Travel: A great teacher

July 22, 2016
It's summer and many people are getting away. Most of us take trips to relax and have fun, but travel also can be an adventurous summer school for children, teaching them invaluable life lessons.

Chances are, you will see your child learn some of these things during your travels:

  • Practical knowledge: Whether visiting a neighboring state or another continent, being in a new place elevates a child’s book knowledge with a deeper and lasting understanding of geography, history, culture and language. Keeping a travel journal not only helps children when it’s time to do a school report, it also can help them become better students in general.
  • Tolerance: Exposure to different cultures, religions, races, languages and even value systems can help children be more understanding and tolerant of diversity. These children are primed to become open-minded citizens who help create peaceful communities in today’s heterogeneous world.
  • Resourcefulness: Travel nudges children out of their comfort zone. Vacations often become laboratories for learning new things and lifelong skills. Children take on more responsibility, use their ingenuity and become more adaptable. When children learn to think outside the box, they will be able to solve problems in the adult world.
  • Family building: Today’s fast-paced lifestyle can mean less family time at home. But on vacation, families many times share small spaces, eating and doing almost everything together. These experiences forge stronger bonds and create tightknit families. Vacation memories become everlasting and the best souvenirs of all.
  • New perspectives: Traveling with children is not always easy. Meticulously drafted plans are often left by the wayside when traveling with little ones. But all is not lost. When children are in charge of the direction and pace of travel, they can often teach us to look at things in a different way, changing our thoughts and views of a “familiar” destination.   
  • As adults, there are lots of things we can put off for “when we retire.” But traveling with our children isn’t one of them. Before we know it, our baby has morphed into a teenager about to go to college and make his or her own life.
So choose a destination, pick some dates, pack your bags and just go -- a few miles away or a world away. Give your child the gift of travel. It will last a lifetime.

One way to make the most of travel is to talk with your family doctor or pediatrician about the most engaging activities for your child at his or her developmental stage. Call 1-800-793-3474 to schedule an appointment with a Swedish provider.
Topics: Kids