Giving Your Children The Gift Of Travel – Priceless

Over the holidays, my husband and I were discussing an upcoming trip we will be taking in 2011 with our kids and how fortunate we are to be able to give them this gift of travel. I believe that traveling truly is one of the best gifts you can give your children. Not only does it bring geography to life, it awakens and nurtures a sense of independence that will be beneficial as they get older.

This conversation took place two weeks before I read an article in the LA Times where Leon Logothetis ironically wrote about how the gift of travel is priceless.

“When we travel, we change under the influence of impressions, memories and experiences that force us to reexamine and reevaluate our present, our past, who we are and what we aspire to be. Travel puts life into perspective, often reminding us of what’s important.”

Perfectly put.

Throughout the article, Leon goes to explain how traveling through the years has taught him to appreciate others and awakens even the coldest heart, especially when visiting poverty-stricken areas of the world. “It is life’s most valuable teacher, and I’ve become its rapt student.”

Now, keep in mind that my children are still quite young, so although travel hasn’t made as much of an intellectual impact on their little minds, it has definitely changed the way they look at photos, movies and maps. My eldest talks about trips we took over a year ago in perfect detail (she was 3 at the time), and while looking at our vacation photos, she will passionately describe the food we ate, the activities we did and the sites we saw.

Travel doesn’t have to cost thousands of dollars, and you don’t have to go on an airplane to an exotic location every time you want to go on a trip. There are plenty of ways to provide an affordable travel experience for your family without breaking the bank. Road trips are a wonderful way to bond as a family and gives you the opportunity to see more than just one location. Camping is another low cost option that builds memories and teaches self sufficiency.

It doesn’t matter what destination you embark on or what route you take, traveling in general provides your children with incredible experiences and family memories that will be cherished forever.

Photo Credit: Peter Ferguson/For The Times