Family Travel Might Make Your Kids More Successful, According To New Research

by Christina Montoya Fiedler

Traveling with kids isn't always a breeze. There's extra baggage (literally and figuratively), meltdowns (theirs and yours) plus constant battles on where to go and what to do. But what if there was a hidden benefit to taking your kids on vacation? A new study's findings will make you want to pack your bags and hop on the next flight to your favorite destination. Family travel may make your kids more successful at school, according to a new study.

The Student and Youth Travel Association (SYTA) sponsored a survey of 1,500 U.S. educators asking them a wide range of questions about traveling with children, according to Travel + Leisure.

The study indicated that 74 percent of teachers saw travel as "a very positive impact on students' personal development," and 56 percent of them think that "travel has a very positive impact on students' education and career." Additionally, 79 percent said that it's important to "increase cultural awareness of students."

So, it looks like there's much more than family memories to be made from your future vacations. The survey found that kids have a greater willingness to learn and explore, are more independent and confident, are more intellectually curious, are more tolerant, respectful, and sensitive, and more, all as a result of traveling. Those kinds of things can help kids throughout their lives.

And traveling doesn't always mean breaking out the passports and flying to a different part of the world. Visiting a city that was just slightly different from a child's own town had similar affects, according to Travel + Leisure. Never doubt the power of a good road trip. There's tons to learn and explore, even in what feels like your own backyard.

Traveling is never wasted on the young, according to Mariam Navaid Ottimofiore, contributor for the HuffPost. In fact, the benefits are nearly endless. And just because your kids are especially little doesn't mean that they're not benefitting as much as kids that are slightly older. In an interview with The Globe & Mail, parenting expert Julie Freedman Smith said that traveling can show kids ages 0 to 6 how capable they are, which can affect their identity and gives them a confidence boost. Plus, of course, you get to spend that time together, without all of the obligations that come along with your daily life.

It's also never to early to start thinking about college, though, if you have toddlers, it might feel like it's a bit early to take that into account. But 42 percent of teachers surveyed for the SYTA study reported that they thought that a well-traveled student looks more attractive to prospective schools later on.

It's surely something to think about when you plan your next summer adventure. And while you're sipping your margaritas while you watch your kids playing in sandy surf, remember you're doing it for them. Parenting is all about sacrifices, right?

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