The Importance of New Experiences for Kids

For the average American family, travel with young kids isn’t so easy. Whether its financial, work, or time restrictions, or the fact that the kids are just too much to take on a distant trip at their current ages, it’s nearly impossible to raise kids with abundant trips traveling to new cities and countries.

While the kids may not rack up frequent flier miles just yet at their age, it is possible to create new memories, and new cultural experiences, without leaving your home state. Life can be very routine at home – especially with school, sports, and activities throughout most of the year. That’s why now, mid-summer and before school starts again, is the perfect time to travel locally – within your home state or within a few hour drive.

Local travel allows kids to gain new insight and experiences. Local travel can provide kids a different view of how life is – how other families and children live, what their day-to-day might be like, and so forth.

Getting the kids out of their usual routine and exploring locally will benefit them now and later in life. While I didn’t grow up traveling the world on one large, luxury vacation, I did grow up as a military stepchild who moved across the world from where I was born (Massachusetts to Hawaii), then went back to New England every summer for six weeks to be with my family out there – and then back to Hawaii for the school year. (Talk about two different cultures!)

bigstock-Travel-planning-16365155My upbringing, while not the norm, has shaped who I am and allows me to get along with many different groups of people, and be very open to new ideas, cultures, and ways of life – and I wouldn’t have wanted it any other way. And since most kids don’t have the unique situation that I did in my childhood, it’s incredibly important that kids do travel locally and create new memories outside of their comfort zone.

Here’s our ideas of local travel trips for families with kids of any age:

  • Drive to a nearby mid-size/large city and spend the day exploring what the city has to offer. Check out the local farmers market, pack a lunch to have by a river or in a local park, and check out what unique and quirky aspects the town has to offer your family – like visiting a cool, interesting, and different local history museum. Here in Denver, visitors and locals can soak in decades of concerts from famous music groups at the jaw dropping Red Rocks Amphitheater Museum and Visitors Center, or check out a large exhibit of mini things at the Denver Museum of Miniatures, Dolls and Toys.
  • Local Travel Experiences for KidsHead out a little further to a town in your state that you’ve never been to – and make an overnight trip out of it! (Staying at a cute B&B or small, local hotel with surely add to the experience for the kids). Maybe you head to a town known for its agriculture, or its art. Whatever it is, make sure to check it out, and take it all in – you never know what you can learn, too (about the trade – or yourself). And if you’re family is set up to camp at a local campground? You can make it a multiple night trip!
  • Don’t be afraid to drive the extra distance to do something fun that you could do in your hometown. Is there a neat zoo or children’s center a couple hours away that you’ve always wanted to check out, but usually decide to stay put? Call up your closest friend and get your kids together for a fun day in a new place. To make the most of the town you visit for the day, scope out the best, kid-friendly lunch at a local hotspot, or go out for ice cream at the town’s #1-rated spot before heading back home.

What’s your ideal trip for local travel with your kids? Let us know in the comments below!

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