Holidaying with children
‘To travel is to live,’ said celebrated children’s author Hans Christian Anderson. Seeing new places and taking a break from routine invigorates, refreshes and inspires us. Of course, Hans probably never had to travel with kids screaming ‘Are we there yet?’ in the back of his horse and carriage! Travel can be one of the best experiences you’ll ever share as a family, but it can also be pretty challenging. Family travel requires a lot more planning than travelling solo, but the rewards are well worth the effort!
Why should you travel with kids?
It's a term that's a little overused, but 'quality time' really is invaluable for families with children of any age. Taking a trip together means switching off from work, school and household chores, and just being in each other's company for a while. You might find time to talk about some of the things that get missed in the daily rush and get to know a little more about what's important to your kids right now.
Travel is also about sharing new experiences with your children. If you're travelling far afield, encourage the kids to learn about the local culture, food and language as you do. If you're staying close to home, keep in mind that even a spot you've visited 10 times before will still hold new experiences for growing children. Can they swim further this year than last year? Are there new kinds of shells on the beach?
Caz Makepeace, creator of popular travel blog yTravel, explores the world for a living with her husband and young children. Travelling with kids "helps them become global thinkers," says Caz. "It fosters a deep curiosity, which I believe is where all innovation starts. We want children growing up to be amazing innovators and open-minded thinkers."
Taking a trip also comes with a bundle of opportunities for bigger life lessons and skills development. Encourage the kids to help you out with research, planning, budgeting and following maps. Once you're on the road, there will be learning opportunities around tolerance, sharing, patience and resilience, especially if anything should not go to plan.
In Caz's experience, spending time discovering new places and stepping away from routine has made her kids more confident, adaptable and willing to try new things. "They learn how to stay connected to awe and wonder," Caz says. And she believes they will carry a deeper appreciation of the world with them for life as a result of these experiences.
One of the most important reasons to get out and about with your family is that it creates amazing memories! We all remember the family holidays we took as children: from our first time on a plane to the camping trip when it rained or the day we visited a special museum or zoo. These memories become building blocks for the picture we carry through life of our childhood, as well as our experience of parenthood.
Caz and her family are big believers in making the most of every day. Travel blog is packed with the tips and tricks they've learned about travelling safely, on a budget, with the kids — not someday, but today. "Embrace each moment that you have now," she says. Whether it's a major overseas holiday or a weekend at the beach, travelling with your kids is a fantastic way to create and appreciate those extra special family moments.
Lara Cain Gray ‘kids in the city’