tasks. While it is important that we have our own interests, it is great to connect. Travel can provide that balance of doing something as a family unit: learning, trying new things, embarrassing moments, and just having your guard down. A family has to work together to convert money, translate languages, figure out how to get somewhere, and even where to eat.
Have Fun Now and Enjoy Talking Family Travel Later
What are we doing here? We are creating memories! What is better than looking back after a vacation or long-term travel and seeing what you accomplished together? We still laugh about a short 3-day cruise we took to Mexico when our youngest son Vallen was 2 years old. He pretty much screamed and cried the entire trip. We did have some fun moments, but we look back at the photos and talk about them. In hindsight, it was so funny. He was off his routine, in a new bed, going to the camp on board for a couple of hours, and eating different food. Now he is 5 and says he would like to go on a cruise because he doesn’t do that anymore.
So now you know why travel is important to our family. I hope this inspires you to get out there and go wherever your heart takes you. It may seem like a lot of work with kids, and sure, everything is a little more effort with kids. But what you get out of it is worth it. The family that plays together stays together. I know I could use a break from shopping at Walmart this week.