Can you remember the excitement of the first family vacation with your parents when you were a child? If you can, then you know how much your children look forward to a family trip.
However, after decades of family travel, adults seem to lose interest in such journeys, so it’s worth a while to rekindle the old travel bug.
From meeting new people to shaking up the routine, there are countless reasons why you need to reinvent your family travels.
Whether you are traveling alone or with your spouse and children, you are bound to meet new people. Even a short commute on the subway is enough to get to know a fellow passenger. In general, people with similar interests are everywhere and travels are the best way to bump into them.
Meeting new people is even more important for children. If your child is an introvert, then travels present the ideal opportunity for them to make new friends unhinged by pre-established social norms. Everyone, including kids, are more relaxed when on vacation, so it’s easier to make friends.
An employment opportunity
For people who are passionate about their profession, even a family holiday is a time when they look for employment opportunities. Of course, we do not this intentionally but if you’re a hotel manager, you are bound to scrutinize the operations of the hotel you are staying at on your vacation.
This is perfectly normal and it can even present a business opportunity. Namely, most people want to advance in their careers but they never seem to get a break in their present company. However, they are more relaxed broad with their family and have nothing to lose if they walk into an office with a CV in their hands.
Traveling as a hobby
From starting a business to collecting postal stamps, there are countless hobbies you can take up. These hobbies help you relax and preserve your mental health. However, most people who like to travel don’t think of their travels as a real hobby but traveling is a proper hobby.
You have to prepare months in advance for a holiday abroad, book the tickets, teach your children how to behave on the road, and perhaps learn a couple of phrases of a new language. If you are looking forward to all these steps then traveling is something you actually enjoy.
Learning a new language
Speaking of hobbies, language learning is yet another pastime activity that constitutes a hobby. If you have a personal tutor, then they have probably told you that the best way to improve your vocabulary is to travel to the county where the language is spoken.
On the other side, you might want to learn a particular language precisely because of your travels (perhaps you have foreign friends or you adore the lilt or a foreign tongue). Also, the kids probably have foreign language classes at school, so imagine the benefits of visiting Berlin or Vienna will have on their German language proficiency, for example.
Relocating to another town or country
Once you start traveling more often, you will realize how other people across the globe live. You might like their lifestyle so much that you decide to relocate with your entire family. People after often miserable because of the neighborhood, town, or region they live in, so a change of (social) climate is more than welcome.
Of course, the whole family needs to be on the same page as you, as you don’t want to force someone to move. However, there is hardly a more inspirational feeling than all the family members agreeing that they should relocate to a seaside town, for example. Such a move will strengthen interfamilial relationships as well.
A confidence boost
Another reason why families decide to relocate is uncertainty in their place of residence. If children cannot make friends or their parents lose their job, respectively, going on a trip can really boost their confidence. As mentioned earlier, traveling is a form of escapism that keeps depression and anxiety in check.
As you organize the trip, start conversations with strangers, and navigate through an unfamiliar landscape, your self-esteem skyrockets! For a family going through a rough patch, a day trip to the countryside can mean a world of difference.
Improved social skills
Since the number of social interactions increases while on the road, you’ll get a chance to practice your social skills. This is ideal for people who are why but the children are again the ones who stand to gain the most. They will lose their innate fear of talking to strangers, as might even make friends on your family travels.
The whole family will get a chance to meet other cultures and learn their customs, showing you that there is more than one way to communicate with people. Heck, there is even a village in Turkey where people communicate imitating the twitter of birds.
Cycle instead of driving
The common myth has it that you have to travel far to truly reinvent family travel. Since there is hardly anything pleasing in spending hours stuck inside a passenger car, this is simply not true, as a cycle tour through the countryside will improve family relations just the same.
By cycling through nature, you help save the planet, while bonding with your children at the same time. Namely, you can talk and look at each other when cycling. Furthermore, children get excited about new kids bikes that they see available online, so they’ll be thrilled when you buy them a two-wheeler and tell them you are going cycling together as a family.
