Welcome to Day #8 in our month long Travel is… series!
Growing up, I spent countless hours with my brothers at campgrounds. We climbed trees, ate more than our fair share of toasted marshmallows and rode our bikes with reckless abandon! At the time, I didn’t realize it, but those moments are the most precious gift of childhood I could ever get.
From this end — the mom side — I know that family travel is the best gift I can give my own kids. We break out of our work and school routine. We escape the drudgery of chores, house maintenance and bill paying. We invest TIME in each other, time we either invest or lose. It’s not coming back.
The time we share is certainly a blessing, and the gift of that investment lasts long after the vacation ends. When I took the kids to a family friendly bed and breakfast, my daughter discovered a joy in breakfast menu planning. Since that trip, she has made many “bed and breakfast” breakfasts for our family, taking time to set the table, write out a menu and pour orange juice into the fancy glasses.
Another time, my daughter and I went to Niagara Falls for our own girls’ getaway! At dinner one night, she peered over the top of her adult menu to ask me a question about my own childhood. That led to more questions… and then stories. While waiting for dessert, I watched as a huge smile spread across her face. “What’s that smile for?” I asked. She said, so simply and sweetly, “We never get to talk like this. Ever. Thank you, Mom.” After dinner, we walked back to the hotel, her little hand tucked in mine as we sang silly songs at the top of our lungs. She remembers the stories I told.
I could go on… but I think you get the idea. When we spend time with our kids, whether one-on-one or all together, we give the gift of time that escapes us at home. For our family, that translates to inside jokes others will never understand. It means we try new foods and then recreate them at home — reliving special memories like this Pizza Roi we first had in Paris!
The gift of travel isn’t in the destination.
Please click the image below to see the other posts in this series.
Karen Dawkins is a wife, mom, travel writer and dog lover, thanks to her new pup, Daisy. Her kids are 21, 17 and 10 and have been traveling their whole lives! They “help” me write, sharing their kid/teen perspective. Karen is blessed to have a “job” that allows her whole family to participate! At Family Travels on a Budget, she shares the information you need to plan your travels and get the most out of a visit. She also shares tried and true travel tips, budget saving ideas and staycation tips for those times when you need a break but the budget doesn’t let you travel. Follow Karen on Facebook at Family Travels on a Budget, on Instagram at Karen Dawkins and Twitter at Karen Dawkins.