5 GREAT REASONS YOU SHOULD TRAVEL WITH YOUR CHILDREN
By: Mindy Silva
Have you been wondering if you should travel with your children? Well … this summer, The Traveling Silvas set out to discover new adventures in 9 U.S. states. We packed up our SUV, hit the road, and we were off to Arizona, Nevada, Utah, Montana, Wyoming, Washington, Idaho, Oregon, and of course our own home state of California. Our friends and family thought we were a little too optimistic about how it would be to travel with young children in the car for over 5,000 miles, but we were up for the challenge!
Keeping it Real
Let’s keep it real, traveling with children will almost certainly bring some element of surprise and stress, but rest assured, the benefits far outweigh any stressors. So first, let’s address some of your concerns. Might someone get car sick? Most likely. Will there be frequent restroom stops? Absolutely. Could there be lots of sibling arguments? Yup. Will they cooperate for family photos? Probably not. Should you expect lots of complaining and hearing the question, “Are we there yet” multiple times? You bet’cha! By now you may be asking, why is it a good idea to travel with your children? Here’s why …
- You Should Travel with Your Children Because it Makes You Feel Like a Kid Again
Before my husband and I had children, our vacations focused primarily on fine dining and relaxation. Don’t get me wrong, we haven’t given up on this completely, that would be insanity! But traveling with our children has really brought our vacations to life. Seeing everything through their eyes is absolutely magical. They are truly experiencing the beauty in the world for the first time. At each destination our children stopped to collect their favorite rock or sea shell, they smelled all the beautiful flowers as they passed them by, they dared us to race to the top of each hiking trail, and they made us laugh uncontrollably. Oh, and who can resist a game of tag once you heard the words “you’re it!” In the best ways possible, they make us feel like a kid again.
- You Should Travel with Your Children Because it Makes Your Family Bond Stronger
While it would be God’s gift to mothers if our children never argued with their sibling(s), the reality is, this will happen whether we are at home or on the road. Truth be told, our children actually argued far less when we were out traveling and having fun. Watching our children bond, laugh, and play together made the entire experience worth it. Equally as rewarding, was the uninterrupted, quality time we got to spend with our children. On our road trip there were often long stretches where wireless service was limited. Though this might sound daunting, the uninterrupted time together created greater opportunities for sharing, singing, laughing and making memories that would last of lifetime.
- You Should Travel with Your Children Because Experiencing New Adventures Motivates Children to Take New Risks
“Mom, watch me, look what I can do,” are usually the words that come right before my children do something that make my heart sink into my stomach. As a mom, my instinct is to keep my children safe. So watching them explore and experience new adventures can be a hard pill for me to swallow. However, I know that allowing them to take new risks is important for their growth and development. Traveling frequently has allowed our children to step out of their comfort zone and take more risks – a skill that will allow them to build their confidence and take on new risks as they grow.
- You Should Travel with Your Children Because it Promotes Hands-On Learning
During our trip we traveled back into time as we explored different museums, historical sites and national parks. It was incredible to see our children make a real-world connection with what they have been learning in the classroom. Their excitement was contagious and only encouraged us to do more exploring. We traveled and explored each day from sunup to sundown, never missing an opportunity to do one more adventure.
- You Should Travel with Your Children Because Changing Environments Encourages Children to Be Adaptable
At home, we tend to get stuck in a routine. Most weeks consist of school and sports and lack diversity in activities. During our summer road trip we decided to experience different types of lodging so that it would bring a new dynamic to each place we traveled. We stayed in beautiful hotels; VRBO vacation rentals overlooking the lake; family-friendly resorts; visited with family and friends; and camped at the Lewis and Clark Caverns State Park. Our children adapted well to each environment, never complained (at least about this part) and were excited to take on all the adventures each place had to offer.
- Sheraton Salt Lake City Hotel
- Vrbo Vacation Rentals- Liberty Lake
- Sedona Summit Resort by Diamond Resorts
- Lewis and Clark Caverns State Park
ACTIVITIES (some not pictured in blog)
- Grand Canyon(Arizona)
- Lower Antelope Canyons(Arizona)
- Horseshoe Bend(Arizona)
- Cathedral Rock(Arizona)
- Chapel of the Holy Cross(Arizona)
- Bell Rock(Arizona)
- Courthouse Vista(Arizona)
- Utah State Capital Building(Utah)
- Temple Square(Utah)
- Family History Library(Utah)
- Church History Museum(Utah)
- Assembly Hall(Utah)
- Red Butte Garden(Utah)
- Natural History Museum(Utah)
- Great Salt Lake(Utah)
- Las Vegas Strip(Nevada)
- Lewis and Clark Caverns Tour(Montana)
- World Museum of Mining(Montana)
- Jefferson County Museum(Montana)
- Ennis Lake(Montana)
- Yellowstone National Park(Wyoming)
- Liberty Lake (Washington)
- Cheney Rodeo(Washington)
- Coeur d’ Alene(Idaho)
- Multnomah Falls(Oregon)
- Cannon Beach(Oregon)
- Haystack Rock(Oregon)
- Tillamook Creamery(Oregon)
- Golden Gate Bridge(San Francisco)
- Lombard Street (San Francisco)
- Fisherman’s Wharf(San Francisco)
- Prepare your children ahead of time for the road trip. Let them know there will be a lot of time spent in the car.
- Pack a lot of snacks and car friendly games/activities so your children enjoy the ride.
- Find books about each state you will be traveling to and read them to your children before you travel. This really gets them excited about the trip!
- Inform your children of any dangers and stress to them how important safety is; especially in places where you are near wildlife.
- Try not to over plan for your trip. Book your lodging before you travel, then plan your activities day-by-day once you arrive. This creates a lot of flexibility in the schedule and takes the stress out of over planning.