A popular South Korean reality television show called Dad! Where Are We Going? features five celebrity fathers and their kids who travel to various places and go camping together without their moms. Usually families go on vacation with both parents, however sometimes, as the show has demonstrated, going solo on a vacation with your kids can be a very rewarding experience for a Dad. The working Dads on the show bring up many reasons why working Dads should travel with their kids, without their mothers accompanying. Travel with kids can be amazing. Here is a list ten of the top reasons why this sort of Dad-kid vacation works so well.
1. You Will See Things Through Your Kids’ Eyes
With only one adult to handle details you will become slightly more reliant upon the eyes and ears of your fellow tiny travelers to spot good deals, interesting stuff to do, and information you have overlooked. In travel with kids, especially if they are teenagers they will have no problem telling you exactly what they think. This helps you to see things through their eyes – vacations can be a great time to focus one-on-one with kids in a family. Mutual bonding over shared activities and down times can lead to greater communication between Dad and kid. One father found out the reason his daughter was afraid of fireworks was the whistling noise that her ears were sensitive to. After taking a ride on a steam train which just happened to make a similar noise, she was able to tolerate fireworks much better because the sound no longer scared her.
2. Your Kid Will Uncomplicate You
Whatever your travel agenda, the reality of traveling with a kid who may have shorter legs and attention span will necessitate that you modify your plans on the fly to keep things running smoothly and happily. That half-day museum tour followed by lunch and then a day exploring a village may be too much stimulation for some kid travelers, so by scaling it back you will also learn to uncomplicate things for yourself and look for the quality experiences rather than quantities of experience. One Dad-kid trip ended with seeing half as many attractions because his little girl enjoyed going to bed early each night so that he could read to her for an hour first – something he normally didn’t have time for.
3. You Will See New Things in Usual Places
If you go to a spot that you have vacationed before, it will always be a new experience with your children involved. Chances are that you will know where a lot of off-the-beaten-track attractions are by the end of your trip because kids love to explore even where it seems mundane. Just when you think you know the area, your kids will probably show you that you really don’t!
4. Your Kid Will Learn Balance
Just as ice cream for every meal has consequences for our health, so does vacation with no rest or regular meals. You will be teaching your kid the value of balance if you keep to a regular meal and sleep schedule, and in turn your kid will learn that balance matters, even while away from home and having fun. One overzealous Dad had to be reminded by his son that it was time for afternoon snack – and as a result they ended up going to a new ice cream shop which became one of the trip higlights.
5. You Will Be The One To Show Your Kid The World
You will get to be one of the first people who shows your kid new experiences and how to handle any difficulties that may come along. You will prove that even though a 9 to 5 job and school are important, the world still goes on when you are not exploring it and many cultures have different ways of working, living, and enjoying leisure than what you may be used to. An adult ‘kid’ still remembers a vacation where he and his father visited ancient historical sites and he learned about the legend of King Arthur for the first time.
6. Your Kid Will Find New Interests
While exploring new places and cultures, your kid will often find new interests based upon what there may be to do nearby. For instance, a trip to Hawaii might inspire a fishkeeping hobby or the desire to learn modern dances back home. While in the vacation environment anything seems possible, so let them explore and enjoy learning alongside them. There was a Dad who took his kids camping, each night around the fire he’d play the guitar – an old hobby he’d only just picked up again. When they got back two of the three enrolled in guitar lessons as a result.
7. You Will Bond
Without the daily worries and interruptions in your lives, you and your kids will bond in a meaningful way provided you do not bring those distractions with you. Time away from games and computers may help your child develop an interest in reading or photography, while allowing you some breathing space to get to know your kid without all the background noise of everyday life. On a long drive to visit relations one father took the opportunity to share with his son how he had grown up, and the two talked about the similarities and differences.
8. Your Kid Will Make You Eat The Yucky Food Too
With exploring comes new cuisine, and if you want your kid to be adventurous and try the local fare then you will have to take the lead. They are watching, so even if you think a food is ‘yucky’ you will have to try some too. This brings you down to their level of understanding in a way few other things will. You become ‘fellow foodies’ rather than meal time combatants when you can share what you like and dislike about new foods.
9. You Will Want To Go Again
What better than wanting to do it all again at the end of a trip? Many children are happy when their parents are happy, so your travel buddy will help make sure the time is memorable for you in ways you won’t be expecting. The parts which you thought would be the most difficult may be the most easy. I knew of a Dad who thought having all three kids listen on vacation would be a nightmare. His unique solution was to convince them he was a cartoon-character tour guide of the area, and they hung onto every word.
10. Your Kid Will Learn Flexibility
Your kid will learn that things don’t always go the way you may want, and sometimes there is no bandaid solution for a disappointment (i.e. sold-out concert, car breakdown that makes you miss a meal) but that life, like vacation, is all what you make of it. Rolling with things whether or not they go your way is an important skill to cultivate as early as possible in life.