Vacation time: two words that get kids very excited, especially after the last day of the school year. And that’s because kids can finally kick back, relax, sleep in and enjoy all there is to do during the summer months: and that includes a few days of doing absolutely nothing.
Well now, research shows that a family vacation is not only beneficial for you and your partner, but your kids, too. But specifically, the time right after your planned trip.
Sure, vacations to places like the Cayman Islands, the Great Smokey Mountains or even a quick weekend trip to Washington, D.C. to see the sights help make us happier while building memories. It also helps families bond together. But get this: these are the special memories that your child will carry with them well into their adult years.
According to one British survey (via Motherly), respondents said that their most favorite childhood memory is a family vacation. More than half of those surveyed said that “that these holidays have given them happy memories that will stay with them for the rest of their lives.”
Experts agree. According to one British survey, John McDonald, Chief Executive of the Family Holiday Association, calls a family vacation a “happy anchor.” While you are on a trip, you don’t have to worry about everything that is going on at home, including work-related issues, bills, and your neighbor’s aggressive pitbull. Instead, you put your entire focus on your partner and your children, instead of the constant emails and notification alerts from your phone.
He says, “By using these memories as an anchor to take us back to more cheerful moments, we’re often able to approach problems with a fresh sense of perspective.”
A vacation can also help build cognitive skills and activate systems in a child’s brain that they otherwise wouldn’t use at home. For example, building a sandcastle with mom and dad at the beach, hiking, exploring new museums, and checking out historical sites are all ways that children can have enriching experiences with sensory interaction.
When it comes to taking time off and spending anywhere from a few days to a week away from home, everyone wins. Tell us, how do you feel about family vacations? Do you have one planned for this summer?