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10 Compelling Reasons to Consider Travel as Part of Your Child’s Education

10 Compelling Reasons to Consider Travel as Part of Your Child’s Education

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Are you on the fence about splurging on a family vacation? Keep scrolling to find out the top reasons why booking that trip might have long-term benefits for your family!
This list of reasons to travel with kids was written by family travel expert Marcie Cheung and contains affiliate links which means if you purchase something from one of my affiliate links, I may earn a small commission that goes back into maintaining this blog.

Hey there, fellow parents!

As a mom of two incredibly curious elementary-aged boys, I’ve embarked on what could be one of our greatest adventures yet—integrating travel into their education.

Now, I know what some of you might be thinking, “Travel? With kids? As part of their education? How does that even work?”

Well, let me share with you why I think it’s not just beneficial but essential.

Here are 10 compelling reasons to consider travel as part of your child’s education.

Image of two boys looking at each other on in Venice, Italy
Photo credit: Marta with Flytographer

1. The World Is Bigger Than Our Backyard

The first time we took our boys abroad, their eyes lit up in a way I hadn’t seen before. They realized the world was much bigger than our little neighborhood, and the sheer wonder of that realization was worth every penny.

Travel teaches them that there’s a vast world out there, full of different cultures, languages, and ways of life. It’s a lesson in diversity and humanity that no textbook could ever fully capture.

2. Hands-On Learning

There’s something magical about seeing your child’s face light up as they see the Colosseum in Rome or the Eiffel Tower in Paris for the first time. These aren’t just monuments; they’re history lessons come to life.

My kids thought it was so cool to see the Eiffel Tower from several different vantage points. Photo credit: Marcie Cheung

Each destination offers a unique hands-on learning experience that sticks with them far longer than words on a page.

3. Cultural Immersion

Eating tapas in Spain, celebrating Holi in India, or even just attempting to speak a few words in another language at a local market—these experiences immerse kids in cultures different from their own. It teaches them appreciation, tolerance, and the joy of discovery.

My boys now greet our local French bakery staff with a cheerful “Bounjour!” each time we visit, eager to practice the few French phrases they’ve learned. And they like to insult each other by shouting “tu es fromage” (you are cheese)!

4. Adaptability and Problem-Solving

Travel isn’t always smooth sailing. When flights get delayed, or the weather doesn’t cooperate, it requires quick thinking and adaptability.

Image of two boys in a water taxi in Venice Italy
My kids thought the water taxi was the coolest way we’re ever gotten to a hotel from an airport! Photo credit: Marcie Cheung

My kids have learned to go with the flow, turning what could be seen as disappointments into adventures.

“Looks like we’re having a picnic in the hotel room!” became a fun evening rather than a letdown when a rainstorm hit.

5. Confidence Through Independence

Navigating new cities, ordering food, and even packing their own suitcases have given my boys a sense of independence and confidence. They’ve learned they can handle unfamiliar situations, which is a powerful realization for a young mind.

6. The Value of Memories Over Material Things

In our journey, we’ve shifted from accumulating toys to accumulating memories. My boys would rather save their allowance for a special experience on our next trip than the latest video game. I mean, not ALL of the time, but often enough!

It’s a valuable lesson in appreciating experiences over material possessions.

But, sometimes that “experience” is shopping for Pokemon cards in other languages or finding local kids who they can trade Pokemon cards with.

7. Learning Compassion and Empathy

Seeing different ways of life, including those less fortunate than our own, has opened our children’s eyes to the realities of the world.

It’s fostered discussions on compassion, gratitude, and how we can make a difference. It’s empathy in action.

8. Inspires Curiosity and a Love for Learning

Every trip we take fuels my boys’ curiosity about the world. They come back with questions, eager to dive into books and documentaries to learn more about the places we’ve visited.

It’s a love for learning that extends beyond the classroom.

Image of a boy sketching a machine at the Da Vinci museum in Florence Italy
My kids really enjoyed sketching the machines at the Da Vinci Museum. Photo credit: Marcie Cheung

After our visit to the Da Vinci museum in Florence, the kids were obsessed with drawing their own machines and figuring out what world problems they might be able to solve with an invention.

9. Quality Family Time

In the hustle and bustle of daily life, uninterrupted family time can be rare. Travel brings us together in a unique way. We share experiences, solve problems, and create lasting memories as a team.

It’s quality time that strengthens our bond.

Image of a mom and boy in front of the Statue of Liberty
It’s fun to be silly with my kids while exploring somewhere new! Photo credit: Marcie Cheung

For me, I’d rather go on our tour or walk around a local market with my kids instead of sitting in front of the TV half-paying attention. Travel usually forces ME off my phone so I can be more present.

10. Prepares Them for a Global Future

We live in an increasingly globalized world. Understanding different cultures, being comfortable with travel, and having a broad perspective are skills that will serve them well in the future.

My hope is that these experiences prepare them to be informed, compassionate global citizens.

Read more: How to Create a Travel-Themed Nursery

Making It Work

I understand that the idea of traveling as part of your child’s education can seem daunting. “What about school?” “Isn’t it expensive?” “Where do I even start?” are valid questions. Here’s how we make it work:

Utilize School Breaks and Long Weekends

We plan around the school calendar to minimize disruptions. We tend to leave a few days early before school breaks to maximize our trips. And we give our teachers a lot of notice so we can come up with a plan to make sure all work is complete.

Set a Budget

Travel doesn’t have to break the bank. We look for deals, use points, and sometimes choose destinations based on affordability.

Involve the Kids in Planning

This increases their engagement and excitement. When they were little, we’d give them a few choices of tours or activities to pick from.

Now, they help choose destinations, plan activities, and even help budget.

Keep Learning Goals in Mind

Whether it’s practicing a language, learning about history, or understanding geography, we set learning goals for our trips.

For Paris, the kids wanted to learn a bit more of the language and we practiced a lot at restaurants and at shops.

For Italy, they wanted to learn more about gladiators and Ancient Roman history. And then we followed that up by watching Horrible Histories!

Stay Flexible

Not every trip will go as planned, and that’s okay. Flexibility and a positive attitude can turn any situation into a learning opportunity. Often, it’s a learning opportunity for ME.

Family in front of a Redwood tree at Rotorua Tree Walk
When my youngest was sick in New Zealand, we were able to leave him with Grandma and take our oldest to do a really cool tree walk. Photo credit: Marcie Cheung

Wrapping Up

Integrating travel into my children’s education has been one of the most rewarding decisions we’ve made as a family.

It’s not always easy, but the benefits—seeing their understanding of the world expand, their confidence grow, and their curiosity flourish—are immeasurable.

If you’re on the fence, I encourage you to give it a try. Start small, keep an open mind, and watch as the world becomes your child’s most exciting classroom.

Happy travels, fellow parents! Here’s to the journeys that await us and the lessons we’ll learn along the way.

Looking for more family travel tips? Check out Cruising with Toddlers: Ultimate Mom Tips for a Smooth Sailing Trip, How to Survive Family Travel with Kids, Things I Wish I Knew Before Going to London: 20 Tips for First-Time Visitors, 8 Stress-Free Tips to Get Through Airport Security with Children, and 5 Tips to Hire the Best Vacation Photographer!

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