1.Quantity quality time: If you’re anything like me, and I bet you are, you’re juggling more balls than a street performer, one of which is quality time with kids. Quality time is important, yet often it’s just one more thing you need to schedule into your week. However remove school, after school activities, and other commitments from the equation, pack a bag and hit the road… and you have nothing but quality time with your kids. It’s a wonderful way to reconnect with what’s really important.
2.Tighter than glue: When siblings travel they fight… but they also bond in a way that is difficult to do at home, especially on longer trips where they have to rely on each other for company.
3.The whole world is a classroom: Travel is the most wonderful education you can provide for your children. Think of each destination as an interactive learning experience. Way more fun, and more effective, than learning the same information in a classroom.
4.Making memories: You’ve probably heard the old argument, “Why travel with young kids when they won’t remember anyway?” Well it’s not true. As we get older, childhood becomes a patchwork of memories, mostly those that have impacted us deeply. Travelling with family does impact children deeply. And while your child might not have clear, specific memories of a journey taken when they were very young, there will be a sense of place, and how they felt that stays with them always.
5.All that and more: We all want our children to be well-rounded, emotionally healthy individuals. Travel fosters qualities like tolerance, flexibility, patience and independence.
6.Friends, friends and more friends: My son fondly remembers, among others, the friend he made in New York, who he’s still in touch with, and the friend he made in Hiroshima, who he simply played with for an hour. Language and cultural barriers don’t exist when kids play together. And it’s easy to really care about the world when you have friends all over it.
7.You’ll make friends too: It’s not all about the kids. Travelling with children opens doors. People talk to you, strangers embrace you, and other parents connect with you. Children bridge the gap wherever you are in the world.
8.A whole new world: Even if you’re a seasoned traveller, get ready to see the world through fresh eyes. Children ask questions and experience things differently. They’ll also make you try things that you would never have done BC (before children).
9.Infect them young! Do you have the travel bug? Want your kids to catch it too? Travelling is the easiest way to do it. I’ve always said, show your kids the world and they’ll leave home earlier…
10.It’s fun! Yes there will be moments when it’s stressful and tiring. But overriding that will be the greatest time you will spend with your kids. It’s so worth it. It’s that simple.
Jane Tara is an author, travel writer, and director of the children’s travel publishing company, Itchee Feet. She has lived in Tokyo, Taipei,
Vienna, London and New York, but currently lives at Bondi Beach with her partner and their four sons.