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Family Travel: Positive Developmental Impact of Travel on Kids

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Travelling with kids can be magical, and it can be stressful. For many parents, the question of ‘is it worth it’ arises when they consider everything that needs to be remembered, from booking child-friendly accommodation to packing the numerous things young children may need.

But travelling with children can help their development in many different ways, making the answer to the question a resounding ‘yes’ it is worth it, beneficial even. Below are a few ways your child and even you may benefit from travelling together.

Developing empathy

Travelling with kids exposes them to different situations than they know at home. It shows them that people can come from many walks of life, for better or worse. Seeing the world through this new lens of the experiences of those around them while travelling can widen a child’s horizon. Experiencing how others live in other parts of the world allows your children (and you) to develop empathy in new ways.

According to Psychology Today, empathy is important because it teaches children to identify and regulate their emotional responses. In addition, learning through the experiences of others, as well as their own, teaches kids to put themselves in others’ shoes and emphasise their situation.

Adapt to different situations

Taking children to a new destination for travel teaches them to adapt to situations they aren’t generally used to. For example, you might find that the rigid routine and strict timescales required when passing through an airport teach your child about patience and sticking to rules.

Or you’ll find that you and your children need to adapt to the timescales of a hotel you’re staying at, rules at a swimming pool, or a different climate to the one you’re generally used to.

This can work the other way around, too; if your child is used to a strict routine of school and hobbies, having no fixed activities can teach them to entertain themselves.

Adapting to new situations is an age-old survival skill. Adaptability will make your child more resilient to changes in life and teaches them to embrace such changes while learning to make any necessary plans.

Broaden horizons

From a young age, children know what is around them, shown to them, and taught to them. Therefore, a young child will not have any fundamental understanding of the wider world or its inherent lessons. The same is true for adults, though kids absorb new experiences more quickly than their grown-up peers.

Five studies have shown that broadening your horizons through travel increases generalised trust. Travelling with kids offers them a wide variety of new experiences and places in a short space of time. This mental growth increases their better understanding of the world they live in and their trust in their peers to lead them through new situations.

Travelling with kids can be a rewarding experience for both your child and you as parents. The benefits above are but a few amongst many truly worthwhile lessons you’ll learn along the way.

To sum up

Travelling can be an enriching experience for anyone, but seeing your child out and exploring the world is fantastic. Moving away from home routines can bring out elements of their personality you might not have seen before and is a beautiful way to grow as a family.

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