You hear the words “family vacation” and images of overstressed parents, crying children and Chevy Chase in a station wagon silently daydreaming his escape, flood your brain. On the other end of the spectrum, we’re constantly bombarded with the world’s elite jaunting around the globe with family in tow, hopping from mega-yachts in the South of France to super-chic African Safari’s in the blink of an eye. Just reference the Kardashian’s Instagram accounts, you’ll get it.
But fear not! There’s a happy middle for the rest of us. Exotic travel with the family might seem like a far-fetched idea, with your bucket list destinations taking a backseat as soon as marriage and kids happen, but many parents today are refusing to let the word “mundane” permeate into their family vacations.
Many studies show that not only is there no reason to put travel on hold when you have children, there’s actually incentive to travel with them at your side. The National Post recently spoke with Christopher Wilmot-Sitwell, co-owner and director of the bespoke travel agency Cazenove+Loyd. Their research shows that exposing children to a lifetime of travel can be a way to input into someone’s development. “They grow up with an awareness of the world that can’t be gleaned from textbooks. Well-travelled children often find more meaningful careers in their adult lives” Wilmot-Sitwell is quoted as saying.
And with the rise of house-sharing services like AirBnB, planning a family vacation across the globe starts with a simple google search. Renting villas, apartments or houses in your destination of choice can lead to a more interactive experience, putting you and your family in a culturally authentic setting. This opens the doors for unexpected experiences like discovering the world’s greatest coffee at that bodega around the corner, or a local restaurant your host suggests when you book.
This isn’t to say it’s all roses and rainbows. There are expenses to travelling with your family you might not encounter if you were going solo, and yes, there might still be some tears but in the end, it’s the family experiences you’ll remember most.