The Importance of Family Vacations

Katie Keuhner

Area Director

By Katie Keuhner

I just returned from a camping trip with my husband and two boys. The days were full of adventures–swimming, hiking, rock climbing, exploration, laughter and just simply hanging out and enjoying each other. It wasn’t an extravagant or expensive vacation. It was low key, spur of the moment, cheap and absolutely perfect!

Honestly, it’s not always the easiest thing to pack up the whole family and take off for a long weekend. There is a lot of coordinating that goes on and being the mom, I’m usually the one in charge of all the details. It can be a totally inconvenient hassle! On long road trips we often have to stop for potty breaks every hour and are forced to listen to the gripes and complaints of fighting siblings. It’s not always my idea of a rocking good time but every trip we take I’m always so grateful and happy that we did it. More than that, the kids are happy that we did too. Once we’ve arrived and settled in we all relax  and I get to see the excitement on my kid’s faces as they discover and explore a new environment.  I know we are creating life-long memories for them and hopefully inspiring them to do the same thing with their own families someday.

There are so many reasons why family vacations are important but in a nutshell, taking trips as a family is important to your children’s (and your) happiness. You don’t just have to take my word for it either. Experts agree that taking a family vacation is more valuable than buying toys.  It makes a lot of sense when you think about it. Giving your child an experience they will remember for a lifetime as opposed to a toy they will be bored with in a week can strengthen the bonds they have with you, their siblings, their cousins, etc. On top of that, doing something new and going to a place they’ve never been before expands their view of the world. There is even research that says traveling with your kids can enhance their brain development–helping them develop better strategies to cope with stress, strengthening their ability to concentrate and improving mental and physical health too.

The biggest obstacles to travel are usually time, money and convenience. A family vacation takes some coordinating and if you have young children then you’ve got a lot packing to do (not super fun)! Time off of work isn’t always an easy thing to come by either. And, of course, the money part. But I believe with all my heart that even if all three obstacles are in your way you can make it work!  You’ve got the whole summer ahead of you–including the 4th of July and then Labor Day at the beginning of September. Think of all the places you could go! Think of all the things you could do! Think of all the memories you will make!

To help inspire you, here is a list of 50 places in the southeast that you could visit. I hope you and your family have an Amazing summer!

Happy travels!