Family Travel Proven to Have Positive Health Impacts:
New research from the Family Travel Association and the Tisch research school has concluded that families who travel together see improved psychological well-being among all members. A lot of the benefits of family travel are simply the result of face-time. If you’re traveling together, you’re a lot more likely to be eating together as a family than if each member were to be on his or her own routine back home.
There’s also a big impact on your child’s development, especially if you’re taking “enlightening” vacations. A meta-analysis by a grad student in Clemson’s Parks and Rec Department surmised in 2006 that there’s a positive correlation between structured family time over summer vacations and academic success during the school year:
“Children that traveled with their family over summer vacation scored higher on academic achievement assessment tests than those who did not travel. The days spent on family summer vacation trips had a significant relationship with academic achievement.”
The benefits are also linked to the type of family time or vacation you plan: “children who visited plays or concerts, art or science museums, historical sites, beaches or lakes, national or state parks, and zoos or aquariums had significantly higher academic achievement scores than those who did not.”
So, what’s our take? While it’s pretty clear that socioeconomic factors are going to play a large role in any family’s decision to take a vacation/which plans to make, multiple studies have found that it’s not actually the money that counts–it’s the sheer principle of spending time together as a family. If you’re concerned about finding affordable cultural or educational opportunities, check out your local library for passes to museums and zoos, or plan vacations around open days at cultural institutions.
The bottom line: it’s only going to benefit you and your family to plan some quality adventure time this summer. We’ve all thought it for years, and now science has proven it to be true!