My ex-neighbors go on a family vacation to Disney 2 and 3 times a year. I just couldn’t understand it when they told me what they do. “Why would they want to spend all this time and money on multiple vacations to Disney in a year when there are so many marvelous places to see in this world?” is what I went away judging. They promised me that every visit was just as great as the last.
Saying Young Children Won’t Remember the Trip
We took Chris’s niece and nephew to Disney 10 years previous. When we decided to take Jock before he turned 2, I was 7 months pregnant with Luke. Our neighbors came over and gave us a crash course on Disney and vacationing while pregnant. People kept telling us, “Jock won’t remember the trip!”
He’s 4, and he still remembers details. We were adults when we took our niece and nephew, and we don’t remember the whole trip. Only the highlights. You will remember what is worth remembering!
Saying kids won’t remember the trip is not a good excuse for not going on a family vacation. I know I can’t base my decision on whether or not to travel on someone’s memory much less my own. I can barely remember what I ate for lunch yesterday. That doesn’t mean I won’t eat today.
Research shows that family travel stimulates brain development in children. Though they will not remember the details, the experience will shape who they become. Embedded memories, especially strengthening relationships on vacations, influence and enhance their brain development.
Research on What Kids Remember About Childhood
A year or so after taking Jock to Disney, I read a study that proved that kids would remember the family vacations that they went on more than they would ever remember the toys bought for them or the in-home experiences. It was not hard for me to believe. Sadly, I had already spent enough on toys to take 5 vacations. I quickly forgave myself, and I have changed my mindset. Source
Just listen to your child, and this becomes even more believable. Children talk about key events. They want to go back to Yogi Bear Park, tube the river, or Monster Jam. Children always say they want to go visit grandma or aunt so and so.
Why? The feeling they got. The experience. What favorite childhood memories do you still talk about as an adult? Is it your toys, running errands, watching TV or the special places you and your family went on vacation?
What Psychologists Say About Family Vacation Ideas
Lastly, many psychologists are saying that children want to go back to the same place year after year, and it is not until they are teens or older that they really care to explore the world. This means while our kids are younger they are not interested in flying off to a different island or country every year. Turns out, my ex-neighbors had hit the nail on the head for vacationing with kids.
Psychologists say that even children in their teens don’t mind returning to their favorite vacation spot repeatedly. “Children are now under so many pressures that the associations of one particular place where they know they can return and be free from those, can be very powerful and positive,” James told The Telegraph. Source Worth Reading
You don’t have to worry about making sure everything is perfect either. Families don’t have to jet set. Road trip it! Plan as best as possible and take off. The bleeps and blunders of the trip are fun to look back on. Sometimes, they are what gets the most laughs when going down memory lane. They can be trivial at the moment, but may end up causing the most bonding!
How to Decide Where to Go On Family Vacation
All family members can sit down and brainstorm a list of places to go for a family vacation, and then your family can vote. Or the parents can form a list, and the kids get to vote. When kids feel like they had a say or a choice, it just adds to the positiveness!
Family Trip Ideas to Take Your Kids Year After Year:
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While you’re on vacation, try different forms of vacation that your kids have never experienced. Eat food that your kids rarely or never get. Stay in a place that is kid-friendly.
If parents want to have a second honeymoon, it is best to leave the kids with a trusted family member and set out on your own. Everyone will be happier.
Vacations are the things that families are made of. They are a part of our family culture and traditions.
If your family does not vacation, this is a call to action. Get your family together and make a goal to take a trip this year.
If your family always goes somewhere different for each family vacation, maybe it’s time to discuss if there’s a place you’d like to go back to every now and then!
Goodbye, Sayanora, Boy Voyage- Have Fun! Make Great Memories!
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