10 Reasons Traveling with Kids is Awesome

Let me tell you why traveling with kids is awesome. We’ve been traveling with our son since he’s been a bun in the oven and we can’t imagine our adventures without him. That’s not to say that my husband and I never get away for a couples weekend or that one of us never takes a trip with our friends. Nurturing both our relationship and our friendships is very important to us and we do make time to take such trips whenever we can. However, we live and breathe our family travels. Traveling and exploring has become our constant way of life especially in the last few years.

10 Reasons Traveling with Kids is Awesome:

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1. Less screen time.

Traveling with kids means less screen time. We always have screen time limits but when we are traveling, screen time is almost non-existent. In fact, if we are not flying across the ocean, we don’t even allow our son to bring his device on a trip. We want him to be present in the moment and to be aware of his surroundings. What is the point of having your children on a trip with you if they are going to be glued to a screen and be zombies throughout your explorations?

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2. More physical activity.

Traveling with kids means more physical activity. You hear all the time that children today are leading more sedentary lives as compared to previous generations. As a family, we try be as active as possible on a daily basis, but especially so when on a trip. If we’re visiting a city, we like to stay in such a place that we’ll be able to mostly walk to all of our sights. If we’re staying in a nature setting, we will either hike or bike.

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3. Try new foods.

When you travel with kids, they often have no choice but to try new foods. I have not yet met a parent who hasn’t complained about their kids eating habits or the battles they have in order to get their kids to eat “adult” foods. Let me tell you, when you’re in a strange country, hungry and your familiar food is not an option, trying local foods becomes a necessity and more often than not, our son has fallen in love with new and unfamiliar foods.

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4. Family becomes closer.

When you travel with kids, you have no choice but to become closer. We are often climbing some crazy mountain, or solving some travel issue, or trying to decipher a meaning lost in translation. When traveling, it is just our little trio trying to navigate a new and unfamiliar place and situation. When you just have yourselves to rely on and figure things out, you can’t help but become closer.

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5. Become more outgoing.

Traveling will make the most staunch introvert open up. We’ve been traveling with our son since he’s been very little. I am a firm believer that his gregarious personality is a direct result of travel. He is not shy to play with kids wherever we may be, no matter the language barrier.

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6. Become flexible.

Our son can fall asleep anywhere, play anywhere with anyone, eat all sorts of food, do his homework on a plane, read a book in a tent. I know adults who cannot fall asleep if they’re not in their own bed.

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7. Learn a new language (or improve an existing one).

All three of us have lived as kids in various countries and as a result our trio speaks four languages fluently between the three of us and we are learning several others to aid us in our travels. Nothing reconciles cultural differences better than a common language. Stay tuned for a future blog about how to acquire a new language faster (even as an adult).

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8. Learn about new cultures & types of people.

Canada is a very multicultural country and you grow up having friends and neighbours of different cultures and religions. But not all countries are like that and a lot of people are mistrustful of differences. Travel can help bridge those difference and show you that despite different clothes, skin colours, languages and foods, we are all really the same. All parents love their children, all people seek connection and happiness. We want our son to grow up to be a citizen of the world, to understand that differences only make life interesting, not scary.

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9. Learn geography & history firsthand (and actually enjoy them).

Traveling with kids makes them better at geography and history. Memorizing historical dates and names of countries is boring. But walking through ruins of an old civilization, looking at ancient artifacts, watching archaeologists dusting off unearthed bones right in front of you, makes history and geography real and tangible.

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10. Become more curious.

Traveling with kids makes them more curious. Because of constant discovery and exploration, because of all the points I made above, through travel, your child becomes a different person. They make connections usually reserved for seasoned travelers and ask questions you might not expect from a child. They crave knowledge about the world around them in a way they could not if life was just school and extracurricular activities. You can have wonderfully serious conversations with your child. And that is reward enough in itself.

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So if you think your child is not mature enough for a serious trip, you might be pleasantly surprised. We don’t see ourselves doing what we’re doing without our son. He adds a wonderful spice of youthful curiosity to all our discoveries.

Do you travel with your children? Why or why not?

BPK

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For some of the adventures with our son, see:

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Comments

  1. Avatar Nicky

    This is fab. I don’t have children yet but this post gives me so much hope for when I do! I would love to take them travelling with me and hopefully they would take as much from the experience as me. P.S. That broccoli!!

    1. Avatar BPK

      Haha! Thanks, Nicky! When he was little I told him broccoli were little trees and ever since, he enjoys eating them. Haha!

  2. Avatar Farah al Zadjaly

    I don’t have kids but I can see the benefits of having kids while traveling. My mum had 6 kids traveling with her. I don’t know if she can agree because we were all crazy. hahaha

    1. Avatar BPK

      Hahaha! I only have one so the situation is pretty manageable. But I do see a lot of traveling families on social media who do full time travel with several children. I do admire them but they just prove, it can be done.

  3. Avatar Brianna

    Traveling is definitely very beneficial to kids. I know I can attest to many of these when my family moved to Australia. It brought us all much closer and us kids learned so much!

    1. Avatar BPK

      Australia?! That sounds amazing, Brianna.

  4. Avatar Katy aka “Unicorn”

    What a lovely post! I don’t have kids, but I am a proud aunty to 4 nieces and nephews and I would love to take them travelling with me. I love the perspective that travelling with kids “adds a wonderful spice of youthful discovery to all our adventures”. So true!

    1. Avatar BPK

      Thank you, Katy, for your kind words!

  5. Avatar Martha

    I love that you included curiosity on this list! I think that’s the No. 1 reason to travel with kids. I often get asked if I’m going to continue travel blogging when I have children and it’s reasons like these I share because I think travel is the best educational experience for a child and myself! I also love the suggestion about flexibility.

    1. Avatar BPK

      Thanks, Martha! And the truth is, this list applies to adults as well. It’s never too late to try to become more flexible or curious. 🙂

  6. Avatar Ali

    Completely agree! We travel with our kids all the time. And we love it!

    1. Avatar BPK

      Awesome! That’s the way to do it!

  7. Avatar Marcy Swartz

    So inspirational! We do one vacation per year with kids and small weekend getaways just my husband and I.

    1. Avatar BPK

      Oh, thank you! Sounds like you guys have it all figured out. 🙂

  8. Avatar Robert Smith

    I can only take my kids to Disney or an all-inclusive so they can be entertained. I would not travel with them otherwise.

    1. Avatar BPK

      There are many different ways to travel, that’s for sure. Some people prefer resorts, others prefer self-guided holidays.

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