Most people tend to only associate family holiday trips to their childhood because as grown-ups, they now enjoy the company of their friends better. With college and careers in the way, it’s easy to understand why you find comfort in your friends rather than in your parents, who you probably don’t live with anymore.
But it doesn’t always have to be that way; you can still enjoy family holidays no matter how old you are. Psychologists agree that traveling with the family has long-term impacts on children, so if you’ve been eyeing that luxurious French chateau for a while now, why not consider having your parents join you for that trip?
That said, here’s how your family can even be closer by traveling together.
Relationship psychologist Diane Sanford suggests family trips will be more enjoyable if you will manage expectations. Since you’re now a grown-up, you’d need some time for yourself during the trip, unlike how it was when you were little. Hence, if your parents are the ones organizing the trip, suggest they should avoid overscheduling, so you can do whatever you desire on the trip, or be able to squeeze in some spontaneous family activity during one of your free times.
Family holidays will be more enjoyable if you share responsibilities. For example, if you’re going on a place where you need to serve yourselves, assign one family member for cooking, another for the dishes, and another for cleaning. This setup will feel like living at your childhood home again.
You don’t have to spend your family holiday somewhere far or fancy to be unforgettable. Simply going out for lunch or dinner can already count as a worthwhile holiday with the family. Besides, destination holidays can be hard to dedicate time for and organize especially if budget constraints exist.
Long-Term Effects of Family Travels
Holidays are a perfect time for families to just relax and talk about anything. It is a moment where you can share your new interests and experiences with your parents, and they’d also do the same. You can bond over meals, sightseeing, shopping, and long walks, among others.
Child psychotherapist Dr. Margot Sunderland says family holidays can also be beneficial for the kids’ brain development. As young children, traveling with family gives you new experiences that develop you psychologically, and also stimulates your senses. Thus, as grown-ups, you can look back on those memories with fondness, and bring back that excitement through traveling with them again.
Family holidays are also key to maintaining a close relationship with adolescent kids. Since they tend to put a lot of value in their privacy and independence at that age, it can be a struggle for parents to reach out to them, which traveling can solve.
As parents, when you spend quality time with your adolescent or teenager, they’ll feel more secure and trusting towards you, and thus will be more confident in confiding in you. With such a close relationship, you can guide them better during this sensitive age. Of course, do all of this while respecting your kids’ instinctive need for independence and privacy.
The next time you miss your parents and feel like traveling with them again, don’t hesitate to pick up your phone and express those desires to them. Even if you’re already an adult, your parents would still love to spend time with you. What’s more, family holidays can be an opportunity to spoil them, just like how they had used to indulge you on trips when you were little.