I am a firm believer that family travel creates lasting memories that last a lifetime. But there are more reasons to travel with your children beyond just the memories they create. Here are a few reasons why I believe that vacations are imports to families.
What is your happiest childhood memory? Does it involve a trip or family vacation? Mine does. When I was growing up, my parents were teachers and had the traditional 12 weeks off during the summer. My parents were already adventurous spirits, taking us camping on weekends, or out for Sunday drives with no real destination in mind.
One summer, we packed up the car and pulled a pop-up tent trailer across the Western United States – from Texas to Washington – for the entire summer. It is one of my all-time favorite childhood memories and I am confident it is the reason I love to explore and travel today.
That’s why when reading a recent travel survey done by Allianz Global Assistance, one sad revelation stuck out to me. While it was exciting to read that Americans are spending more on travel this summer – over $100 Billion in 2017 – I was disheartened to hear that while Americans are slightly more confident they’ll take a vacation this year, some are questioning its overall importance. The survey found that while 59% of Americans say that taking an annual vacation is important to them (which was down 6 points from last year), one in four (23%) say that annual vacations are not at all important to them.
Annual vacations are not at all important?
As a travel writer who is very passionate about family travel, it is hard for me to understand that some people don’t value vacations. And even more so, they are not taking the time to travel with their children.
Vacations Are Happiness Anchors for Children
I recently read an article that spoke of vacation memories as being ‘happiness anchors’ for children. It’s the memories of a joyful time spent with those you love that stay with you for the rest of your lives. “We consider these to be a ‘happiness anchor’ – reflecting on our happiest memories of joyful time spent together as a family can be extremely powerful in bringing relief and respite when faced with the darker times that life can bring.” says John McDonald, director of the Family Holiday Association, told the Huffington Post.
I know I have several of these anchors in my life and I have made it a goal of mine to provide them for my children as well. But beyond happy memories, there are many reasons why giving your children the experience of travel is important. Here are a few that we find important in our family.
6 Reasons Why Vacations Are Important to Families
Show them the World
There are so many amazing things to see and do in this great world we live in, why would you not want to show it to them? Many say kids are too young to remember traveling, but I could not disagree more. My son still remembers walking along the beach in Washington and coming upon a WWII Bunker we had no idea was there when he was five (he is now 14). Imagine all that he learned from that experience.
Open Their Eyes & Minds
Kids need to know that people live differently across the world. Traveling opens their eyes up to see that people live differently then they do and allows them to have appreciation for the environment they live in. The amount of education one learns from immersing themselves in a different culture surpasses any traditional school learning.
Help them Develop & Explore new Interests
Exposing children to new things only peaks their curiosity about it. My son was fascinated with the story of the discovery of Sue the T-Rex in South Dakota when we visited the Field Museum in Chicago. For months he checked out books about dinosaurs, fossils, and archeology. We had discussions about it daily and all learned about it as a family. All because of a cross-country trip to a museum.
Best Way to Bond
You get to really know your kids when you strip away all the outside commitments. Things like sports, dance, and other after-school activities pull you in different directions and take you away from each other. When you are traveling, there is a ton of one-on-one time, allowing you to focus on each other. That is when the bonding begins.
Most Adaptable Kids Ever
Traveling is never smooth. Planes are delayed, luggage is lost, and itineraries are not kept. It’s actually great when things don’t go the way they were planned. Kids will learn a great deal of patience and responsibility when they travel. Not to mention, they become great car riders, easy to occupy themselves when they need to, and greatly optimistic. Of course that is if the parents model that behavior…..
Traveling is Fun
And if for no other reason to take your kids on vacation, travel because it is fun. As parents, we work hard to provide for our families. You deserve taking time away from your job and this stresses of day-to-day life. You deserve to have fun with your children. You deserve the time to make memories for your family.
American Summer Vacation Spending is Up
So back to that $100 Billion in vacation spending…..
“Americans are feeling better about the economy and have loosened their purse strings for summer 2017,” said Daniel Durazo, director of communications at Allianz Global Assistance USA. “We’re happy to see that for first time in the eight year history of the Vacation Confidence Index, vacation spending will hit an impressive $100 billion. This new milestone is great news for the travel industry.”
Yes it is. And my hope is that Americans will also see the importance of investing in their families’ memories while spending on their vacations. One way to ensure these memories get created is to protect your vacation with travel insurance.
“With the vacation spend breaking $100 billion, travel insurance is a must-have,” said Durazo. “The right travel insurance policy can protect a consumer’s pre-paid travel expenses when they have to cancel their trip due to certain unexpected situations, such as a covered illness or injury, and it may also provide reimbursements for things like medical emergencies, delayed travel, and lost or delayed baggage.”
Allianz Global Assistance offers travel insurance through most major U.S. airlines, leading travel agents, online travel agencies, other travel suppliers and directly to consumers. For more information on Allianz Global Assistance and the policies offered for travelers, please visit: http://www.allianztravelinsurance.com.
Traveling is such a high priority in my life and I want to model that for my children as well. I want them to have loads of memories to pull their own happiness anchors from for years to come.
This post is sponsored by Allianz Global Assistance (AGA Service Company) and I have received financial compensation.