Family Travel Chat Tuesday- Episode 9 (Is Traveling with Kids a Waste of Money? + INSANE Travel Deals Online Today)

Family Travel Chat Tuesday

Occasionally, I ask people why the don’t travel with their kids. I am always curious what holds people back. I expect to hear things like affordability, time away from work and that vacationing with kids is difficult. But, one that seems to come up quite often that I never expected was the thought that Traveling as a Family is a Waste of Money. So, on today’s episode of Family Travel Chat LIVE on Facebook (every Tuesday at 10am PST) I thought we would talk about it.

Family Travel Chat Tuesday- Episode 9 (Is Traveling with Kids a Waste of Money? + INSANE Travel Deals Online Today)

Family Travel Chat Tuesday

Today we talked about whether or not traveling with kids is a waste of money, heads up- it’s not! Below is some of the statistical data that proves my statement. As well as a link to the original article where the author claims that family travel is “a form of competitive parenting.”

What Professionals are Saying:

  • Psychology professor Thomas Gilovich has shown that we experience the same increase in happiness when we buy something we want and when we go traveling. But — and here’s the most important point — the amount of happiness we derive from our purchase falls over time, whereas the memories of our traveling experience continue to supply us with happiness hormones for much longer.
  • Psychologist and best-selling author Oliver James told The Telegraph. “Family holidays are valued by children, both in the moment and for long afterward in their memory.” Travel is also better for family bonding– “talking nonsense with your parents, sharing an ice cream and moments of time in which your interests are genuinely taken into account,” says James.
  • What is less widely known is that holidays can also advance brain development in children,” Dr. Margot Sunderland, a child psychotherapist and Director of Education and Training at The Centre for Child Mental Health in the UK, said in another article for The Telegraph.
    • You activate many critical areas of the brain, particularly the “play and seeking systems” that typically go unexercised at home, says Dr. Sunderland. “[This] brings about brain growth and maturation in the frontal lobes, the very part of the brain involved in cognitive functioning, social intelligence, and well-focused, goal-directed behaviors that may last a lifetime.”
    • “An enriched environment offers new experiences that are strong in combined social, physical, cognitive, and sensory interaction,” says child psychotherapist Dr. Margot Sunderland. These experiences then turn on the genetic expression of key brain fertilizers in the frontal lobes, Dr. Sunderland explains, enhancing executive functions like stress regulation, attention, concentration, good planning, and the ability to learn, and also improving physical and mental health. “The brain fertilizers triggered in enriched environments are also associated with higher IQ in children,” she said. “So, spend time exploring together in a new space, and you’re making your child smarter.
  • “Reflecting on our happiest memories of joyful time spent together as a family can be extremely powerful in bringing relief and respite when faced with the darker times that life can bring,” John McDonald, director of the Family Holiday Association, told the Huffington Post. “By using these memories as an anchor to take us back to more cheerful moments, we’re often able to approach problems with a fresh sense of perspective.”

If you want to read the original post that started this conversation you can check it out here. Don’t travel with kids until they’re teens – it’s a waste of money, believe me. Basically, the piece states that family travel is “is supremely indulgent.”

Watch Episode 9 in its entirety below-

We also discussed some things family travel does do:

  • Strengthens Family Bonds
  • Reduces Risk of Divorce
  • Improves Communication

We talked about the fact that Americans need to learn how to vacation better (read- UNPLUGGED):


  • Use Anticipation to Your Advantage.
    • The positive effect of anticipation is often stronger than the effect of the actual experience.
      • Penguino Travel Boxes (read about them here)
      • Count down the days, read up, watch movies, YouTube, talk about it
  • Research Before You Go
    • *Pinterest is GREAT for this!!
    • Get to Know the Area
    • Rough Itinerary
    • Know How You Will Get Around

  • Pay for as Much of the Trip in Advance as Possible/ Have a Budget & Stick to It!
    • reduces stress
  • Set Expectations
    • Talk to kids before you go
    • Talk to your spouse too (set very LOW expectations for young children)
  • Book a trip where you can be outside, get some exercise
  • Eat Healthily, Drink Plenty of Water
  • Make Sure to get Enough Sleep
  • Take Lots of Photos
    • Post pictures when you return
    • Print them and place them around the house
    • Apple TV can create a montage to play on your TV!

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Join me EVERY Tuesday LIVE on Facebook at 10am (PST) to chat about Family Travel.

Got a burning travel related question? Leave it in the comments. I LOVE helping my readers plan INCREDIBLE vacations!!!


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