As a parent it’s one of the hardest questions you face when thinking about vacations; whether you should bring the kids or not. Is it worth the extra baggage, the extra hassle, the extra money that it will cost you to bring them along? Should you feel guilty for leaving them at home? Should you be exposing them to different cultures around the world? Should you take time out for a romantic vacation without the kids? While we’re certainly no experts on whether or not you should take your kids on vacation, as parents and fellow travelers ourselves, we thought we would lay out all the pros and cons for you; and let you make that choice.
The Pro’s of Taking the Kids:
#1 Remember when you were little and your parents left you to do something fun for the first time? You probably got really mad at the time, stomped your feet and said “no fair”. That feeling surfaces as we become parents when we think about leaving our children behind; especially for more than just a few hours. One of the pro’s of taking your kids on vacation is that you won’t have that feeling; the feeling of guilt that you are leaving them and that you are going off to do something fun without them. Because let’s face it vacations are fun. Bringing the kids along you are ensuring that they don’t feel left behind, that they feel included in your life and that they will always remember you took them places.
#2 When you take your kids with you on vacation you can go places that you might not go as an adult. As adults we forget what it is like to have as much fun as children and going down that waterslide because your 5 year old won’t go alone may just be the most fun you’ve had in ages. Children encourage us to have more fun. Knowing that you are bringing your children on vacation will have you planning more child friendly things to see and do; water parks, animal encounters, Walt Disney World, and amusement parks are just a few examples. Forget the spas and the laying around on a beach all day sunbathing; these kids need to stay busy and having a family vacation ensures a whole lot of fun for everyone.
#3 Family vacations and travel make incredible memories that your kids will never forget. They may forget what they did at school earlier in the day but we guarantee you they won’t forget the time you hiked to the waterfalls with them and they got to cannonball in. Going outside of their comfort zones creates lasting memories that they will hopefully share with their own children one day. You don’t need to travel to Disney World to create these memories either. They will come from road trips where you got lost, from plane rides over the ocean, from tiny hotel rooms that you stayed in, to the waterslide at the hotel pool. Kids love adventure and by taking them on vacation you are giving them the adventure they crave; and they won’t forget it.
#4 Opening your children’s eyes to different cultures, languages and ways of life is an invaluable lesson you can teach them; starting at a young age. Showing them first hand that not everyone lives in the same climate, the same houses, the same equality will stick with them for a lifetime. Children learn by doing and taking them places where they can actually experience a different way of life is far more valuable than reading about it in a book. Showing them the places that exist in the world that they may want to live in one day, explaining to them that they have the whole world to explore is a valuable lesson they will carry with them. Teaching them to read maps, ask for help, be polite and accepting are all taught on these family vacations.