Giving the gift of family travel especially to children encourages growth and relationship. Toys are awesome for the afternoon but what about an experience that lasts a life time. December in the USA is gift giving season–everything from 5 dollar trinkets to expensive cameras and cars. Instead of giving that precious child another toy that will break, why not choose an experience including time with you that will remain for the rest of their life.
Why Give The Gift of Family Travel?
Time with you and your child is priceless. The gift of travel offers that ever elusive windshield time. Staring out into the wild blue brings up conversations and life issues that might never have been discussed at home. Be sneaky, try to pick long stretches of highway where there is no WiFi.
Traveling always brings up issues that can’t be planned for in advance–like blowing up a truck in Texas —-500 miles from your home and 500 miles from your parents home. I got to model a lot of positive problem solving in front of my boys while we decided how we were going to haul the camper out of Palo Duro Canyon, Texas without a truck.
Even well planned trips run into traffic, delayed flights, rain storms, or just plain uncontrollable events. In this instant gratification society, it is important to teach children the gift of patience. After a long road trip, a 2 hour drive to grandma’s house is a snap.
Traveling teaches patience with other people. Maybe the desk clerk, the flight attendant or the restaurant host is not having a good night. Teach you children to offer grace instead of criticism.
Traveling 3,500 miles this summer in a 1971 Golden Falcon Camper gave the boys and me a true test of our ability to work as a team. Even during simple airline flights or road trips, their are teachable moments about team work.
Sense of Wonder
The vast open plains of Oklahoma and Texas are far different from the beaches of Dauphin Island Alabama. Even in our home state of Colorado the Great Sand Dunes piled up against the Sangre de Cristo Mountains offered a new “sledding” challenge to my snow board proficient sons.
Sense of Home
The San Isabel National Forest near southern Colorado looks, feels and smells just like our home near Rocky Mountain National Forest, northern Colorado. The boys knew this instinctively as they stepped from the truck into the San Isabel camp site after 6 weeks away from Colorado.
Throwing up their arms in the air they simultaneously shouted “we are home.”
Grits! We don’t eat grits at every meal in Colorado. Nor do we worry about mold or rain rot the way they do in the South. Sometimes the traditions and the accents are so thick we don’t understand them but that doesn’t mean you can’t try. People are people and travel offers hands on experiences and often immersion in other cultures even in the USA. You’ll want grits with those eggs and bacon this morning?
Planning family travel is a great holiday discussion. Eat the big feast and make a list of where the family would like to go and how they would like to get there. What would be the time frame, the budget, who would be involved. Just the discussion lets you connect with your children.
Maybe even a family trip including the grandparents?
- More on Dauphin Island, Alabama
- 5 Tips for Traveling with Extended Family
- Restore a Vintage Camper as a Family Project
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