How Going on a Family Vacation Benefits Children

Brad Belcher
3 min readNov 17, 2021

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Packing for a family holiday can be well worth the effort and money. Research indicates that holidays are beneficial not only for adults, but also for children. While holidays help families strengthen bonds, children benefit from new cultures, foods, and experiences, and adults get a break from day to day reality.

Travel exposes children to the actual world outside of the classroom, and children learn best via experience. When children travel, they are bound to learn a variety of things. International travel enables them to gain personal knowledge of how other people live. They sample the foods consumed by others, learn a new language, and get immersed in the sights and sounds of another culture.

Domestic travel presents distinct advantages. Children are born with an innate sense of wonder and are awestruck by everything new and different. By incorporating them in the trip’s planning stages, you can increase the learning experience.

According to a 2011 study, children who traveled during their summer break performed better on math, reading, and general knowledge tests than children who did not travel upon returning to school. A 2018 study reached similar conclusions, reporting that family trips positively affected reading achievement.

Not all new encounters and travels are enjoyable. Exposing children to new experiences teaches them what they like and dislike, what fascinates and motivates them. All this contributes to the development of a child’s sense of self.

Additionally, as children try new activities, they gain confidence. Self-esteem is related to self-efficacy, or belief in one’s ability to execute tasks. Research indicates that those with a high feeling of self-efficacy are more inclined to seek out novel solutions and persist with challenging activities.

Holidays provide several possibilities for children to experience new things in a non-threatening environment. Even if they “fail” at something, the consequences will be minimal. After all, vacations are intended to be enjoyable.

Travel requires us to break away from our typical routines and comfort zones and forces us to deal with various unexpected events. Several of these circumstances, such as airline delays or misplaced bags, may be annoying. Travel is frequently a matter of going with the flow. When children observe how you handle unexpected situations without losing your temper, or how willing you are to alter your initial plan when a new opportunity presents itself, they learn to adapt and be flexible, too.

Vacations, from preparation to execution, can foster independence and instill a sense of responsibility. Children can learn independence, for example, by creating their packing lists and packing their own suitcases. They can develop responsibility by keeping track of their belongings while they travel. You can also assign specific travel responsibilities to your children, such as serving as the family photographer or navigator.

Additionally, children learn independence through new experiences. Allowing children to choose activities appropriate to their age and aptitude helps them build a sense of self-confidence, which can pay off as they grow up.

Children grow more willing to delve into the unknown when their parents act as a safety net. They come across obstacles and new adventures and discover that they are capable of navigating them. Family vacations can provide children with just enough space to develop confidence in their abilities, while also reassuring them that their parents are still nearby should they require assistance. As a result, the adults they become will be more confident and self-sufficient.

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Brad Belcher
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Brad Belcher — Dedicated to His Marion, Ohio Community