8 Amazing Reasons Why You Should Travel with Kids

Exploring the world opens up a world of learning for your children. Here are 8 amazing reasons why you should travel with kids.

There are a lot of great reasons why you should travel with kids. And there are as many forms of family travel as there are people in the world. When the school bell rings to mark the end of the school year, families often struggle to find ways to occupy their children’s time over the summer months. But finding time to travel with kids is important. Not just to grow family togetherness, but to offer new experiences that will promote education and broader world views. Sometimes traveling with kids means a visit to the cottage, sometimes it means a trip to the beach and other times travel with kids means leaving the comforts of home to experience a new city, country or continent.

The concept of travel with kids can leave parents with a feeling of dread.  While it’s true that traveling with kids presents a unique set of challenges, it’s also true that the rewards of family travel far outweigh the inconveniences. Because when it comes to building strong, smart, independent children. And creating powerful family bonds that will last you a lifetime. The world is one of the best classrooms available.

Why Take My Advice On Family Travel?

In the 8 years since becoming parents, we have traveled with kids to over 20 countries. I’ve been writing about our experiences here on our family travel blog. And I’ve also been interviewed by major publications, radio programs, and more about my expertise in family travel. Over the past few years, I’ve made it my passion to study the family travel industry and work to change the perspective around what family travel is, and promoting the values that travel has both for children, and families as a whole.

During this time I have encountered many family travel challenges. But I’ve never regretted any of them. Every destination, every new experience has helped us grow. Each new thing we do has helped our children gain confidence and trust in themselves. And they helped us gain confidence and trust in them.

So, if you’ve ever doubted the value of family travel, or have ever wondered why you should travel with kids, here are 8 great reasons why you might want to consider travel with kids this summer.

Traveling with Kids Promotes Hands-On Learning

Travel often means experiencing new people, new places, and new cultures.  While traditional schooling offers excellent book learning, there are some things that have to be experienced rather than read about.  Travelling offers a type of “world schooling”. These are real-world associations with the books and material that children would otherwise only read about.

During my travel with kids, I have had the chance to learn hands-on about agriculture, indigenous practices, cooking, and much more. We’ve had the most incredible up-close wildlife experiences, and even gone sandboarding. What’s more, pushing children (and parents) out of their comfort zone during these learning opportunities actually benefited all of our abilities to learn and focus. You could almost see, in real-time, the confidence growing in our boys with each new, amazing experience.

Why you should travel with kids - promotes hands on learning

Family Travel Teaches New Responsibilities

Being away from home breaks your regular routine and forces you out of your comfort zone. Both children and adults can benefit from having to assume new roles during their travels. Whether as an explorer, navigator, taste-tester or interpreter, there is always an opportunity for kids to step up and take leadership roles. These experiences are exactly why I try to promote adventure family holidays over more standard “family vacations”.

When you travel with kids you are forced out of your comfort zone. You have to learn to rely on each other in order to overcome any obstacle that life throws at you. It’s incredible how often our children have surprised us with their maturity, compassion, and strength when life has thrown us obstacles.

Why you should travel with childre - playing games in Jordan

Travel Helps Promote Self-Confidence in Children

Adventure travel with kids, whether close to home or abroad can give children the opportunity to develop confidence that will help them in their daily life. Older siblings can have the chance to show that bravery off to younger ones and the resulting boost in confidence can follow them throughout their lives.

Our boys have drastically different personalities. Our 8-year-old, C is cautious, intellectual, and thoughtful. He’s up for any adventure but needs to think about it first. D is an adventurous, spontaneous thrill-seeker. He’ll jump into any situation without thinking, but he’s also the picky eater. Each child approaches their obstacles in their own unique way. Take our sandboarding adventure in Huacachina, Peru as an example. At three-years-old, D wanted to be the first one down the hill. We had to hold him back from tearing down the hills ahead of us. C, on the other hand, waited to see how everyone else fared before he made the thrill-seeking ride down the massive dunes.

