Why Travel With Kids? The 8 Benefits Of Travel On Children

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When I was pregnant with my first daughter, Kalyra, I felt as if those around me were celebrating something other than the life growing inside me.

They would say, “so that’s the end of the travels, hey? You can’t travel with kids now.” I felt as if I was walking a path to the gallows.

Little did they know that we had no intentions of stopping our travels because we had kids. In fact, traveling as a family was something we were looking forward to.

Travel is not just for adults, there are many benefits to travel for kids.

baby and toddler playing on sand in Vanuatu
Exploring Secret Beach, Vanuatu

I was determined to prove the naysayers wrong and prove that travel would do wonders for my children.

I wanted to be like the family I had met on the slow boat from Laos to Thailand, who had an active 3-year-old and a nine-month-old baby carted around prams and backpacks. It looked challenging, but they managed.

And most importantly, they were happy.

Why Travel With Kids? The Benefits Of Travel For Children

Here are some of the benefits of travel on children…

1. Close Family Bonding Time With Happy Parents

family posing in front o Twelve Apostles -
12 Apostles on the Great Ocean Road

When you go on a family holiday, you leave all the worries of your everyday life behind.

There are no schedules to adhere to, no toys to pick up, no errands to run, no school to attend, no bosses to answer to, and no end of day exhaustion that leaves you barely able to mumble a “Hello, tell me about your day,” to your child.

You can even live a little dangerously, like having an ice cream every day, or staying up past 10pm.

What your children need most is loving, happy parents who spend quality moments with them. When we travel together we strengthen our family bond with shared memories of adventure, carefree living, exploration, laughter and play time.

2. They Learn to Value Memories, Not Just Possessions or Achievements

young girl looking at koala and mum patting it
Koala interaction at Dreamworld Gold Coast

There is nothing wrong with owning things, or achieving; it becomes an issue when we rely on them for meaning or identity.

When children travel from an early age they learn to live in the present.

They learn to get out of their comfort zone, do what scares them and have a childhood that they can look back on one day and appreciate (although they might not appreciate it at the time).

Life is about enjoying experiences and accumulating memories — it’s what shapes who we are and is the only thing that we can take with us to the end.

It also teaches them that they don’t need much stuff, especially if you’re traveling hand luggage only.

3. The World Becomes Their Classroom

watching aboriginal demonstration at Dreamworld, Gold Coast, Australia

Once a child enters school, their innate desire to explore, ask questions, and goof off slowly gets shoved back into a box of rules, regulation, and conformity.

When you travel with your children, all of this is removed.

The world teaches your child based on their curiosities and interests.

It’s a natural absorption of knowledge and inner knowing and experiential based learning schools can never replicate with such enrichment.

The Earth becomes their classroom and all its global citizens and cultures, with varying degrees of skin colour, languages and beliefs become their teachers.

Some would call it, “The village raising the child.” There is so much the locals in your vacation destination can teach your child without even trying.

4. Anyone Can Be Your Friend

two babies embracing
Savannah making friends with Alida in Vanuatu

My children are quickly learning that strangers can easily become friends. All it takes is a smile to break down barriers, a common connection, a few stories to share, games to play, and a laugh thrown in.

They are learning about what truly matters: connecting via laughter, smiles, and spiritual essence not labels, traditions, and beliefs—these differences become something to celebrate, rather than fear or judge.

“It is because of fear that we judge, it’s because of judging that we hate, and it is because of hating that we hurt.”

My daughters haven’t had many opportunities to develop long-term friendships, but they never have any problems making friends wherever they may be.

5. Travel Is Character Building

people looking at dirt
Learning form Aboriginal guide in Flinders Ranges

There is nothing more humbling than travel. By seeing how different cultures and communities live, you learn so much about life and the world we live in.

Not only does travel teach you thinks like compassion, understanding, and empathy, but it also teaches your children about prejudices and stereotypes, and acceptance of the ways other people live.

These are life lessons you cannot learn in schools, and gives you a totally new perspective of the world and our place in it.

6. Travel Teaches Kids To Problem-Solve

Young girl looking at a map of an island
Using a map to get around

There is no greater way to learn to overcome obstacles than by watching mom and dad try and negotiate a taxi fare with someone who speaks a different language and uses a different currency.

As well as meeting new people, traveling to new places, and getting to witness all the amazing attractions and landmarks, kids are also introduced to a variety of challenges that require patience and persistence.

Much of the time when you’re traveling, you need to be a bit hands-on and figure out a new way to do things that you do at home in a different way, such as finding a safe way to keep kids strapped into a tuk tuk when there are no car seats available.

7. They Learn To Try New Foods

food in a bowl
Kalyra eating street food in Bangkok

Most children these days are fussy eaters, but when you travel, it’s unlikely that they can eat chicken nuggets every day.

Children who travel learn to embrace new foods and try different things.

8. They May Find Their Passion

savannah taking photo of the sunset
Savannah’s passion for travel in Cinque Terre

When children become teenagers and they are planning what to do after high school, they may think back to that time they spent on family vacations and learned about different types of careers.

They could become freedivers, wine makers, or choose a career in wildlife conservation.

It’s not just about life now, but in the future as well. Our Savannah, who is now 12 and has spent her whole life traveling, is determined to create a career around travel! First stop – study abroad in Oxford, UK!

Final Thoughts

Family getting a photo at the beach
Priceless quality family time in Staniel Cay

Travel with kids is not an easy decision to make. There are the constant fears of the possible negative impact upon their lives.

Staying at home and choosing a conventional life won’t take these fears away. You’re a parent and that comes with never ending questions and concerns.

You can’t make your decisions based upon an imaginary future.

The challenges aren’t too different on the road than what you would experience if you were living the settled life; it’s just in a different location.

This time you are managing it as a parent who is happy and fulfilled and continuing to do the things you love.

More Family Travel Tips

Need more inspiration about traveling as a family? Here are some other helpful guides…

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Here are the 4 main reasons family travel benefits our kids. Learn about education, friendships and close bonding times

How do you feel travel benefits kids? Let us know in the comments.

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