Warning: If you are a parent, your mindset about vacationing is about to change.
Some people are hesitant to go on a vacation because of the lack of time, money or both. Understandably, if you have four members in the family, that means longer planning and heftier budget. A vacation costs real money, but it shouldn’t be seen as a luxury splurge that you may feel guilty about after spending.
Don’t think that way because it could mean an investment in your kid’s character and future too. And no, we are not talking about educational trips here because those are required by the schools but real family vacations.
A 2015 study conducted by the Family Holiday Association, a national charity in the UK, claims that family vacations have long-term benefits. Put simply, family vacations may lead to a lifetime of happiness. The facts include:
- About 49% of the respondents claim that their happiest memory happened during a family vacation
- About 1/3 vividly remembers family vacations that occurred during their childhood
- About 1/4 brings up these memories to get through tough times
The act of taking pictures alone is a happy activity for as long as it’s not intrusive. It boosts engagement and enjoyment; it’s immersive hence your kids can be in the moment.
I couldn’t agree more. I always go back to Batangas where we usually spend our annual summer outing. [Not ours really, but my mother’s company.] Every year, I look forward to April or May because it means I can get to linger on the sun and sand with my brothers and sister. Looking back, I was at my happiest back then. And every time we talk about it, we can’t help but giggle. ❤ ❤ ❤
Really, a family vacation is all you need for a change of environment. What a great excuse to plan your family getaway as early as N-O-W! And hey, the Philippines is a tropical country with hundreds to thousands of destinations just waiting to be explored (aside from being the Selfie Capital of the World)!
Importance of family vacations
1) Family vacations provide experience
Toys are good. But I guess you’ve also experienced buying an expensive toy for your kid only to find out that she is already bored playing with it after just a week.
Use the money as a travel fund instead. Although all of you would be at the place for a few days, the memories created will have a lasting impact on your children. They will value the experience because it’s a time well-spent with you, the parents, and other loved ones, the siblings.
Again, giving them toys to play with is okay. However, toys, as well as gadgets and screens, are divisive; they can put distance between you and your kids. On the other hand, traveling is an opportunity to bond, bringing all the family members closer together.
2) Family vacations benefit brain development
Playing the same games over and over at home may not necessarily lead to advancements in brain development unlike traveling to new places. Whether you explore a heritage town or natural habitat, the child’s inherently inquisitive mind is activated.
According to Dr. Margot Sunderland, a child psychologist, new experiences brought by traveling to unfamiliar places bring maturation in the frontal lobes of the brain. This part is responsible for cognitive functioning as well as social intelligence. Your child will learn to discern certain things and mingle with people at the same time.
You too may learn new things that is otherwise not possible if you confine yourself at home doing chores.
3) Family vacations support emotional well-being
We, parents, take on vacation when we feel overwhelmed by our work. Did you know that what you are feeling at that time is the same exact way your kids feel?
Kids, like their parents, need to de-stress as well. A study showed that 79% of children aged between 8 and 14 years old experience stress on a daily basis. However, kids feel no anxiety when their parents spend time with them. That’s according to 77% of the kids surveyed by the same study.
Interestingly, any place of interest outside your home is almost always deemed as a less-stressed environment. Interactions and moments that emerge from going to a particular place result to healthy relationships aside from feeling rejuvenated.
The less stressful the environment, the better the quality of the relationships. While at it, after the vacation, people tend to avoid, alter, accept and adapt to things that are stressing them back home much better than before they had the vacation.
4) Family vacations provide an escape
From all the hustle and bustle of the daily life, that is. Parents and kids, especially school-aged kids, are occupied by a lot of things. A time away from home and all those clutter and noise puts the daily routine aside in exchange of new experiences.
It’s a change of pace as well as a different kind of mind space. For at least once a year, there’s a shift in focus among all household members, sharing discoveries to one another. With this, a vacation is a good thing as you momentarily shift away from own schedules and deadlines.
Since it is meant to have fun minus the worries, you and your family can create fond memories that all of you can cherish. Years from now, your kids will relive those memories and will do so with a smile on their faces.
5) Family vacations lead to empowerment
Definitely a win-win situation for you and your kids, departing from the stresses of the daily grind can also make you feel better about your parenting skills. For your children, they will feel more loved and empowered.
When vacationing with kids, play is inevitable. Kids are experts at plays, and allowing them to take the lead can ultimately result in the development of creative thinking skills.
Overall, family vacations are healthy. So don’t hesitate to do them. And don’t proscrastinate. It doesn’t have to be grand. A trip down the corner store as a family will do. It’s a well-earned break from your daily routine. You may be making a sacrifice today, but it will definitely pay huge dividends and great rewards in the future. And while on vacation, make the most out of it.
Enjoy, enjoy, enjoy!