Traveling with your children can provide a number of benefits including exposure to different cultures and traditions, building healthier relationships with each other, and increasing tolerance and patience for other people and situations. It is important to research and plan ahead when traveling with children and flexibility is key, along with snacks. Preparing children for their adventure ahead of time through discussions, videos, pictures, books, etc. can help avoid any negative behaviors that could present themselves during travel.

Providing children with opportunities to experience diverse cultures through food and language while traveling allows them to gain a wider view of their world; they become global citizens. It may spark interests in things that aren’t readily available in their own culture, or give them the confidence to try something new, such as a new food. It can also make them more likely to eat or try things they may refuse at home. Studies show exposure to languages as infants can help with phonological retention later; exposing children to other languages can help with learning their own language.

Although taking the kiddos on vacation can be challenging, it can help with fostering a more complex, strong relationship with each other. Creating strong trusting relationships with your children is vitally important as they progress through childhood and into adulthood, this sets the stage for success in future relationships with others. Experiencing new things together provides shared memories and creates bonds that will continue to grow.

Children are naturally more adaptive and tolerant than adults and giving children access to travel through childhood builds this more. When children realize they can relate to many types of people, they become more tolerant and understanding, this will continue through into adulthood. This will also increase confidence and independence, which plays a huge part in their self-efficacy and success throughout their lives.

Parenting is the process of creating complex, multi-faceted, caring humans; providing them with travel is not only beneficial to them, but also to the world they are a part of. Children that are given a variety of experiences, including travel, will know how to be problem-solvers, great communicators, and adaptive, tolerant individuals that care for humanity and can function in different situations that present themselves.

This blog was originally published on Frank Michelin’s website.