Travelling with family is more than just bonding over shared experiences and creating memories. It has a profound and lasting impact on children’s lives. So how does travel influence children?
By providing opportunities for personal development and transformation travel should be seen as a sure fired way to help children reach their full potential.
How does travel influence children?
A recent study by the Student & Youth Travel Association found that 75% of teachers believe travel has a positive impact on students’ personal development. Educators agree that travelling opens up new experiences and has a positive influence for children. Experiences children have when travelling cannot be found in their everyday lives. The study found children who step out of their comfort zones and experience other cultures will display much higher levels of independence and confidence.
Learning & creating new opportunities
Travelling presents opportunities for children to learn and grow. Visiting Luxor or Cairo, for example, offers a real-life education that just cannot be found in textbooks, history lessons, or documentaries. Tasting a street vendor’s ware in Bangkok’s hustle and bustle, or hearing the call of the Howler Monkeys from the Costa Rican Jungle… have to be experienced ‘in-situ’.
The science bit
Scientists agree that travelling with their parents can be very beneficial for children. Parents are relaxed and not focused on work and are therefore giving their kids their most precious commodity: time. Travel positively influences parent and child interactions.
Family holidays also advance brain development in children. The PLAY system and the SEEKING system, which are generally unexercised in normal, everyday life, are activated while travelling.
The PLAY system is used every time a child is ‘buried in the sand’ or taken for a ‘piggy-back ride’. The SEEKING system kicks in when exploring. Well-being neurochemicals are released that reduce stress and spark warm, euphoric feelings towards each other.
Not every child will squeal with delight at the idea of swimming in coral and looking for the bright rainbow coloured fish. Flying down a zip wire through the amazon rainforest isn’t something that can be imagined. Travel brings out the explorer in us, the curious side of our nature. Through this curiosity we become less fearful and actively seek out new and interesting experiences.
Teaching children about diversity and allowing them to explore ideas of tolerance and a greater understanding of others are all positive attributes of well-travelled children. Travel influences children’s behaviour and thoughts towards different cultures and ethnicities.
In today’s fragmented and uncertain world, our children need to have a cosmopolitan world view. The benefits of travel, including increased levels of tolerance towards other cultures and ethnicities, will be vital as our planet faces its future.
Opening our children’s minds and eyes, giving them the courage to explore and tolerate differences, is possibly one of the greatest gifts we can bestow upon them. Travel has a far reaching influence on children.
Contact us today by email, telephone or video call and let us put together an adventure for your family like no other. Because Why Wait?