For all of us, holidays are viewed as important milestones in our lives. They provide us with a sense of excitement and anticipation beforehand, unforgettable experiences, and memories to cherish long after you’ve returned home. And whilst it may be a little harder for young children to establish these vivid memories, holidays are still extremely important in the initial developmental stages of our lives.
As any parent will tell you, trips away with the children don’t magically happen by themselves – they require an immense amount of preparation and planning. However, there are so many benefits to be enjoyed by all members of your traveling party, young and old alike, that will justify all the stresses that come with organizing a family adventure.
Whether you’re heading to your nearest beach for a sandy staycation, or are looking to head slightly further afield such as exploring Iceland’s Vik, any time spent together as a family in a new location can help to form stronger bonds and create those magical moments you’ll never forget. In this post, we explore some of the reasons why holidays are so good for children and discuss how these opportunities can support their overall development.
One of the greatest advantages of going on family holidays is that it provides kids with valuable learning experiences that they wouldn’t be able to get at home. By being exposed to different cultures and customs in new destinations, children can gain an appreciation for different ways of life. This helps teach kids to be open-minded and tolerant towards other people from various backgrounds and beliefs, ultimately helping them to become more well-rounded humans as they grow up.
Furthermore, traveling gives children the opportunity to experience unique sights and sounds that they may not have access to at home. Whether they try a local dish that they want to recreate when they get back or discover a newfound love for a new sport they’d never played before, expanding their worldview for just a short amount of time can feed their curiosity throughout the developmental years.
Having the chance to expand their knowledge base in this way can benefit them in so many different facets of their lives, from creativity in their school work to generally being more comfortable in social situations. Who knows – you may even spark a new love or hobby that lasts a lifetime.
Family bonding time
Family holidays are also an excellent opportunity for parents and their children to bond in a more relaxed atmosphere than what can typically be found at home. Whether you’re lounging by the pool or exploring ancient sites together, the shared experiences will create special moments that you can cherish forever.
Moreover, it’s a great chance for parents to get away from work-related stressors and focus solely on spending quality time with their family members. Particularly as more of us have experienced a shift towards home working in recent years, the line between work and family time often becomes blurred, so dedicating some time away can be extremely valuable. Taking regular breaks from routine also helps revive relationships between parents and kids that might have been strained over time due to busy schedules or other issues affecting us all recently.
It’s not just the adults who will appreciate a little diversion from the everyday routine. Vacations also provide kids with a break from the stressful demands of school and homework, and it can be beneficial for them to escape the monotony of everyday life while they soak up new experiences together. When they return home, they’ll have new stories to share with their friends, and hopefully, feel re-energized to put their focus back into their studies.
Inspire them to travel
The benefits of taking the little ones away can continue to be felt way beyond their childhoods. When your children become adults themselves one day, they will likely want to replicate these experiences by taking their own families on holiday. Whether they choose to rediscover the destinations they visited as a child, or look to discover pastures new, regular family trips during their childhood can inspire a sense of wanderlust that lasts a lifetime.
In fact, as this guide to the positive developmental impact of travel on kids reports, more than a quarter of parents said that visiting a new location made their children more motivated to explore. Where possible, it’s important to nurture this desire when they’re young, to hopefully ensure it stays with them through their teenage years and into adulthood.
Memories that last a lifetime
Finally, one of the best things about taking family holidays is that they provide lasting memories which your kids can look back on fondly later in life. It could be anything from collecting shells at the beach or eating ice cream in a small Italian cafe – these little moments will stay with them forever as they grow up into adulthood.
Documenting these special moments is a great way to keep them alive in our minds, particularly as we grow up and other things start to take priority. While you may struggle to get your kids to write a diary entry every day of your trip, getting them to write a note of their favorite things from your holiday and attaching a few photos can be a great memento to look back on when they’re older.
When planning your itinerary, allow a little latitude for your children’s imagination to run wild. Sometimes, the simplest activities or games that they dream up themselves can ultimately form the most precious memories. Don’t get bogged down in feeling like you need to organize something to fill every minute of the day – often the hours that are unplanned last longest in our memories!
All in all, there are many reasons why family holidays are so beneficial for children – both now and in the future. From enhancing learning experiences for your youngsters to strengthening familial bonds between parents and kids, there’s no doubt that taking regular trips will help create happy memories that last a lifetime. So if you’re looking for ways to make their childhood extra special, then why not consider planning a family holiday? You won’t regret it.