(Written with Marjorie Wild)
Family travel can be a great summer adventure! Help your trips be enjoyable experiences by keeping these tips and benefits in mind. Know that whatever your summer brings, we are wishing you well!
Here are some tips on how to prepare:
While on the trip:
Here are the 6 tips for getting ready again:
Are you traveling to a theme park this summer? If so, here are some ideas that may make your trip rich with family memories – even the funny and unexpected ones!
Tips for Trips to Theme Parks:
Benefits of Family Travel
Travel brings new perspectives.
Traveling with children can be a challenge, but providing them with these varied experiences is well worth our effort! Travel boosts children’s development, especially their social and emotional learning. It literally expands their world and exposes them to different ways of doing things - speaking, dressing, eating, sleeping, etc. Children - and adults - may become more empathetic, appreciative of cultural and individual differences, and open to new experiences.
We hope summer travel brings you and your children a new way of seeing!
Travel cements connections and builds brains.
Traveling and taking adventures help us to grow! We humans are natural explorers, and our brains are wired to desire new experiences - to be physically active, especially in nature, and to use our brains to make sense of it all. We also have a primary need to be in relationships with others.
So when we travel with our families, we’re tapping into these basic desires and needs. Going on family adventures is good for our children, and it’s good for us adults, too!
Traveling supports strong brain development, but so does making any changes in our routines!
Babies pay more attention to novel experiences, and so do we. To stimulate our children’s brains (as well as our own), try taking an adventure soon, even if it’s finding a way to disrupt your routine, like having a “backwards day” or “opposite day.”
If you want to travel but your budget doesn’t allow for flights or long road trips with hotel stays, try camping. It was a favorite form of adventuring for my husband, my daughter and me when she was younger - and it was definitely budget-friendly. Now that I’m older, I must admit I prefer the comfort of a real bedroom and adjacent bathroom at night, but I still very much enjoy our family hikes!
We're wishing you a summer of fun family travel!
One wish for you is that summer travel brings you renewed appreciation of the people and the everyday routines in both your work life and your family life!
When we travel, sometimes we appreciate our work and home lives and the people in them even more.
Many years ago, I went on a week-long trip with a friend, leaving my school-age daughter behind with my husband for his first stint solo-parenting. He was often away on work trips, and left all of the parenting up to me. Before we left, I was thinking that my time away would help him to appreciate me more as the primary caregiver of our child. What happened instead was that I appreciated him more for being a more compatible travel companion!
What renews your appreciation for the people and things in your life?
Another wish is that we all better appreciate what we have, even if we can’t get away and travel this summer. Sometimes when we travel or even when our routines change, our appreciation can grow - not only of people but of things as well. When we have been away from our own beds, our daily schedules, our preferred foods, our language, etc., we miss all the familiarity of our home or work spaces and routines. But we may also become happier with what we have been used to - even the mundane or boring parts of our lives! As the saying goes, “There’s no place like home!
Whether your summer plans include a family trip, a needed grown-up getaway, or just a staycation, may you enjoy it all - the going somewhere and the being back home again!
References & Resources
Online Psychology Degree Guide. (n.d.). 10 things to know about the psychology of travel & adventure. www.onlinepsychologydegree.info/psychology-of-travel-adventure/
Weiner, R. (2023, May 26). Surviving vacation with kids.
I'm Diane Goyette, a Child Development Specialist, Trainer, Consultant and Keynote Speaker. I'm excited to share my blog!