Should you travel with your kids? What is the point if they won’t remember it, right? Well, spoiler alert, but they will. Even though they won’t be able to retell these trips in detailed stories, they will still gain a lot of benefits that are life-lasting.
These experiences from traveling are priceless, and they serve as learning opportunities for your children. Other than photographs that they can look at when their older, you’re also exercising their brains’ play and seeking systems.
According to Professor Jaak Panksepp, activating these systems will also trigger neurochemicals that reduce stress and encourage positive emotions. This way, your whole family also gets to strengthen your bond and detoxify the stress of daily life.
What is the Best Age to Travel with Kids?
Before you went on with bringing your children on your trips, there is a factor that you must consider; their age. Is there a best time to travel with kids? The good news is that there is no specific age range when it comes to traveling. However, each age group will vary in ease and difficulty of handling during trips.
Regardless of their age, children are much more vulnerable than adults. Therefore, you have to be extra vigilant. According to this useful source, even children as young as three years old get extra fussy, so rear-facing seats are a must. It is also important that you’re aware of different regulations, whether you’re on the highway or flying for your family’s safety and convenience.
Each child is unique, so it’s not rational to compare your family trips to other families. Some may have an “easy” toddler, while others might have a “difficult” baby. Traveling itself is not easy, and adding children to the mix can intimidate any parent. However, knowing what to expect on your child can give you a better understanding of their behavior.
Surprisingly, children under five years old are actually the most ideal to travel with. And the reason for this is they are easier to manage and keep close. Everything is already fascinating to them, and they won’t need other sources of entertainment. Children older than this age range, on the other hand, can walk and carry things on their own. This can be preferred on some trips because they are not as dependent.
Why Traveling is Important for Kids
Traveling helps children reach developmental milestones
We always liked the phrase “think outside the box.” This time, why don’t we make it “think outside of home.” Home is a source of comfort and familiarity, but allowing your children to experience new things will also help them develop other skills.
Letting their senses indulge in various sights, sounds, smells, touch, and taste is like giving them access to multiple lessons. They can improve their motor skills, social skills, and thinking skills to achieve different milestones. We always think that they won’t remember these experiences, but children will have useful takeaways from seemingly simply travel experiences.
Traveling builds confidence
A child is like a sponge. They will absorb everything that happens to them, and they’ll use these as “building blocks” for development. As adults, we always look at traveling as something that builds character, but this is also applicable even in young kids.
Children gain more confidence while traveling because you’re encouraging them to try new things. And like with anything that’s unfamiliar, they will look at them as challenges. Even at a young age, your kids will approach these hurdles in their own way, which is a must for building character.
Be it as simple as learning how to say hello in another language, the fact that they know they’ve done it fuels their confidence. An enthusiastic approval from a local or even just a proud expression from you can inspire them to keep on trying new things with confidence.
Traveling teaches kids to be adaptable
It might surprise you, but children can be adaptable. Experience is the best teacher, so children have to do it first before they can do it correctly. For example, let’s say your child has trouble sleeping without his/her plush toy. The first night will surely be the hardest for him/her. And understandably, you might feel stressed out on getting a potentially sleepless night.
However, kids are flexible. And being outside of home can also teach your child to break certain routines and be patient. Maybe they’re in a restaurant that doesn’t use a fork and knife, or they’re staying in a room where they’ll have to share a bed with their siblings. Depending on your destination, children will learn various schedules and eventually will shape their habits to adapt to them. This is a useful skill, especially when they reach adulthood, where things get unpredictable and uncomfortable.
Traveling fuels curiosity
Curiosity is never a bad thing. But of course, you have to be diligent and watchful to keep young kids safe. But when you’re at home, your children might have to follow strict rules. That is why you should take advantage of traveling because it offers the opportunities to let them be adventurous.
The new surroundings, people, and routines allow children to use their imagination. Older children might even want to learn more about the history of the place or the traditions of their new friends. It is always best when a child’s natural creativity and playfulness keep them thirsty for learning.
Traveling helps children discover their interests
If the term “adulting” is synonymous with living a more serious life, then what does “child-ding” could mean? Other than the “real world” stuff, we need other passions and interests to keep us grounded throughout adulthood. And the best time to discover these things is during childhood.
A curious thought might eventually turn into an interest. Letting your child discover new places and people will also give them access to more options on how to enjoy life. Your 18-year-old son might not be able to remember skiing when he was 4 years old clearly. But that moment could’ve been the day where he discovered his love for that sport.
Perhaps a theater play has inspired your little one to study acting. Or a trip to the museum has your child interested in painting. The only way that your child will know that he/she can do something is if he/she does it firsthand.