Parents often confuse the price tag of a family vacation vs. the cost of NOT taking a vacation. A vacation doesn't need to be pricey in order to make a HUGE impact on our kids.
Let's be honest, vacations cost real money. The more people in your family, the more expensive a proposition. Parents need to spend their hard earned dollars wisely.
A family vacation is often seen as a luxury splurge instead of an investment in your children's character and future.
A recent study conducted by the U.S. Travel Association resports students who traveled were more likely to be successful, both academically and financially. Adults who had taken an educational trip when they were between the ages of 12- 18 years old were more likely to complete a college degree and earn an average of 12% more compared to others who did not travel.
Time is even more priceless than money. If you are the parent of young kids trying to desperately balance family responsibilities, career and running a household, chances are the few daily precious minutes you have to yourself is probably in the bathroom. Daily chaos prevents us from seeing the "big picture".
If your family takes one vacation per year, this means over the course of a lifetime, you only have 15 chances to create precious vacation memories with your kids. These are not opportunities to procrastinate.
Daily chaos interrupts families from bonding with one another. Everyone is focused on their own deadlines, schedules and agendas. Even if everyone is physically gathered together in the same room there are often electronic distractions connecting us to the internet while disconnecting us from the ones we love the most. Vacations are a departure from daily stress and noise. It puts everyone in a different kind of mind space and focus. Families that embrace new adventures will share discoveries and experiences what will them together for a lifetime.
Vacations give us all a short escape from our daily stress. Adults and kids all suffer from the weight of stress. Your boss may be causing you stress over the budget of your latest project. Your child is freaking out about their report that will be 70% of their grade. The triggers are different but the resulting physical, mental and emotional responses are the same. Relaxation releases stress making us all far healthier human beings. Taking a break from the daily grind helps everyone to develop better ways to avoid, alter, adapt and accept how to better deal with what is stressing us out back at home.
Ultimately family vacations should be all about fun. Play is one situation where kids are the experts and we adults should allow them to take the lead. Play builds creative thinking. It makes adults better problem solvers and ultimately makes us better parents to our kids. Vacation frees our time to play with our kids ultimately making them feel more loved and empowered.
Bottom line, family vacations do not have to be expensive or extravagant. Parents do need to make them a household priority and make the investment of their time. It may mean a bit of a sacrifice today but it will yield huge dividends, rewards and a priceless legacy for your children.