Travel is a form of self-care
When you want to indulge yourself, you probably get a massage or buy a large milk chocolate bar with raisins. However, these small pleasures provide you with temporary pleasure. Traveling with your family, on the other hand, come with lasting memories that help you learn how to chill and relax on a daily basis.
Just like you shower every day for hygienic reasons, you should travel annually to stay healthy, both physically and mentally. Unless you take care of your wellbeing, you will experience burnout syndrome, causing your health to deteriorate rapidly.
Your child’s smile and a long, sandy beach in a tropical paradise are all the remedies you will ever need!
The ideal duration of family trips
We’ve mentioned how cycling for a couple of hours constitutes a journey but how should you engage in this practice? Well, the shorter the trip, the more repetitive it should be. For instance, you can go on a field trip every weekend, while vacations longer than 7 days should be practices once a year. To sum up, the shorter the trip, the more often you should embark on it and the longer, the rarer it should be.
Don’t forget to have fun
If you consider traveling a hobby, then you do it for fun. However, many travelers get lost in all the details and bureaucracy that they actually forget to enjoy the quality time with the family on the road. In this sense, traveling is a double-edged sword, as it can easily turn into a stressor.
Yes, the passports need packing and accommodation should be booked in advance but the rest of the time your nerves should be at ease. While the children are playing outside, you can sit down in a bar with your spouse and sip on cocktails.
Changing the destination
There are places you have traveled to more often than others. No matter how mesmerizing a destination is, once you’ve gone two or three years in a row to it, it becomes a bit dull. Reinventing travels means that you should always pick a new destination to travel to.
The farther the destination, the easier it is to alter it every so often. The real problem occurs with short trips that take place nearer to home, like the aforementioned cycle tours. Basically, grab a map of the city and see possible routes you can take in all directions; there are bound to be great city-break tours.
Include family members in travel plans
Apart from your family coming along, a family excursion isn’t that different from the way you normally travel, right? We are sorry to say but such a stance is plain wrong. Namely, all family members that are coming along for the trip should take an active part in its planning.
For instance, the children can decide the destination, while your spouse gets to choose how long you stay. Your brother or sister could be in charge of day trips, such as boat trips and bike rides. Finally, grandparents can help you create a list of the things you bring, so you don’t forget anything important.
Don’t expect perfection
When you are traveling alone, it is easy to control most of the variables. Sure, you cannot influence a rude receptionist or the weather but you can definitely plan toilet breaks if nothing else. On the other side, traveling with your family means that there are so many variables that it’s use sell trying to control them all.
You need to plan and prepare to the best of your ability but once you start the engine or board the plan, you need to relax and go with the flow. One of the worst approaches to family travel is expecting that everything will be perfect. It won’t and that’s the part of the magic.
Better time management
We spend a lot of time at work, as our 9 to 5 jobs make it hard to ideally manage time. Family time is the usual victim of busy work schedules; not to mention the lack of leisure time for yourself. However, if you reinvent family holidays, you have the entire day off, sort to say, for yourself and your family.
Even a short field trip gives you plenty of time to bond with your children or to rekindle the amorous relationship with your spouse. After you return from the holiday, you will realize how much free time is important and you will be certain to incorporate it into your daily itinerary.
Getting out of the daily routine
Finally, you should always keep in mind that traveling is the best way to get out of a routine. This applies to every member of the family, from the children who go to school every day, to the grandparents whose days look all the same.
Getting trapped in a daily routine and adopting negative habits can have a profound impact on our mental health. In this sense, spending quality time with your family and meeting new people and countries is a form of therapy. An adventure is exactly what you need to break out of a dull rut!
As you have seen from our examples, family travel can become a form of therapy when approached in the right way. If you have fallen victim to a dull daily rut, you need to grab a travel brochure immediately and take your family for an adventure of a lifetime!