Amazing family vacations are easy things to come by, they are always worth it. And in fact, according to experts, parents are better off spending their money on vacations than they are spending it on toys, which kids are often bored with a week or two later.
Good family holidays are valued by children, both in the moment and for long afterwards in their memory.
“It’s all about talking nonsense with your parents, sharing an ice cream and moments of time in which your interests are genuinely taken into account. So if you’re going to spend money on something, it’s pretty clear which option makes more sense”
– Psychologist Oliver James
Travelling with your kids can also be beneficial to their brain development. An enriched environment can offer new experiences that are strong in combined social, physical, cognitive, and sensory interaction.
Think about it, family together in the pool, walking together through the forest, touching long tall grasses waving in the wind, toasting marshmallows on the campfire, hanging out together under the warm sun, feeling sand between the toes.
All these experiences can then turn on the genetic expression of key brain fertilizers in the frontal lobes enhancing executive functions like stress regulation, attention, concentration, good planning, and the ability to learn, and also improving physical and mental health.
“The brain fertilizers triggered in enriched environments are also associated with higher IQ in children. So, spend time exploring together in a new space, and you’re making your child smarter.”
– Child Psychotherapist Dr. Margot Sunderland
Family vacations can also act as “happiness anchors.” According to 2015 research conducted by the Family Holiday Association out of Britain, the happiest memory of 49 percent of those surveyed was on vacation with family.
A third of the respondents said they can still vividly remember their childhood family vacations, and a quarter of them copped to using such memories to get them through tough times.
“Reflecting on our happiest memories of joyful time spent together as a family can be extremely powerful in bringing relief and respite when faced with the darker times that life can bring”
– John McDonald, director of the Family Holiday Association
By using these memories as an anchor to take us back to more cheerful moments, it is possible to then approach problems with a fresh sense of perspective.