I always find that come mid February I feel trapped and cranky. This always indicates that it is time for a vacation! This year it seemed as though it was not in our future seeing as I am pregnant and can go nowhere warm with the Zika virus lurking about. I became more and more cranky until I realized even a weekend road trip would do wonders for each of our morales. We decided on Lancaster County in PA, a place filled with history and custom. Because it was off season we were able to take advantage of lower prices. We spent our time learning about the way Amish live, how printing presses worked, checking out various animals and of course lounging by the indoor pool with our mockstails. It wasn’t Jamaica but it sure gave my family the change of pace we needed.
I personally feel that vacations are a huge part of enhancing our children’s experiential knowledge. Traveling with children is very different than travel without. It is imperative to go into any trip with the knowledge that you are probably going to come back LESS relaxed than before you left. This should not be a deterrent. By bringing your family on a trip your children can gain an entirely different perspective on the world around them. My daughter was surprised and intrigued to learn that the Amish do not use washing machines or dryers, they hang their clothing up outside. She had never imagined a world without a washer and dryer. Making this small observation enables her to understand that many people live differently than we do. In turn she will be more tolerant and open to other life perspectives.
Travel also enforces flexibility. Often nap times and bed times are stretched, feeding schedules get changed, snacks look different and bath routines are skewed. I find the more I travel with my kids, the more flexible they become. This has transferred into their every day life which is essential in making easier transitions and breaks in daily routines.
The change of pace a vacation offers enables families to spend more quality time together than they may have at home. I know when I am home there is always a load of laundry to do, dishes to wash, food to cook; the list is endless. Whenever I am home some form of cleaning is on my mind. This definitely takes away from spending quality time with my children. When I am away the only thing on my mind is trying to enjoy time with my family; I concentrate on having fun with my children. While away I spend one on one time with my children the whole time in a way I never could when I am at home.
I know that finances can become a deterrent in traveling, especially with a big family. However there are many ways to bypass many expenses that add up when traveling, especially with a family!
Ways To Save
– Go to a destination during off season
– Look for coupons online prior to your visit
– Bring a VERY BIG snack bag
– Chose a hotel with breakfast included
– Focus on eating one meal out a day
– Chose meals at restaurants which can be shared
– Always take leftovers
– Chose activities that are free or cheap
No matter where you go, near or far, traveling with children can be an extremely rewarding experience. The amount of experiential knowledge children gain, one on one time we share, and flexibility learned makes traveling an important tool in teaching our children. So enjoy your adventure together and make some family memories!
Written By Nicole Rowley