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Why we should travel with our kids as much as we can

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Seven reasons why traveling with kids rocks

Yes, I know preparing a family vacation can be a lot of work, especially with the little ones. Listen, I've got plenty of reasons why mom and dad should take trips alone too. Together.  Just the two of us.  You and I.  (Honey, are you reading this?)  I'll save those for another day.  Today, I'm giving you seven big reasons why you should travel with your kids as much as you can...


1.  Traveling ties our family closely together  

Around our house, you'll hear us recalling magical memories like "Remember crab hunting at night on the beach and dancing on the phytoplankton?  We were dancing on a sea of stars!"  

Or the not-so-fun memories... "Remember the freaky out-of-nowhere thunderstorm that sent our kids' tent started rolling downhill towards the creek?"  My heart still skips a beat just thinking about that.  Magical or freaky, memories tie us together. 


2.  Getting away is a well-known stress reliever  

Being in nature, sunshine, and fresh air are all natural stress relievers and mood lifters. When we travel, we set ourselves free from schedules and electronic devices and do the the things we love:  sleeping in (parents take turns if you have to!), staying up late watching movies, swimming, hiking, chilling on the beach, snorkeling, biking, eating ice cream every afternoon-- all of those things we don't get to do so much back home.

As travel expert Rick Steves likes to say, "Travel is recess, and we need it."


3.  Plucks us out of our ruts  

Do you ever just feel like you're running in circles or spinning your wheels and you're not even sure what you're really about anymore?  Kids can feel like that too (just ask your teenagers).  

Taking time out for travel and vacation pulls us all out of our ruts.   Time away gives us each a 10,000 foot view, helping us see where we'd like to grow and maybe some habits we'd like to make or break when we get back home. 


4.  Pulls us out of our comfort zones

And we learn to be okay with it!  Let your kids learn to ask for help in a different language, or ask questions at the museum.  Teach them how to order for themselves at a new restaurant.  

Give your kids time to climb, scramble, and explore.  Travel is one more way our kids learn to be confident about who they are and what they are capable of doing no matter their surroundings. 


5.  Pushes us to try new things  

Take oysters for example: I like them raw, but I love them parmesan-baked!  Having lived in Missouri and now in Colorado, we don't exactly eat a lot of fresh seafood.  So when we go to the coasts, we eat as much shrimp, lobster, crab and oysters as we can.  One of my favorite things about traveling is trying different dishes.  We'll check out flavors at local dives, or buy fresh seafood to cook up back at the vacation rental.  

We also like to try to new physical endeavors.  We jump in a kayak, don our snorkeling gear, float through a geo-thermally heated swimming hole, or zoom down on an alpine slide... things our family can't do in our own backyard.  We like activities that are high on FUN for our family.  


6.  Builds an overall sense of adventure  

Let's face it.  Some of us are home bodies and some of us can't wait to go -- anywhere! When I was a kid, my dad would joke "You'd go to a chicken fight if I asked ya!"  He was wrong about the chicken fight, but he was right that I love to see and do new things.  

My oldest boy soaks in chilling at home, but he loves to go too.  He's already talking about going away to college, and that's still 4 years away.  I think traveling has helped him sense big opportunities and loads of possibilities.  


7.  Encourages our kids to dream and wonder  

New natural surroundings point us back to our Creator.  I've heard my kids wonder aloud, "Cool!  How did God make that?!"  And, I happen to be one of those people who daydreams about what it might be like to live in the desert, on the water, or in that house, flat, city, or on that farm.  

Traveling tends to prompts our family to want to see and experience more together.  Just the other day, my kid asked me, "So hey mom, where are we going next?"  

We have an endless bucket list of family travels and the clock is ticking.  The Grand Tetons, Yosemite, Grand Canyon's Havasupai Falls, New York City, and Washington D.C. are on our short list.  What about you? 


What traveling adventure are you planning with your family next?  How has traveling helped your family or what have your kids learned from it?  We'd love to hear, so please comment below!