2 Girls. 1 World. A Whole Lot to See

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5 Reasons I Will Make Travel a Priority for My Kids

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Heading to the Maryland Science center

Last year I started an end-of-summer tradition by taking both kids to DC by myself. I thought it was a good idea to have some alone time with them doing something I love (traveling).

We had a BLAST and it put all my fears of being the only adult traveling with 2 kids to rest.

family shot

This year was the rafting trip.

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I feel a little guilty not involving the 2-year-old but I also didn’t want to miss experiencing a trip like that with the 8-year-old while he was actually 8. Not to mention, I needed to get over the fear of traveling alone — as in the only adult — on adventure-style vacations.

Now that I have both those trips under my belt I’m excited about what the future holds because I plan to continue this tradition and take them someplace yearly.

I’ve already written about making travel a priority for me personally, but I haven’t really mentioned the kids. And I think they will actually benefit more from it than I will.

Here are 5 reasons why I’m making travel a priority for them:

1. I’m trying to teach them to value “experiences” over “things.” Emphasis on TRYING. It’s hard, especially being married to who I’m married to. The Husband is more of a “thing” person. He likes stuff. I hate stuff! And would be happier living in a Winnebago and traveling around the country. That being said, I’m hoping the kids get a wide array of experiences on our travels and  maybe they will end up agreeing with me — doing things is WAY more fun than buying things.

2. Be aware of their options. When kids see more of the world they know more of the world is available to them, at least in my opinion. I didn’t travel as a child much but my parents moved us quite a few times state to state and I always thought it gave me a slightly different perspective than my friends who were born and raised in the same hometown. I have no plans on moving my kids (I mean you never really know), but I hope our travels give them the same awareness I had: The world is a big place and you have a lot of options.

3. Appreciate people and culture. I love meeting new people and I’m fascinated by regional culture. Think of all the cities you’ve visited and how each one has its own personality. I hope my kids will learn to appreciate these difference and learn a little about regional (and one day international!) culture as we travel.

4. Be adaptable and have confidence in unfamiliar places. In the two trips we’ve taken, I’ve made sure to involve the 8-year-old in all the logistics — from reading the metro map in DC to finding our gate information in the Denver Airport. He’s 8 so it seems like he’s not paying attention but I can only hope it’s getting absorbed into that thick head of his.

5. Be excited about life! I’m trying hard to raise kids that will be responsible adults but I also want them to enjoy life. So many people get stuck in the minutia and daily grind of never really taking a chance to step out of their comfort zones and experience new things. I hope by making travel a priority for them now they get excited about life and all there is to experience when they are adults.

Do/did you travel with your kids? Have you seen any benefits? Were you a kid traveler??



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Discussion

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    Louis Biggie

    September 29, 2013

    We took our kids everywhere even when they were tiny. We visited Iran, Greece, Spain, Holland, Portugal, Italy, Thailand, England, France, and South Africa (among other places) as well as all sorts of US destinations. They love to travel; the memories will last a long time; and we all learned about the places, the cultures, the people, and one another. We didn't have a lot of money and became quite clever at traveling on a tight budget. The best days of my life! Reply

    Caroline

    September 30, 2013

    I agree with everything you said. I was not really a kid traveler and it was not until I was adult and started traveling with my family that I realized how much there is to see. My kids are 9 & 11 and we started traveling about three years ago. The kids are totally on board and love helping to plan trips. Once or twice a year we take a road trip to amazing destinations. A couple months ago my son came home and asked if we could go to Four Corners. He was so excited when he asked that we decided to make it happen. Next week my kids have fall break and we are taking a week long trip through New Mexico and one of our stops is Four Corners. One of the benefits for my kids is that they have been to some of the places that they learn about in school. It's not just a picture in a history book; it's real and they have seen it first hand. Leaving town is one of the only ways I can truly unplug from life so I cherish traveling with my family. I love being able to explore the country and spend quality time hanging out and making memories. I look forward to reading more about your family travels! Reply

    Jill

    September 30, 2013

    Oh Roni, I so agree with everything you've written! As a mom of grown children (24, 22 and 19 years old) I can speak from experience that travel is so worth any budgeting or sacrificing you may have to do. My oldest leaves tomorrow for a 2 week trip to Europe and Asia, visiting friends who are living abroad. My youngest will be meeting him for part of the trip. And my middle child just moved 20 hours away from home to a large city and is loving it. Living in a small rural town while growing up, it certainly gave them a different perspective on the world instead of just their own little micro world of gossip and tunnel vision. Enjoy your travels with your boys! Reply

    Shannon

    September 30, 2013

    Hi Roni- My two boys ( 4 and 6) have traveled all over the United States, most recently to Hawaii with us. Each flew for the first time at 4 months old. I feel these experiences will shape them as individuals and open their eyes to possibility. While we live in an AMAZING town and a BEAUTIFUL neighborhood- we reside in one of the most modest homes. We do this so we can save for the future ( college and retirement) AND TRULY EXPERIENCE LIFE TOGETHER AS A FAMILY. Soon enough my kids are going to prefer the company of friends, but now, it is about the four of us. I agree that giving your children experiences rather than things is key in raising curious and appreciative children. Plus, it is fun for me,too! Reply

    Tiff

    September 30, 2013

    This is great. I love to travel, and so does my hubby. We hope our little one loves it as much as we do because I hope to teach him about the world and how fun it can be! Reply