Did you know that two-thirds of conversations between children and parents are about daily routine? Or that 65 percent of parents say that they only have time to play with their kids occasionally? As for kids, 25 percent report only talking to their parents about “something important” once a week.
Why am I bringing up these statistics? Certainly not to make you feel guilty about how you’re currently balancing the demands of parenting with a career, a partner, and life in general. But I think we can all agree that the “small stuff” we sweat each day can come between us and those we love most, even if we work hard to prevent it.
Fortunately, travel provides the perfect haven from the daily stressors of life, a space we can occupy with our family members, connecting in ways not always possible at home.
1. Reorient Your Priorities
A family trip allows you to push concerns about career, chores, schoolwork, after school activities, and more to the side. Engaging with one another to start conversations about your travels will lead to others about your relationships, aspirations, and beliefs. Why? Because you’re more available to one another. A vacation allows you the opportunity to “re-boot” your priorities, free from the stresses and triggers of daily life, and this experience is enlightening.
2. Create a Corporate Identity Through Shared Experience
Learning to appreciate new lands and cultures on a family-friendly vacation represents a life-enriching journey that will stick with you and your family forever. This enrichment comes not only through the creation of unforgettable memories but also the enjoyment of shared experiences. These shared moments become integral to your family’s corporate identity.
3. Expand Your Collection of Happy Memories
Travel challenges you to reorient what’s precious in your life. At home, it’s easy to get caught up in consumerism and materialism. But we all know that far better than collecting things is the practice of collecting memories and experiences as a family. As Og Mandino observed, “The greatest legacy we can leave our children is happy memories.” Collecting these memories is an essential part of the family vacation experience.
4. Learn New Things About Each Other
Breaking out of your routine and experiencing situations you may have never had before allows your family to learn new things about one another. For example, you might discover that one of your kids has an innate sense of direction. Or you might marvel at your partner’s ability to drive on the other side of the road without breaking a sweat. You might learn that another of your children is fearless when it comes to making new friends, sidestepping language barriers with ease.
5. Learn New Things About You
Travel also provides opportunities to learn new things about yourself. You may find you’re better at solving problems in a pinch than you give yourself credit for. Stepping outside of the daily routine lets you and those closest to you bask in the illuminating light of undiscovered realms and hidden talents. Your family will learn more about each other’s likes, dislikes, strengths, and weaknesses in a few days of traveling together than in many months (or even years) of the same old routine.
6. Gain a Global Perspective
The best family trips expand your horizons. They provide you with opportunities to engage with locals and immerse yourself in other ways of living and thinking. The result? The experiences you have interacting with locals and communities can transform how you see the world and those inhabiting it. In other words, it forces you out of your cultural confines and allows you to assess your own culture and beliefs more analytically and critically.
7. Break Out of Limiting Beliefs
Perhaps famed author Mark Twain said it most eloquently when he observed, “Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one’s lifetime.” Prejudice, bigotry, narrow-mindedness. These are all dragons worth slaying, don’t you agree?
8. Create a Positive Feedback Loop
Travel is about more than your immediate family or the moments you inhabit during a vacation. It’s about taking steps to change the world, one positive interaction at a time. After all, when you visit other people and interact with them in constructive ways based on mutual respect, you help open their minds to new experiences and cultures, too. It’s a feedback loop that we need a lot more of nowadays. That’s why we incorporate CommUnity Impact activities into every one of our tours, providing your family with one-of-a-kind activities that allow for the exchange of customs, ideas, and problem-solving techniques.
9. Learn About the Past
The writer and philosopher George Santayana argued, “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” When families have the opportunity to visit places where crucial historical moments occurred, it sparks a lifelong interest in learning. For example, strolling through Rome’s Forum or exploring the fortified castles of Ireland, will bring history to vivid life for you and your kids. The best vacations for kids provide unique, captivating ways to engage with history.
10. Make Time Slow Down
Exposing your kids (and yourself) to new sensory experiences leads to a slowing of time. Or, as Joshua Foer puts it, “Monotony collapses time; novelty unfolds it.” When you were a child, every experience was endowed with a sense of newness and wonder. That’s why time felt like it moved so slowly. Fortunately, you can regain your sense of curiosity and awe while decreasing the speed with which time moves. How? By visiting enchanting, bewildering, evocative places that immerse you in novelty and help you regain the gaze of a child. Travel expands your mind, heart, life, and even time itself.
The Benefits of Traveling as a Family
The benefits of traveling as a family are multi-layered and profound. Travel helps you bond, gaining new insights about one another as you move beyond your comfort zones together.
Travel also means acquiring firsthand a global education based on immersive experiences. It leads to a more abundant life, one founded in a genuine appreciation of the world and its varied cultures and people. No wonder we’re so passionate about helping more families experience the world! Are you ready to reap the benefits of travel as a family in 2020?
Each customized itinerary comes in both 4- and 5-star price points. Your family will enjoy opportunities to interact with a destination’s culture and people in profound ways. Explore Global CommUnity’s itineraries now and open the door to a compelling world of luxury family travel possibilities.