Family Holidays are Good for Kids: Here’s Why!
Family holidays are officially good for kids, so let’s look at how a family holiday can help shake off the past two years of pandemic disruption, refresh and help them to re-energise during term-time breaks.
When we think back to childhood, some great memories are often from the great things we we did on family vacations. Children naturally see and experience things with more awe and wonder than adults, so will always remember moments like being on a boat ride and seeing playful dolphins popping out of the sea alongside the boat; snorkelling under the water and for the first time ever, discovering a whole new world of colourful corals and marine life; jumping off water slides or coming out of the front door of your holiday villa directly onto a sandy beach and crystal clear, warm sea right in front of your door. The places you went for meals, discovering new foods and buying local souvenirs that they keep with them through their childhood.
Some of children’s best ever memories come from their best ever family vacations, where the sense of true carefree happiness and togetherness will live forever in their memories. But more than this, studies have shown that a family holiday can be beneficial for the overall development of your child. Here are some ways that a holiday can benefit your children:
WHAT DOES THE SCIENCE SAY ABOUT FAMILY HOLIDAYS?
Research has proven that a holiday makes a child happier and smarter.
Family holidays help brain development
Vacations are the best way to nurture a child’s natural desire to learn new things and children are always up for new adventures. It has been proven that practical experience is a better way of learning new things. In an article that appeared in the UK Telegraph, Dr Margot Sunderland, child psychotherapist said that a family vacation provides the child with a rich learning environment with new experiences in social, physical and sensory interaction.
The enriched environment triggers the brain ‘fertilisers’ that are associated with higher IQ in kids and exploring a new place in a relaxing way, which helps in making your child smarter. Family vacations help in a child’s brain development, which in turn improves concentration and is beneficial to physical and mental health. Studies have shown that children who travel get higher grades in school than those who don’t.
Family holidays replace stress with happiness
There is no doubt that pandemic life over the last two years has had a profound effect on children’s development and emotional wellbeing. The effects of this are still being quantified, but Professor Jaak Panksepp, a leading US-based neuroscientist says that holiday experiences activate systems in a child’s brain that trigger well-being neurochemicals including opioids, oxytocin and dopamine. Walking in green and lush spaces and taking in fresh sea air can reduce blood pressure, cholesterol and stress.
In effect, great family holidays can help to eliminate stress and replace it with a genuinely happy feeling instead. Studies have also proven that spending regular time in nature can actually improve the concentration and attention of a child immensely.
A study conducted by the Family Holiday Association in the UK found that 49% of those surveyed said that their happiest memory was of their family vacation. The study showed that one-third of the people still clearly remembered their vacations. A quarter of those people said that they remembered these happy memories to get through the difficult times. Happy family vacation memories now, in this post-pandemic period can act as a trigger to bring children back to cheerful memories to replace the boredom and restrictions of the lockdown period. In short, we’re providing children with a fresh sense of perspective, calmness and happiness to take into the new school term.
Family holidays create strong family bonds
Parents and children are so busy these days that often they go without having a decent conversation together for days, or even weeks. It is only when a family goes on a holiday that they get uninterrupted time to interact – walking along the beach together, exploring new places, discovering new food experiences together, going for a swim in the sea, talking about a fun days over dinner – these are things families enjoy doing when they are together on vacations. This kind of relaxed time that parents share with children, creates bonds that will last well into the school term and forever more.
Family holidays bring out their spirit of adventure
A good quality family resort a plane-ride from home is a brand new place to explore, purpose-built for a family vacation that becomes a fun adventure for children. You can read about the perfect resort in the pages overleaf, but the perfect resort is a place that is safe for children to freely wander around, has lots of little places to explore and still enables parents to relax and be carefree too!
Family holidays provide valuable experiences
We all cherish our relationships and these are essential for our well-being and the well-being of our children. That is why we often give gifts to our children to strengthen our bond with them. But is it only toys and other material gifts that make a lasting impression? Obviously not. A study published in the Journal of Consumer Research states that experiential gifts produce greater improvements in relationship strength than material gifts. Instead of gifting toys to the little ones, planning a special getaway would keep children engaged for a longer time.
Family holidays help children open up & appreciate their family more
Family holidays are laid-back occasions and provide the best opportunity to really see the change in your child’s mood. According to a survey conducted by online travel firm Expedia, 97% of teens felt that family vacations bring them close to their siblings; while 69% said their favourite memories happened on family vacations.
This could be because parents are more relaxed and let go of some of the rules and chores while on holiday (63%). Since children are more likely to open up and talk about what makes them happy, stressed or fearful, as parents can use the opportunity of a family vacation to have light-hearted conversations with them and informally discuss such things.
Rather than only restricting yourselves to visiting family abroad, taking truly carefree, fun-filled family holidays are important moments in childhood, child happiness and emotional development. As well as refreshing mind, body and spirit; replacing ‘pandemic memories’ with truly carefree and thrilling adventures and the sense of freedom on vacation; an idyllic family vacation also refreshes and rejuvenates your inter-family relationships.