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.
This year was the rafting trip.
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??