Why should you travel with kids - build confidence

Children Learn to See Similarities Instead of Differences Between People

Often when people think of traveling to new places, they focus on the differences between here and there and us and them. The more you travel with kids, the more they will instead begin to see the similarities between cultures and people, and when this happens tolerance and acceptance grow while fear and mistrust quickly slip into the background.

Our children have been witness to unique cultures and ways of life. They’ve learned about indigenous drum circles in North America, experienced hunting practices with Guarani tribes in Argentina, and played with Bedouin children in Petra Jordan.

Each time they are introduced to a new culture, they gain insight into the greater world. Kids who travel gain a better understanding of the greater world than those who don’t experience life abroad. And that is a gift that will last a lifetime. It’s helped them integrate into bigger situations and become leaders in their class. They learn that it’s the differences that make the world such an incredible place to live.

Is it safe to travel with kids

Travel with Kids Helps Them Learn Patience

When you travel with kids, expecting the unexpected is standard. Travel forces you to deal with changes in schedules, eating habits and sleep patterns.  You may wait in long lines through airports, sit patiently through security checks and deal with the long, grueling plane, bus and car rides. Children will learn creative ways to occupy their time and this skill will help them when they get home.

We have dealt with travel that has taken us 3-days to get from one country to another. We’ve endured trips simply weren’t as thrilling for some of us than we had anticipated. But with a few preparations, it’s easy for children to find ways to deal with their boredom. And, truth be told, boredom can actually be a real benefit for children. In fact, we’ve found that, even during the worst traveling situations we’ve been in, our boys have still been more engaged than when they were watching television at home.

Reasons not to travel with kids - boredom

Children Learn to Adapt to Unforeseen Situations

Things go wrong, you can’t get around it. Luggage gets lost, connections are missed, bad weather can happen and more. Your children will learn not to see these things as road-blocks, but instead as new opportunities.  While travel planning helps ease the pain, some of the greatest family travel adventures come from experiencing the unexpected.

During our travels in Norway, our luggage was lost. Normally, this wouldn’t be a big deal. However, we were on a long-haul flight from Canada to Kirkenes, at the very top of Europe. We landed, during winter, deep inside the arctic circle. This meant we had no heavy jackets, snow pants, long underwear, and all those other things that you need when you’re ice fishing in the Arctic.

But we endured. We made connections with people, shared ideas, and managed to get a hold of enough winter gear that we were cozy for the three days it took for our luggage to arrive.

Norwegian friends who lent us winter clothes when our luggage was delayed in Kirkenes

Family Travel Grows Stronger Families

When families are forced out of their comfort zone they need to rely on each other for support, comfort, and company. From climbing a mountain to fishing off the dock to laying on the beach, shared experiences build positive memories and associations that will last a lifetime.

While in the Philippines, D became terrified of the small boats and big waves. Our first boating experience had us boarding the boats in the water and timing our jumps so as not to get bowled over. His 3-year-old brain just couldn’t handle that pressure, so for most of the trip, every time we boarded a boat, he would start to shake.

Christina, C, and I would each take time sitting with him on the boats to make sure there was always someone within him to assuage his fears. He started looking at us for strength when he would get nervous. And with that trust, when we reached San Vicente, he finally began following us into the water. Tentatively at first, until he realized that even there, we were still together as a family.

Reasons to travel with kids - confidence

Family Travel Builds Trust in Your Children

Many parents worry that their children can’t handle new or extreme circumstances. The biggest thing that travel with kids has taught me is that kids want to learn. Children are desperate to experience, touch and explore. Traveling with children has taught me that I can let my children do these things.

I have learned to check my fear factor at the door. Instead of worrying about what they might break, I join them on my hands and knees to see under the walls of a ruined castle or chase a lizard through the desert or explore tiled mosaics on a church floor, because that is how children learn. Touching and experience is education. And that is being a child.

