Most of us can conjure up some images of family vacations gone awry, but we can also look back at family vacations with great fondness and warmth because of shared moments with loved ones. I am not insinuating that family vacations are all fun and no stress–vacations can be quite stressful if you do not keep things in perspective.
Yet, there are some great benefits to family vacations. For instance:
- Creating memories together. Most of us worry about having everything go smoothly when we are planning a trip, a wedding, a meal. However, the best and most unforgettable memories can often occur when things do not go as expected. With enough time gone by, we can laugh at the time when the airline lost our luggage, when the hotel did not have our reservation, or when we got a flat tire on the way to our destination. Overcoming challenges and obstacles helps to improve resilience!
- Expanding the kids’ perspective. Getting outside of our comfort zone and beyond familiar surroundings makes us more resilient and helps us build character, not to mention that traveling can make us realize that there is a huge world beyond our city limits. Navigating a new city, experiencing a foreign country, tasting different foods will expand our horizons, give us something to talk about, and can help us become more accepting of different perspectives.
- Learning how to share. In today’s hectic world, it is not often that families can have time to just be with each other. Despite the sibling rivalry and back and forth bickering, there is also a bond that forms through shared experiences that makes us aware that our loved ones are there for us through thick and thin. Learning how to share (time, games, space) and appreciating one another are great benefits of being “forced” to be with one another.
Keeping things in perspective can make the family vacation more pleasurable for all and contribute to truly enjoyable time together.
Special thanks to Karla Umana, Agnes Scott College Public Health student, for her contributions to this post.
Photo by khurt via Flickr