Going on a family vacation sounds great. It’s an opportunity to kick back and enjoy your kids and your spouse without the realities of everyday life intruding. You need a break, and a vacation sounds like the perfect way to get it. Unfortunately, you’re consistently putting off those vacation plans in favor of other activities. Taking a family vacation, however, can have a more positive impact on your entire family than you think.
Vacations Improve Love in Your Marriage
When was the last time you got away from everything and just took the time to connect with your spouse? No matter how grand your intentions, chances are, you don’t get a lot of opportunities to de-stress and grow closer to one another. A vacation with your spouse—especially the occasional vacation without the kids—will help you grow closer. Four out of ten travelers feel more romantic while they’re on vacation, separated from the endless grind of daily life. Not only that, vacation increases your enjoyment in life, helps you feel more connected, and keeps you from being irritable, tired, and impatient in your everyday life.
Vacation Time Connects You with Your Children
Your vacation is the perfect opportunity to recharge and reconnect with your children—and over 50% of Americans agree that it works, according to a recent study by the Crowne Plaza Stamford. With no work to pull your attention away and nothing that you “have” to do tomorrow, you can make opportunities on your vacation that you just don’t have time for the rest of the year. You can snuggle with your child each morning instead of rushing them through a routine to get them off to school or a sitter. There’s a chance for quiet decompression time every night. If you watch your child’s food intake to ensure that they’re remaining healthy in the midst of all those vacation treats, you can learn more about them, see a more peaceful child, and watch your relationship thrive.
Create Lasting Memories
One of the best things about vacation time is the opportunity to create memories that will last for a lifetime. Your kids are only little for so long! Take those kid-friendly trips before they outgrow them. They’ll remember those trips forever, especially when you take the time to regularly look back on pictures and reminisce together. Make sure to make time for each family member’s needs while you’re on vacation. Schedule activities that are appropriate for each child’s age, hobbies, and preferred activities. Also, maintain your child’s routine as much as possible and keep age-appropriate expectations to ensure that your memories are happy ones. For example, a child who still needs a nap in the middle of the day will be much better-tempered and able to enjoy much more of the vacation if you make sure you’re back in a place where they’ll be able to sleep each day. Plan for the unexpected, and keep kids informed about what’s coming next instead of springing things on them.
Create Opportunities for the Entire Family
When you take vacations with your kids, you won’t just give them memories that they’ll never forget. You’ll also help them learn how to handle the unexpected when it crops up: some of the most amazing memories of your trip will be from those moments when things don’t go as planned. Once enough time has gone by, you’ll be able to laugh at those mishaps: the time when the airline lost all of your luggage; the time your GPS took you over an hour off-track before you got pointed back toward your destination; the time when one child completely forgot to pack shirts for vacation. Getting outside your comfort zone builds character in both you and your kids, while navigating a new or foreign city gives you and your kids the opportunity to look at the world from a new perspective, learn about new people, and increase knowledge through educational experiences while on vacation.
In today’s hectic culture, it’s not often that families can find the chance to just kick back and relax together. There’s a bond that forms through shared experiences that’s impossible to deny, especially with its intrinsic reminder that some people will simply always be there for you. “The family that plays together, stays together”; so teach your children well. They won’t be kids forever. Take the time to vacation with them while you have the chance and watch your family bonds improve, increase your confidence in your parenting, and help your children to thrive.