So You're a Parent? Women's Interest

Get Out, See the World and Bring the Kids

Family Trips Benefits
Written by Jennifer Landis

Some might shy away from the challenge, but taking trips and including the whole family, including the kids has its benefits.

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Traveling is awesome. When you head off to a new place, there’s opportunity for adventure, discovery and relaxation. But, of course, coordinating a trip where the important details are thought through and everyone has a good time doesn’t magically happen. It’s a considerable effort for the planner. Some might shy away from the challenge, but taking trips and including the whole family has its benefits.

So why go through the hassle of packing up everyone — and maybe the dog, too — and taking them somewhere?

  1. The world is a classroom.

Going to a place that’s not a part of your normal routine forces you to slow down and observe your surroundings. When you’re being fully present, you’ll learn from the experience. Your children might observe a landmark they studied in school or see a plant or animal they read about in a book. Traveling allows their learning to come alive. If your family explores on vacation, your child might discover they have an interest in something new. It may be architecture. It may be theater. What better time to find out?

  1. Students who travel make better grades.

While the world may be a classroom, your children will still have to sit in a traditional classroom and get graded on their performance. The wonderful trips you take them on may continue to pay off long after you’ve gotten back home. Exposing your children to new cultures and places fuels their sense of curiosity and wonder, which can enhance academic performance.

  1. You can connect as a family.

At home, the demands of work, school, activities and other commitments may have your family going in five different directions on any given day. There’s pressure to be here or there and complete this task and that one. Your family members often won’t be at the same place at the same time. If they are, someone is likely to be looking at a screen instead of engaging with the family. If “family time” appeals to you, then taking a trip puts everyone together — focused on the same activity at the same time. Yes, sweet, sweet family time.

  1. You don’t have to sacrifice safety.

Going to a new place can be stressful and safety is often a concern. One way to take control is to be prepared. For example, if you’re taking a road trip with a young child, ensure that their car seat is properly installed. Studies show that only three out of 10 children are properly restrained when riding in cars. If you take the right measures to keep your family safe, you can take confidence in that.

  1. New people can be interesting.

Whether you make small talk with a hotel staff person or simply observe the food, fashion and dialect of the people native to your destination, it can be pretty cool. People have perspectives and practices that aren’t only unique to them but to the area they live in. When you travel, you’ll expose yourself and your family to how other people live. It may be similar or different from what your family is used to and your family may start to broaden their horizons and see the world in a new way.

  1. Traveling is a reward.

Taking vacations can be a costly undertaking. When your family is experiencing fun, new things, help them understand it came as result of hard work, saving and planning. Older children may begin to understand that self-discipline and setting goals allows you to reap benefits later.

  1. It’s fun.

Well, let’s not forget the most compelling reason of all. Vacations are a great chance to feel joy and make memories with your family. You probably don’t need to be persuaded to get out and play, but just in case you do, please know that daily routines can bring about stress, which can lead to adverse health effects. A good way to relieve stress is to laugh and enjoy yourself — and a good way to do this is to get away on a vacation with the whole crew.

As you travel together, you’ll have an opportunity to learn, grow and develop as a family. Your children won’t be the only ones transforming. The whole family will move outside of their comfortable, familiar bubble.

Your family will make memories that will stand out in you and your children’s minds for a long time to come. You’ll bond, explore and laugh. You may even create memories of how you had to be courageous and confident when things were uncomfortable or innovative when plans didn’t work out as you, well, planned.

Now go ahead and plan your family’s next vacation. The benefits will outweigh the stress of making the trip a reality.

Identity Magazine is all about empowering women to get all A’s in the game of life – Accept. Appreciate. Achieve.™ Every contributor and expert answer the Identity 5 questions in keeping with our theme. Their answers can be random and in the moment or they can be aligned with the above article. As a team, we hope to inspire and motivate ourselves and inspire you to get all A’s.

1. What have you accepted within your life, physically and/or mentally? What are you still working on accepting?

Today I have accepted that it’s not selfish to spend some time focusing on my own well-being and that I should be a priority in my own life. 

2. What have you learn to appreciate about yourself and/or within your life, physically and mentally? What are you still working on to appreciate?

I have learned to appreciate my marriage and my husband, who has been traveling a lot for business. Single momming for half the month hasn’t been an easy task, and I appreciate all he does when he is home. 

3. What is one of your most rewarding achievements in life? What makes YOU most proud? What goals and dreams do you still have?

I am proud that I am finally doing a job that I love – writing. It’s rare that one knows from a very young age what they want to do with their life, and I’m really proud that I have wanted to write for as long as I can remember and now I do it full time. 

4. We all have imperfections, so we think. The truth—we are all perfectly imperfect. What are your not-so-perfect ways? What imperfections and quirks create who you are—your Identity?

It’s like magic that every time I get behind the wheel of a car I curse like a sailor. I won’t call it “Road Rage” because I don’t do anything dangerous – I just yell and swear a lot when people don’t obey the rules of the road. Safety, people, come on. 

5. I Love My…” is an outlet for you to express and appreciate all the positive traits that make you…well… YOU! Sharing what you love about yourself will make you smile, feel empowered, and uplift your spirit and soul. (we assure you!) Identity challenges you to complete the phrase “I Love My…?”

Spunk! I think I’m pretty spunky. I try to always stay positive and not let the haters bring me down. Not that I have a bunch of haters or anything – just in general. 

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About the author

Jennifer Landis

Jennifer Landis is tea sipping, yoga loving mom, wife, and healthy living blogger. She enjoys a good run – once she gets past the 3-mile mark. You can check out her blog, Mindfulness Mama or follow her on Twitter @JenniferELandis.

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