An Expert Shares How to Create Happy Family Travel

Dr. Jessie Voigts's picture
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Remember those days of drawing a line on the backseat of the car, and not allowing your brother to cross it? Or, fighting for the armrest on the airplane (wait, that still happens!)? I'm all for family travel - and am constantly promoting it as a way to explore the world together, whether in your backyard or in far-flung places. But there are ways to create happy family travel - less stress, more bonding and joyful journeys. Interested? Of course!

An Expert Shares How to Create Happy Family Travel

Luckily, I was able to chat with an expert -  Deborah Heisz, Editorial Director of Live Happy - and ask her a few questions. Deborah has a B.A. in English from Texas Tech University and an MBA from the University of Dallas. What brings her the most happiness in the world is spending time in the great outdoors with her family and dogs. Her greatest source of joy and wonder is watching her three children learn, experience life, and ask questions without filter. 

Family travel and happiness - how do you instill a happiness ethic for all kinds of travel?

•    Stay and eat local to experience the culture. (And also as a key way to save money.)

An Expert Shares How to Create Happy Family Travel

•    Bond with your family members over trying new foods, learning a new language or just learning about the culture. Live in the moment and try and get all your family members to do the same.

An Expert Shares How to Create Happy Family Travel

•    The main benefit of traveling with children is that vacations create memories that will last a lifetime. Research shows that recalling a vacation (or other happy memory) can provide the same boost to your happiness level as the original activity. 

An Expert Shares How to Create Happy Family Travel

•    Include everyone going on the trip in the planning process so they can join in the anticipation and excitement. In our family, each person chooses one thing for the upcoming trip that they really want to do and we incorporate everyone’s “must do” into our schedule.

An Expert Shares How to Create Happy Family Travel

Why do you think family travel is so important?

Family travel promotes:

Family bonding – takes place while traveling with kids as they:
 • Experience new, fun things with a reassuring support system to confidently explore the “unknown”; 
 • Share adventures and collect stories to tell friends back at school and to re-live with family members down the road.

An Expert Shares How to Create Happy Family Travel

Intellectual and emotional growth 
 • Traveling builds a child’s intellectual growth as kids learn history and culture through visits to historic sites or by exploring different cultures—often without even realizing they’re learning.

An Expert Shares How to Create Happy Family Travel

The ability to gain confidence to explore the world/improve a child’s emotional health:
 • Taking a positive, enthusiastic approach to exploring new territory can help children succeed in other ways:
     • When kids see their parents are willing to put themselves out there, and sometimes fail at new activity or language, it shows them that it is OK to take some risks in life.
      • Kids will be more likely to try attempt things themselves, like learning a new sport, trying out for the school play, or running for student council.

An Expert Shares How to Create Happy Family Travel

 

What are your best tips for creating family travel happiness? 

 

Want more travel happiness?
We've shared Heisz's tips on 4 ways to create happy travels
and check back next week for 10 ways to create a happy atmosphere for flying

 

 

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