My husband and I took our daughter Collette and son Christian to Hawaii recently. I needed a couple of days be with the kids 24/7 without attending to work. But I had no idea what to expect on my way there. Was I making a big mistake bringing my kids on a five-hour flight? Would the kids adapt to the weather in Hawaii? Would they get homesick?
There were so many questions that ran through my head. Of course it was a beautiful experience in the end, and I learned a lot about kids and myself. Here are some reasons why I recommend a family vacation with the kids, even if it’s somewhere close, or just for one day.
KIDS FORCE YOU TO SLOW DOWN
When you travel with kids, you tend to slow down. Accommodating their needs means you can’t pack your trip with 100 activities. If you get to do just one activity while on vacation with young children, that’s a major accomplishment. And it’s OK, because slowing down to make time for them means you’ll get to bond with them. As a working parent, I know that my kids crave more time with me. Our trip with Christian and Collette was a bonding experience for all four of us.
TRAVELING INTRODUCES KIDS TO NEW EXPERIENCES
Ever since we went to Maui, all Collette talks about is swimming in the ocean and going back to the ocean. Her greatest wish is to go back to Maui to swim. I know because she tells me every day. Hawaii is imprinted in her memory as a fun place where she got to swim, eat and play.
THE FOUR WALLS CAN GET STUFFY
For kids, being stuck at home within four walls can get boring. Traveling gives kids an opportunity to run around and be free in a new setting.
TRAVELING MAKES KIDS EXPRESS MORE
When we went to Hawaii, Collette was having difficulty expressing herself. Both my husband Ray and I were really worried about our daughter and her speech. But when we got back, we both noticed something shifted in her. She started communication more and saying sentences, which she was having a hard time doing before. We can’t really pinpoint what it was that changed Collette, but the only thing we did differently was traveling to Hawaii.
TRAVELING HELPS KIDS SOCIALIZE
A classroom setting can offer kids very little chance for interaction, particular with anyone besides other children their own age. But on the road, kids get to meet and interact with people from all walks of life and all age groups. Trust me: Traveling will make your kids more social.