Kelly Warfield - Childhood is a time in which kids do a great deal of growing. During this time, exposure to travel can be one of the most important parts of children’s early exposure to the world. Travel can introduce them to new cultures, provide them with lifelong memories, open their minds, teach them responsibility and independence, and strengthen family bonds, to name a few of the many benefits.
It Opens Their Minds
Travel offers children the opportunity to gain exposure to a variety of different ways of life, helping them see beyond their own day-to-day experiences. They can learn about different cultures, languages, and social norms that would otherwise be out of reach. Travel helps young minds view the world more broadly, immersing them in unfamiliar and exciting new environments that can provide unmatched hands-on education and can spark new language, art, and cultural interests.
It Teaches Responsibility and Self-Confidence
Traveling forces children to pay attention to themselves and their surroundings. It teaches them new routines, new roles, and provides new opportunities to make decisions, take responsibility, and learn new skills. They learn how to pack for themselves and remain responsible for their belongings, navigate new territory, and listen closely to instructions.
The world can be a scary and unfamiliar place. But a trip away from home can help children make great strides in their self-confidence. Without regular routines that take the guesswork out of everyday occurrences, children must learn to make decisions in unfamiliar territory, even if that is choosing what to select from a menu.
It Strengthens the Family Bond
Traveling requires a great deal of closeness between family members. It brings the family unit closer together and strengthens the bonds between siblings, as well as children and parents. Traveling is a shared experience that provides unique and exciting experiences and quality time together. This time spent in close proximity can help children and adults learn more about each other, including how each individual handles new situations, and what piques a child’s interest. It also helps the whole family learn how to function as a team. In addition, it provides the foundation for long lasting positive memories that can build lifelong family bonds.
It Provides New Learning Experiences
Travel provides learning experiences that can’t be encountered in any other way. It helps children attach references to things they’ve learned in school about geography, culture, and industry, and provides context that can help them better identify with their learning materials, strengthening their academic performance. It can help fuel children’s interest in their school subjects and material, allowing them to apply what they’ve learned on their travels once they’ve returned home.
Travel is a great way to spark curiosity and interest in new subjects, and can teach children social and personal skills that can help them in their everyday lives. And the experiences gained through travel are immersive, allowing children the opportunity to truly understand, and engage in the learning process. Travel allows for hands-on experiences and real-world experiences that can help complement in-class education. Children can build on what they have learned in the classroom and find new ways to apply it out in the world. Historical sites, museums, and the myriad other sights and sounds of the world can cultivate interests in art, history, music, food, dance, or one of many other tangible experiences that support a well-rounded early education.
It Reinforces Empathy and Acceptance
Travel takes children out of their element and requires that they view the world around them through new lenses. They will meet new people, see new ways of living, adapt to new situations, and learn about other cultures. Travel helps them see themselves as part of the whole of the human experience. Children will be able to compare and contrast their culture to others, and will learn to be open-minded and curious about other foods, dress, and social norms. This can be an eye-opening experience that stays with them throughout their lives and helps them identify with individuals of other walks of life.
Travel is an amazing way to expand children’s minds; expose them to new and interesting cultures; and teach them responsibility, respect, and interest in foreign experiences. Traveling is an experience that cannot be replaced. It can help young minds develop important pathways to new interests and the healthy self-confidence necessary to explore those interests. Traveling is an undeniable enrichment to the early learning experiences and lives of children.
Kelly Warfield is the editorial director of teacher products for Carson-Dellosa™ Publishing Group. Driven by her passion for children and their education, Kelly has been helping children all of her life as a camp counselor, tutor, summer school teacher, classroom volunteer, PTA member, and teacher. Kelly received her bachelor of science in deaf education from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro with Birth—12 Deaf and Hard of Hearing Teacher Licensure. Her teaching experience includes second grade, as well as being an elementary school resource room and a self-contained elementary deaf-education class teacher. During her first year as a teacher, Kelly was awarded her school’s Rookie Teacher of the Year Award.