Even for young children, travel offers many benefits. They remember more than you realize (researchers at Harvard University have shown that children as young as 17 months retain long-term memories), and exposure to different cultures, languages, and even food can influence young minds for a lifetime.
In an age when screen time is increasingly taking the place of outdoor play, travel is the opposite of digital distraction. It’s teaching your children the art of paying attention, finding the novelty in everything, and treating life as a grand adventure. You might be going to look at old churches or ancient rice paddies, but what you’re really showing your children is that being present in the moment has value. Being present is nearly a lost art in our modern lives and carving out that time when they are young will be one of the most important gifts you can give them—even if you travel no farther than your own backyard.
With practice, patience, and perspective, it’s possible to raise happy travelers.
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