The Importance of Travel in Child Development
Every little step away from everyday life is a new experience for children, who absorb everything like sponges. They imitate their parents, follow things that are interesting to them, and consider their experiences and stories during the trip to be worthwhile. Children need to be taught how to travel, and parents are their most important teachers.
While some people don’t see the point in travelling with small children because ‘they won’t even remember it’, we believe that travelling is important for their development. If we instil love for travel in children, they are likely to continue exploring the world as adults. Just as with reading stories, the skills children gain from these experiences are irreplaceable. Still not convinced?
Here are some reasons why travelling with children is useful for their development.
Travelling opens your child’s mind:
Travelling gives children the opportunity to expand their minds in ways that learning in school cannot. Going on a holiday with children may at first seem like a hassle (especially with those under five years of age), but it gives them the opportunity to visually absorb new things and learn from them, which is also beneficial for younger children.
A study by the Student & Youth Travel Association, which included 1,500 U.S. teachers, found that travelling has a positive impact on children. Teachers agreed that those who travel and get to know other cultures have a higher degree of tolerance and respect for diversity and are more willing to learn and acquire new knowledge and skills.
Moreover, travelling is a special experience because it makes us move away from our daily routine. Travelling with children helps even the youngest to take on new roles through decision-making and skills development. For example, you can encourage children to pack their suitcases before departure. During the trip, you can introduce them to navigation, maps, or geography and, upon arrival at the destination, you can teach them about local history and culture.
It strengthens relationships in the family and with the environment:
Trips are like short but intensive courses on tolerance, family relationships and needs – everyone has their own preferences about what they want to do on a holiday and the idea is that everyone gets a certain percentage of time to do that. It’s the perfect opportunity to get to know, connect with and understand each other better – and above all, to create memories that are worth more than any material good.
They also allow everyone to define the interests that unite them. By participating in a range of activities, children can become more aware how others are fonder of certain activities, better understand other people’s needs, and develop empathy. These experiences make palpable all the theories and theses that we instil in children through everyday conversations – upbringing and education.
Travelling certainly affects the socialisation of children also, because in hotels, playrooms and restaurants, or on the beach, they can connect with children of their age and different nationalities and cultures – that is, people who enrich their lives even more.
We believe that by now you will be familiar with all the benefits of travelling with children, and if you weren’t sure before – now is the right time to try it out and see for yourself!