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I have always loved traveling with my family whether for the day or longer. It seems like we are all our very best selves when we are discovering the wonders in our back yard or farther afield. I had never really given much thought to why I liked to travel with the kids vs. solo or with my husband. I just knew that I always had the most fun when we were all in the journey together. So I recently was thinking what I liked about it and I came up with these few things.
The reasons I travel with my kids and why you should too:
When we are on vacation there are no other distractions that interfere with family time.
My husband and I aren’t daily strangers who fill each other in on schedules, important milestones, and whose turn it is to wake up with the kids. We get to spend the entire day together and remember why we wanted to be those daily strangers in the first place. The kids get both parents at the same time and we aren’t the grumpy, tired parents they normally greet at the end of the day. I revel in the time we have to play and the memory making we do.
It make my kids brighter and more enthusiastic about the world.
Are you more likely to remember the name of the famous Cathedral in Paris by reading it or by running around it 100 times? My kids have Notre Dame cemented in their little minds because it was the fun church they ran around. When it comes up in school, they have a context of understanding and are more likely to be interested in studying it. History, culture, science, languages, all these things are out there for your kids to discover.
It gets all of us away from our daily routine and helps us grow closer as a family. Is the daily schedule of get up, get everyone ready, get to work, get home feed, water, and clean the kids and then collapse into bed to start all over again, getting old? I have found that travel enriches this both before and after a trip. We love to reminisce about the places we have visited together, plan the next trip, and cook and eat the food we enjoyed in faraway places. We have Mardi Gras nights where we make masks and eat the food of New Orleans. Other times we make maple taffy to french music and pretend we are in Quebec. These little things enliven the daily grind and tie us back to the place we love.
Vacations are the fabric of our memories.
How many of you can remember what you got for Christmas 20 years ago? By comparison, how many of you can remember the childhood vacation you took 20 years ago? These two thing are the most important memories that I have, and yet the details I can recall from the vacation trumps Christmas presents every time. When we are exposed to new things and new environments our attention is fully engaged and those experiences become cemented in our minds. I am so happy that my memories and my kids’ memories are the happy and carefree ones of vacation.
Sometimes vacations are the only pictures you have of each other.
A few years ago my New Year’s resolution was to take pictures of all of us in the ordinary moments. I have since done much better than I used to, but the majority of the pictures are still of us on vacation. While this may not be a truly legitimate reason to go on vacation with your kids, it is a bonus!
Sure it does take a little extra effort to travel with kids, but the reward is so much greater than the things that keep you from it.
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Let me know why you travel with your kids in the comments below!