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My Top 6 Reasons to Travel With Kids

Last month wrote about travel, and I’ve spent an inordinate amount of time lately planning travel. As such, I thought I’d post an update of an old popular post: My Top 6 Reasons to Travel With Kids:

Traveling with children is almost never easy and, needless to say, is an entirely different experience from traveling without them.  Although the latter can be perfectly lovely, and peacefully quiet, there are certain advantages to packing the bags and heading out as a family.  Here, I offer my top 6 reasons to include your kids on your next vacation:

1.  A book or photograph can never give your kids the sense of place or understanding that actually being there gives them.

2.  Every parent ought to test the limits of their patience on an 8-hour flight or car ride sometime.  Come on, isn’t that one of the bonuses to parenting:  learning how very deep you can dig when you really need to?

3.  The forced family togetherness can create crankiness, sure.  But it can also promote brotherly bonds like no other.

4.  Peer detox.  See #3.  I’m always amazed at how well we all interact without the excess, external noise from pre-teen friends.

5.  The world is a BIG place.  Travelling to other places helps all of us understand that our small corner of the world is not the center of the universe.  It’s so easy to get caught up in our schools and our sports and our social network that we don’t stop to think about how this same thing is happening in towns all over the world.  Traveling gives kids a better perspective of how it all fits together.

6.  When a child knows he can look at a map and find his way around Rome, he’s less likely to be daunted by the little bumps and bruises of life.
Of course there are innumerable other benefits, many of which aren’t measurable, aren’t tangible resume-building benefits.  But I contend that travel will build the resume of the spirit and the soul.  It will promote empathy and understanding.  It will boost the desire to reach across the border–whether it’s a border between school districts, or board rooms, or cultures.
And the desire and ability to reach across those divides? That’s life changing stuff.  Surely it’s worth a few hassles in the car or on the airplane.
Have you seen other benefits? What are your top reasons for traveling with your kids?
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