Travel with a child and you can't help but slow down, to see things differently. You'll share their delight in all things bright, colorful and on the move. You'll notice the ladybug on the leaf and the helicopter overhead. You'll discover new textures and notice the fragrance of flowers. (Because little people will.) Chances are their sweet smiles will be conversation starters and you'll share stories and experiences with other parents and grandparents. No matter where you wander, you'll be creating memories that will last long after the strollers are stowed and the price of their participation matches yours.
We can all be grateful for the opportunity to travel. Here are five reminders of why exploring the world with our family matters.
1. You'll see the world through the eyes of a child.
2. You'll learn something new.
Why not use your next vacation to learn a new sport or explore a new hobby? Will you strap on skis for the first time, climb into the saddle or make your way to the pickle ball court? Tap into the early interest your child may be showing for art, music or history by visiting museums, opting for last minute tickets to a Broadway show or checking out a living history performance.
Who knows? While in the midst of it you may learn about new apps, some up to date lingo or the latest fashion trends from your young traveling companions.
3. Your stress levels will lower.
There is plenty of research indicating that a change of scenery and a break from the daily demands of work will put a smile on your face. Whether you breathe deeper, exercise more or simply unplug, chances are you'll feel renewed and have a more relaxed connection with family members. Opt for beach time, a backcountry ski adventure, resort time, or a cruise through unfamiliar waters and your whole crew will return home recharged and ready to tackle the challenges of daily family life.
4. You'll share your values with the next generation.
As you wind your way through traffic jams, wrangle the lines at TSA checkpoints or process the news that your luggage is lost, you'll be modeling how best to handle life's small challenges. They'll be watching how you respond to delayed flights and how you treat those who serve your family meals, restore order in your hotel room or drive the airport shuttle bus. It's an opportunity to encourage understanding, compassion and kindness in the next generation of world travelers. And by choosing to plan a family vacation, you are communicating that time with family is a top priority.
5. You'll broaden your perspectives.
Whether you travel to the next county or around the world, moving out of your comfort zone or everyday routine will enhance your family's understanding of our world. Appreciate the language, dress, recreational and culinary differences and similarities of your fellow global citizens when you venture into new territory. Make an effort to see the view through the eyes of locals. And observe how a friendly smile is welcome currency in nearly every corner of the world.