The world is a mysterious place that is full of wonder. Since children are just curiosity filled sponges, they’ll soak all of it up. Our planet is vast and most of the time while we are living our daily lives, we don’t really truly experience it. The only way we truly get to experience it is when we leave the comfort of our hometown or city, when we see how things are away from home. Just as adults benefit from traveling, so do kids.
How is traveling important for kids?
Think about it.
Children, who go to school, do homework, and play with with friends only see what they see around them. Sure, going to museums and zoos regularly will help them learn more about other places, climates, animals from different regions, and cultures. If you are currently doing that, great! But taking them to places away from home is a far better teacher. Having them actually experience seeing the animals in the wild, how different people live, exposed to different native cultures and exposure to different architecture, opens many possibilities for them. They get to see that the world is bigger than, let’s say New York City.
As a native New Yorker, believe me, my native hometown is vast as it comes. It consists of diverse cultures, foods, and experiences in one central location. However, it is still a small piece of what the world has to offer.
Traveling helps kids learn about how others lifestyle
When a child sees how other people live and how it differs from what they know, they come to appreciate what they have. They may even have a goal to live the way others live after their travels. This could mean a dream to move to another state or country when they are older. It could also mean that they may have the goal of building their wealth or seeking a job that allows the mobility to move between two or more places. Traveling opens the door to that possibility, that what if…
Kids learn to be accepting
When a child sees how others live it creates open mindedness. They end up being more accepting to someone who isn’t like them, who does things differently and lives differently. It creates the possibility of future adult admiring other cultures instead of hating or resenting them because they don’t understand. It establishes their curiosity of wanting to learn more about others instead of staying in their little box.
Traveling helps kids learn to appreciate cuisines
When a child is exposed to different cultures’ foods, it allows for the child to have a more flexible pallet. Is it possible for a child to want something like, Malaysian food? Yes, absolutely! My son LOVES roti canai, a popular Malaysian dish that is spicy as hell! He also loves sushi, ramen, arepas, and crab legs! If you expose your children to different things they may have a strong willingness to try something that they aren’t typically exposed to. Why would that happen? Because they start to think:
I may love this
And that mentality isn’t limited to food. If you go on excursions while on your travels, they may gain more confidence to try multiple things. Especially if you are trying it. Children tend to mimic their parents. That’s why for them, actions speak louder than words. They view their parents as safe and if you are trying it, they believe that it must be safe too.
It is great for familial bonding
Traveling with your child is such an amazing bonding experience! Taking them with you to a new place shows that you love them so much that you want to experience this new place with them. Learning about it together creates never ending conversations and memories for years to come. Having discussions on where to go together as well as what to eat makes them feel involved and important as their voices are heard. You will also start to see that these little ones have such inquisitive minds. You will end up noticing how they see the world, and believe me, they see it so differently than adults! I am often shocked how logical my son is, even more than most adults that I know!
Traveling helps kids learn to appreciate the moment
Sometimes you have to be able to stop and breath. Traveling allows you to do that, especially if you are admiring something beautiful so imagine when you’re traveling with your kids. When we visited Miami this summer, I observed my son observing the ocean. He just stood there and stared at it. Every time we had left our AirBnB, I observed him stopping momentarily staring out at sea. Sometimes as adults we forget to even do just that in our daily lives and this little guy was doing it so naturally. I knew he was appreciating what he was looking at. He was in awe and it was truly wonderful to see!
Traveling with your kids to different countries, I believe, reaps the most educational rewards as it has to most historical, cultural, spiritual, and political impact on their young minds. It also expands their gratitude for what they have. However, it’s expensive. Doable but expensive. If you can’t manage it at the moment, local state travel is great as well.
Every state is unique. People live differently in each one and even in each city. We recently took a trip to Washington DC and hit up most of the free museums there. Although we blew our budget which will never happen again, could enjoy it for less. I’d say rent out a private unit on AirBnB that is close to a metro station. Doing this would dramatically lower the food cost since you’re cooking instead of eating out and cut out car rental fees.
That trip had impacted my son’s mind so much due to the museums, history, architecture, and natural beauty. He feel in love with the area so much that he had actually asked us if we could move there!
Seriously though, traveling is such a great investment in your child’s future self! Plan ahead, shop around for great deals and get out there with the kids! Expose them to our wonderful planet and all that it has to offer!