This article was co-written with Sushma Sharma of Konversai.
This post originally appeared on Konversai’s blog, The Social Movement.
Traveling is an incredible opportunity to see the world through different lenses. To meet new people, experience new cultures, and try new cuisines. For many of us, travel is also a chance to take a break from either the stress and chaos or the routine and mundaneness of our everyday lives.
If you have kids, you might be wondering whether or not it’s a good idea to bring them along on your next big trip. After all, if the idea of travel is to relax and getaway, wouldn’t taking the kids along defeat the purpose, given the challenges of traveling with kids? Or how many times have you heard other parents say, “I’ll bring the kids when they’re older, when they can really appreciate the experience”?
It is true that traveling with kids comes with its unique set of challenges, and that if you take the kids when they’re really young they might not remember the trip, but taking your kids traveling also comes with its unique set of invaluable rewards that simply cannot be obtained through any other experience. Summer’s coming up, so it’s the perfect time to plan a family vacation.
You might be thinking about enrolling your kids in summer enrichment programs so that they don’t forget everything they learned in school, and you might be concerned that traveling will interfere with the kids’ summer program schedule. Luckily there’s a solution to that, and that’s Konversai.
Konversai is the world’s largest database of personal knowledge that allows for one-on-one live video conversations between anyone anywhere about anything. Whether you’re at home or on the road, you can have live video sessions on any subject you can think of. All you need is a working device and Internet connections. Knowledge providers on Konversai span the range of categories, from Spanish to guitar to math to hip hop. Whatever it is your child wants to learn, there is a provider on Konversai who can teach them at a mutually convenient time.
Below are 4 reasons you should definitely take your kids traveling with you this summer.
1. Stronger Family Connections. Taking trips as a family provides a unique bonding experience that you might not be able to get at home. Maybe you and your partner are at work all day while your kids are at school or daycare, and the only opportunity you have for quality family time, if at all, is in the evening over dinner. When taking a family vacation, the entire family does almost everything together all day every day for the duration of the trip. Family trips are also a chance to create beautiful memories that will last a lifetime. Families with happy memories early in life tend to exhibit healthier dynamics throughout their lives.
2. Teaching Acceptance of Differences. You may already be familiar with the research that says if you want your kids to be bilingual, it is best to expose them to both languages when they’re young. Children’s minds are like sponges, absorbing everything that they observe, even if they’re not conscious of it. Enriching early childhood experiences are critical because they have a lifelong impact on kids. By exposing kids to different cultures at a young age, they will subconsciously become more accepting of people who are different from themselves as they get older. This acceptance of differences could play a significant role in reducing bullying or other types of peer conflict.
3. Instilling Resilience and Self-Efficacy. Whether positive or negative, being away from home is certainly a disruption to your everyday routine. You are forced to adapt to a new environment and to come up with creative solutions to problems that you may not have encountered before. When you take kids traveling with you, it teaches them to be flexible and to adapt to change. It also helps them build the confidence they need to effectively cope with new or unforeseen situations.
4. Improved Academic Outcomes. Research conducted at the University of Georgia found that college students who partake in study abroad programs demonstrate improved academic performance and higher graduation rates when returning home compared to students who did not. Given that early childhood is such a critical period for cognitive development, imagine how much more the impact of travel on academic outcomes would be among younger children. Travel enhances children’s sense of curiosity and wonder about the world, which makes them more likely to do better in school.
If you’re considering visiting a new country with your kids, you can use Konversai to have a live video conversation with a native or anyone else who knows that country well, giving you a perspective that can’t be found in a travel guidebook. Likewise, if there are any locations that you know well, you can share your knowledge and experience with others through Konversai, which allows and encourages you to be both a provider and a seeker of knowledge. So get on Konversai, then get on a plane, and give your kids unforgettable experiences that will benefit them throughout their entire lives.