There are endless benefits to taking your children travelling, from improving their social skills, to enhancing their education and exposing them to unique landscapes, civilisations and historical places to deepen their world-knowledge. Taking your children to new places has even been shown to improve their academic performance, likely due to the immersive learning opportunities experienced first-hand when visiting different countries and cultures.
Whether you’re planning a family holiday or looking to explore multiple countries with your family, here’s a short guide to how travelling aids children’s social, physical and emotional development.
Hands on learning experiences As Saint Augustine put it, “The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only one page”. Whilst schools are limited to providing mainly visual and audible learning experiences, if you can take your children travelling you’ll be providing hands-on, fully immersive, real-life learning opportunities. Children are instinctively curious, and they reap great benefits from exploring new places.
Seeing historical monuments with their own eyes is sure to last far longer in their memory than reading about them from textbooks, and by exploring the surrounding cities, towns and landscapes, they will also benefit from a deeper understanding of their context and importance from a cultural perspective.
Everyone can benefit from the unique experiences other countries can provide, from growing a more diverse palette by tasting new and different foods, to learning new skills such as snorkelling, hiking, cycling, snowboarding, skiing or even horse-riding. Resilience is also built in abundance by travelling, as you’ll naturally have to navigate and overcome obstacles and new environments.
Social skills, understanding and perspective
Many children never hear any languages other than those of their parents and hometowns, but by travelling as a family your children may pick up phrases in other dialects. This is a great headstart for their education, as learning new languages boosts problem-solving and critical thinking skills, as well as improving memory and mental flexibility.
Exposing children to a variety of other people from a range of backgrounds helps to dispel stereotypes and prejudices that they will inevitably be exposed to throughout their lives. By modelling compassion and kindness wherever you take them, they will naturally develop a deeper understanding of the world around them. Experiencing the world in this way can help them to become more well-rounded members of society as they grow up.
You could even get involved with community projects to help local people and areas, by helping to build schools or supporting rural farmers. Children will learn that people are all the same, regardless of their situations, and grow up to be people keen to make the world a better place. If you do decide to take your children to developing countries, be sure to do some thorough research to ensure you travel safely.
Wherever you take your children, spending special time with them discovering the world is sure to strengthen your relationship and deepen the bonds within your family. With so much of our lives spent apart, at work and school, every chance to spend quality time together is an opportunity for growth and positive emotional development.