When you reflect back on family moments from childhood, holidays probably round out the list of most memorable. To be honest, it doesn’t really matter where you go or what you do, you’ll likely remember the family holiday over any other time.
Here are a few ways travelling with the kids strengthen family bonds:
You spend undistracted time together
When you’re at home, everyone is wrapped up in their own lives. Mum is cooking dinner while dad finishes up work on the computer (or vice versa) and the kids are busy making plans with their friends. On holiday, if you’re doing it right, it’s like the rest of the world doesn’t exist. You may respond to the occasional text or check work emails once a day, but you’re all completely focused on your holiday. This usually also means that you’re focused on each other.
You get through tense moments
Murphy’s Law can touch us anywhere – even on holiday. There will be moments when you forget a passport, lose tickets or break down on the road. Even if you’re at each other’s throats in the moment, you’ll share the bond of overcoming that obstacle. You’ll each have your own story to tell, and you’ll all be a part of each other’s best story.
Shared experiences bring you closer
Do your kids’ friends know what it feels like to take a hot air balloon over Napa Valley in September? Probably not. But you do because you were right there with your kids in one of the most exciting moments of their lives. All the experiences we have in life make us into the people we are. And you’ll usually relate better to people who have had the same or similar experiences. This is why cousins make such great friends. They’ve experienced your eclectic family right alongside you.
How to get the best family experience from travel
While it’s true that any old travel experience is likely to be memorable, some are better for bonding than others. Here are some tips for getting the most out of your family’s travel plans:
Get out of your comfort zone
Do you remember that time you sat on the couch and binge-watched SNL? Meh, you’ll remember a few skits if you’re lucky. But those memories will quickly fade.
The memories that stick with you are the ones where your heart was racing, and your palms were sweaty. You remember what it felt like in the moments before that amusement park ride shot you up into the sky. And you’re likely to remember your firsts, like a first-time camping or visiting a new country. These are all great ideas for getting out of your comfort zone and making memories that will last. But the moments that get your kids’ hearts racing may be different. Find something that works for your family.
Time is the biggest obstacle that gets in the way of bonding. So, try to do what you can to ensure you have plenty of time for fun. This means planning and getting organized. Whether you’re travelling by plane or car, keep the family’s gear organised at all times. Get car organisers and a system for packing that works. You’ll want to keep the most needed items easily accessible.
Try to relax
Everyone is more likely to open up and bond when the family is relaxed. This starts with you. If you feel your blood pressure starting to boil, try to walk away. Don’t let fear, anger or anxiety take these moments away from you. These are memories your kids will cherish for a lifetime. Do your part to ensure they’re good ones.
Whether you’re already a tight-knit family or you need some bonding help, family trips are a great place to start! Do you have any tips for creating memorable bonding moments on family trips?
Photo Credit: Rene Bernal STIL Dmitry Sovyak