Thanks to Julie for this awesome guest post about the advantages that even short trips can bring to a family!
We travel a lot to visit family. So my kids have experience with driving trips, and with staying away from home. But it’s more of home away from home than a vacation. My kids haven’t yet been on a “real” vacation.
We took a really great short trip this summer, though, that reminded me why those short trips are totally worth it for our whole family. We drove to stay with family for a holiday weekend, which is pretty usual. But we decided to spend an entire day at the amusement park Cedar Point, which is unusual. We do a lot of family outings, but not bigger full day trips very often.
Why short trips are worth it
The first reason our trip was so worth it was that, just like with bigger trips and vacations, it was an opportunity for my children to experience new and different things and people. My 7-year old rode his first rides by himself, which was a huge challenge. He also rode his first roller coaster. (I got to ride my first roller coaster ride in years!) He and I got to connect while we waited in line, and to talk through his worries and his determination.
Another reason the trip was worthwhile was my kids got to experience different and hard things in an enjoyable environment. I grew up with a Cedar Point pass every summer, and have wonderful memories of the park. My husband didn’t do very many similar outings as a child. While some of it may just be personality and temperament, he has a much harder time with travel and new places. I want my kids to know they can do hard things, and that often they will be well worth it and even fun.
Cedar Point is so loud it’s almost an assault on the senses. Walking out in the parking lot to leave, it was startling just how much quieter it got as we walked away from the park. My 7-year old in particular, really doesn’t enjoy loud places usually. But in this case, he was fine. He enjoyed the rides and what we were doing enough that the noise was bearable. Having the experience of travel, even shorter, smaller trips, as a kid, will help him be comfortable choosing to do his own travelling in the future. Because he has his previous experiences to look back on.
The biggest and best reason this trip was worth it, even though it made for a rather expensive day, was that it truly felt like a vacation. It was a day to enjoy life and each other away from every day worries and responsibilities. We were all able to live in the moment and enjoy where we were, together.
Julie writes about respectful parenting, learning with kids, and waiting for readiness at the blog Waiting for Fireflies
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