Why You Should Travel With Kids -Family Bonds

So no matter what your fears, worries, or excuses are, know that traveling with kids is awesome! Are there bumps along the way? Of course, there are! But, they are the same struggles that you have at home. There is a whole world to learn from. And the first step is right out your front door.

So what do you think? Is travel with kids right for you? If you got some value out of our article drop a comment below to tell us about it. Or if you’re already traveling, swing by our Facebook page and share your journey with us!

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Exploring the world opens up a world of learning for your children. Here are 8 amazing reasons why you should travel with kids.

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About the Author

Kevin Wagar is a professional traveler and family travel expert living in the Greater Toronto Area. His beautiful wife Christina impressed on him her love of travel and they have made exploring the world an integral part of their life. With the birth of their two boys, Kevin and Christina have made it their mission to show others that traveling with children isn't as scary as it sounds and that kids can benefit from experiencing the world outside of their front door and beyond.

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  1. Great site guys! Super inspirational and informative. One the littlest one isn’t as little we’re hoping to take them on a fun trip to somewhere exciting.

    Stew 🙂

    1. Thanks for the support Stew! it’s great to hear from you. We started travelling with Cohen when he was three months (Portugal) and I’ll be honest sometimes the younger they are, the easier it is, although your little on is growing up quick!

  2. I need to trust my kids’ experience and that they’re growing up. Even though they’re little I need to be okay allowing them to skip a nap or stay up a little later. I have all the confidence in the world that they can do an 8 mile hike, but skipping a nap? I apparently have some things to work on.

    1. Hi Rob, I know what you mean. Every child is different too. Ours could handle missing a nap so long as we were willing to handle a little madness come dinner time, but some kids may not be as generous with their emotions 🙂

  3. I love this! Its a great way to anyone (young or old) to learn new experiences and learn about different cultures. Traveling definitely teaches people a lot that we can’t find in a textbook!

  4. I don’t have kids but couldn’t agree with you more about traveling with your kids. I really think it is essential that families travel together. It doesn’t have to be overseas. The trip can be in their own backyard or to a museum in their nearest town. It’s the experience of getting out there, learning and creating bonds that is so important.

  5. This is really terrific! All these points are really important and help foster confidence and independence in children. Great job!

  6. My favorite part, learning to see the similarities rather than the differences. Well said. We were not travel bloggers or anything but my husband and I took our girls around the world when they were children, but only for vacations, which we had plenty. I was always getting the evil eye from their school teachers for taking them out of class but they were getting a much better education seeing and exploring the world than sitting at a desk hearing about it. Your kids are going to understand the world and life so much better from everything you are exposing them to. 😉

    1. Hi Melody! Thank you for your thoughts! And with our oldest just about to start Senior Kindergarten, we have already talked about the value of taking the kids out of class when we travel. I think practical learning is so much more valuable than book learning. I actually think this is doubly important for boys, as I know how I dealt with school growing up and the frustrations I dealt with. Not to say that school doesn’t play a very important role!

  7. I agree with all of this! I think to take kids traveling when they are young is so important. It shows them and teaches them so much more than what a classroom can!

  8. Nice post. Though traveling with kids has its challenges, in the end it an altogether different experience as the energy of the kids charges the entire trip.

  9. I love this post!! It’s important for children to have new experiences, learn about new countries and cultures and learn to adapt to the situation. I remember going to Malaysia with my mum and sister when I was 11 years old. My backpack was bigger than me but the memory is still very vivid! It was an amazing feeling to backpack as a kid and I think that is where the travel bug showed itself to me 🙂

  10. #Goals !
    My parents travelled with us when we were in primary school. This gave us the Travel Bug.
    One day I too will travel with my own kids to give them this amazing experience my parents gave me.

  11. Great article. Traveling with kids is so rewarding, I wish every parent could experience it. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

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