Forget The Gadgets – Spoil Your Kids By Going On Vacation
Past generations of moms and dads considered showering their kids with toys and games a reflection of their parenting, reasoning that providing their children with lots of material things would give them a fantastic childhood. In reality, many toys and games parents give their children are unappreciated and unvalued, and families would be better served by spending that money on family vacations, which provide educational opportunities and family bonding time.
Travel, especially travel abroad, can have huge benefits for children. Foreign travel at an early age helps people develop knowledge and interest in other cultures, which is very important in today’s globalized society. Reading about a foreign country or listening to a classroom lecture on it is one thing; going there and experiencing it is so much more.
It also helps children become more adaptable—using a step down converter to power American electronic devices, adjusting to driving on the other side of the road, or remembering to comply with the customs and rules of another country helps them learn to deal with the curveballs life can throw.
Researchers have found that providing enriching experiences, such as overseas travel, to children has huge benefits for their intellectual development. Enriching experiences help enhance attention, concentration, learning, planning skills, and stress regulation.
Vacations also have family bonding and health benefits. Today’s hectic lifestyles often leave parents with little time or energy left to devote to their children. Vacations help parents reconnect with their children and create quality experiences that they’ll treasure for a lifetime. A Disney poll of 1,000 parents by the Kelton research firm found that 97 percent of respondents said that their children have learned new things about them while on vacation. Survey results also said parents reported having more meals with their kids while traveling, and that family members enjoy one another’s company more while traveling. Compared to the fleeting joy brought by new toys, vacations return a greater value for your investment of time and money.
Studies have also found that vacation time improves health. A good vacation will help parents reduce work-related stress and provide a much-needed rest from their daily grind. This can reduce the risk of a number of illnesses and help with issues such as high blood pressure.
Travel Trends 2016-2017
Number of international tourists in 2016
Growth in tourism since 2015
Percent of travelers using a travel agent
Hot destinations for 2017
Portugal, the Arctic, Taiwan.
Millennials seem to get it. The Millennial generation greatly values experiences and travel over material possessions, with CNBC reporting that 72 percent of Millennials prefer to spend money on experiences rather than merchandise. Millennial parents, especially, seem to value the family bonding time provided by a vacation, with 68 percent of Millennials surveyed in the HomeAway 2017 Trend Report citing family time as the most important part of their vacations.
Baby Boomers also seem to be getting on board, as more of them hit retirement and decide to spend more time traveling with their grandchildren. The 50-plus crowd is making travel a greater priority, booking more cruises and trips to Europe. They’re also more likely to travel with their children and grandchildren.
U.S. Citizen International Travel 2015
Number of travelers
June – 1.7 million travelers
July – 852K travelers
October – 442K travelers
June – 182K travelers
December – 321k travelers
December –74k travelers
December – 216k travelers
July – 39k travelers
Eight Tips for Taking Kids on a Big Vacation
If you’ve decided to take your kids on a foreign vacation, congratulations! It’s a decision that’s going to pay off in lots of learning experiences and great memories. Before setting out for your destination, there are a few things you need to do to make sure that the trip is a success.
- Involve them in the planning – Get input from your children concerning the vacation. Ask them where they’d like to go and what they’d like to see. By giving your children a voice in choosing destinations and activities, you can help get them enthused about the trip.
- Get them excited – Talk about your upcoming vacation with your children. Show them brochures or internet sites about your destinations, your travel route, and other information about the trip—even things like fuel costs and how to book a hotel room. This helps build buy-in among your children for the trip and can also teach them a little bit about geography, how to plan a trip, and other important academic and life skills.
- Get your paperwork in order – If you plan on traveling abroad, you’re going to need passports for you and your children. If you have passports, make sure they’re up to date. If you don’t have passports, you’ll want to apply for them several months in advance of your trip to ensure you can get them in time. You’ll also want to ensure that all of your children’s immunizations are up to date.
- Don’t forget about your interests – Don’t make the whole trip about your child. Throw in a few stops that you’ll enjoy, too. This will help your child learn about the importance of compromise and sharing to the family dynamic. It’s an example that will serve them well in life.
- Try to maintain some home routines – Too much disruption can be upsetting to children. Try to keep a little continuity by maintaining the same eating and sleeping schedule if possible. It may help keep your kids from getting too homesick and grumpy, and it will also make readjusting to a regular schedule easier when you get home.
- Make a safety plan – Make sure you and your children have a plan in case you get separated. Have the “stranger danger” talk with your children and also stress the importance of staying close to the family and avoiding dangerous areas.
- Pack some electronics – Electronics are a part of our everyday lives, and there’s no reason to banish them from your vacation. They’ll help keep you and your children occupied during downtimes on the trip. If you’re traveling abroad, be sure to have appropriate gear for charging equipment overseas, like step down converters that will allow you to safely power up your mobile phones, laptops, and other gear.
In many foreign countries, electrical outlets use a higher voltage than American outlets, and if American devices are plugged into these outlets without a voltage converter, they’ll fry. Step down converters make it safe to use these devices, and adapters allow converters or other devices to fit the physical configuration of some outlets overseas.
- Don’t worry if they don’t like it – Even if your child’s immediate reaction to a vacation abroad is “meh,” and even if there’s a tantrum or two along the way, don’t let it discourage you. In time, your children will look back on a vacation they didn’t particularly enjoy and realize that there was some value to it, in terms of being exposed to new foods, languages, or cultures and because of the time they got to spend with family members.
110220 Volts makes overseas vacations easy for tech-loving travelers with 110 220 converters and other great electronic equipment. Check out non-region DVD players, rechargeable toothbrushes, food processors, and other great electronic gear available from 110220 Volts before embarking on your next great adventure abroad.