4 Reasons to Make Family Travel a Priority


Family Travel Provides Huge Value

Family travel is a priority for my husband and I; it has been since our boys were young. Every year, we go through a cycle: identifying travel goals, assessing affordability, admittedly going a bit over budget, paying that off…repeat. My annual personal goal setting has always included an aspect of exploration with my husband and sons.

Why I Invest Family Travel

Full disclosure, I’m a life-long travel nerd. When I was a kid, my parents scraped together money for us to travel, and I was bit by the exploration bug. I like to read about travel, get giddy over planning trips and stalk the TripAdvisor travel forums for ideas. However, the top reason I’ve loved to travel since all these 50 (plus) years is what it feels like to get out of my own world and experience something new.

That is a value I’ve wanted to pass on to my kids from the moment I became a parent. We can teach them our moral, ethical, racial and other beliefs and discuss worldly or national issues. But it’s only through experience that we learn: sight, sound, smell, touch and conversation. We need to get out of our own comfort zone to be able to connect, understand and empathize.

Four Benefits Traveling as a Family

Others have defined the value of travel better before me! We’ve just followed their path. There are many reasons traveling with your family is worthwhile, but these are my top four:

“Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts.” ~ Mark Twain

Travel opens our minds and hearts and makes us better people, as our whole world opens. We can see things with new eyes and perhaps pause our current mindset (or lack thereof) and become open to understanding. While on a road trip out West years ago, we showed our boys Native American reservations and pueblos which greatly impacted one of them. The starkness of conditions, the warmth of the residents, the obvious judgements from outsiders moved him in ways I didn’t realize until years later. Experiencing people across our country, as well as in another, offers a wealth of education that reading simply cannot solely provide.

“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do” ~ H. Jackson Brown Jr

We all have our daily responsibilities of school, commitments, and work. Especially the later provides the ability to afford travel! But the most important currency that we possess is time: time for ourselves, time with our loved ones, time to experience life and create memories. I hate to sound fatalistic, but your time with your offspring as children is fast and fleeting! The memories we have of our boys’ wonder about life while traveling over time is priceless: how the sunrise looked across Bryce Canyon at 4:40am. Or using Spanish learned in school in a Costa Rican pharmacy. Their faces while they ripped the heads off freshly cooked prawns oceanside in Aruba. All – priceless.

There’s not one dime spent, or minute of vacation time cashed in that I regret. Believe me, I’d rather have less in my bank account and fewer possessions in my keep than have skipped the trip with my family.

“If you think adventure is dangerous, try routine, it’s lethal” ~ Paul Coelho

Experiences during your travels pushes boundaries and can inspire. I’ll never forget watching my oldest son and husband both conquer their fear of heights and launch into the highest zip line course in Costa Rica. 600 feet above the enormous rainforest tree line, I watched in awe while they flew through their fear and into an expanded zone of self-empowerment.  

Even routine experiences, such as a meal, can become cherished memories, when it’s around a campfire or in a location far outside the norms of your daily life. Discussing chores and school is left at home, and we instead talk about goals, worries and dreams. It’s these shared experiences and quality time that brings (and keeps) families together.

 “The important thing is to never stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existing.”  ~Albert Einstein

Children are naturally more inquisitive than adults, which will help open all your eyes. During our travels, my boys have asked about space and the start of time while staring at the stars over many lakes. They’ve debated the historical timelines of rock coloration in layers of the Grand Canyon. While skiing, they’ve simply laughed about the science behind one’s tongue sticking to cold metal (cue A Christmas Story). Amidst the games, laughter, food and – yes – fighting at times…every trip has raised curious questions from my kids which I can only hope have broadened their hearts, minds and souls.


I don’t know concretely if all our time traveling with our sons has helped shape who they are. However, what I do know is that it’s gifted us cherished fun memories and inside jokes, shaped a college application essay and prompted conversations that have moved me and brought us closer. In the spirit of the late and beloved Anthony Bourdain,

“The journey (of travel) changes you; it should change you. It leaves marks on your memory, on your consciousness, on your heart, and on your body. You take something with you. Hopefully, you leave something good behind.”

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Hi All, I’m Rebecca! I’ve worked in marketing strategy in the healthcare and wellness industry since college and my MBA for 20+ years (yikes!!). I’m blessed to have combined my geeky professional self with my passions: awareness of and mental health supports for disenfranchised populations and communities. I volunteer in educating the greater community about the real experiences of those in (and out of) recovery from the disease of addiction. I was so honored to give a TED talk in 2019 about removing stigma and shame by simply shifting the language we use, as this is near and dear me. Yet, at the end of the day, my family is everything in my world. I live with my husband Mike and two teenage sons in Lee, along with a crazy cattle dog (Maggie), cat (Leia), fish, 100 snails and soon to be chickens. While a Jersey shore girl at heart, living in MA and NH since the late 90s has fully converted me to a New England sports fan and avid skier, hiker and kayaker. I guess I’m a perfectly imperfect, harmonious, and happy runner, who cares deeply for humans, and Mother Nature. Follow me on Instagram @mommabear5786 to see what life in a house of boys, recovery, loud music, a bit of attitude, and nature looks like!