Family vacations are fun and exciting experiences and it’s not just because of the time spent away from work. As a matter of fact, recent studies have shown that family vacations can have a positive effect on a child’s mental wellbeing. One of these studies has also suggested that parents should spend more money on family vacations instead of buying their kids toys which have absolutely no positive effect on them at all.
Oliver James, one of the best writers of psychological books in the UK, says that most of the toys parents buy for their children are not valued or even wanted. The average English family spends £508 on toys annually, which puts them second on the list of highest-spending on toys in the world. As James says, although it may not look like it, these gifts are not wanted by the children and only serve to make profits for the manufacturers.
Why Is A Vacation Better Than Materialistic Gifts?
A recent study published in the Journal of Commercial Research revealed that experimental gifts such as trips have a much more profound impact on our children’s wellbeing than toys and material gifts in general.
Well, spending time at a new location near the ocean can help a child’s brain develop, especially in the areas of learning and stress management. Children who have regular family vacations have a higher score in math, general knowledge, and reading in school in any country in the world. Plus, vacay is also important for the long-term development of the child as it helps build positive memories.
If you ask someone what their favorite childhood memories are, family vacations are bound to pop up often. Researchers call these memories ‘happiness anchors’, which last for quite a longer time than the memories created by playing with a toy.
The planning and preparation for the trip is a great bonding experience between parents and children, which is another plus for family vacations. It will help children learn more about financial planning and money saving, which they could put to good use later in their life.
What Kind of Holiday Works Best?
Children see the world differently than adults. When on family vacations, they will find other things interesting than their parents. For example, they find it interesting that French cafes serve Orangina instead of Fanta – these tiny details will stick with them for quite a long time.
When going on holiday, it’s better to let your children experience the ‘Orangina’ aspect of that country instead of imposing culture on them. According to James, children really value the rare possibility of spending more time with their parents and the possibility to relax from everyday stress.
Toys are important for children, but not as much as a family trip. When buying toys for your children, make sure they’re collaborative. Modern toys put too much distance between the parent and child, and that can have negative effects on the child’s development. Just get a cheerful board game and play together with your children to create memorable moments. Plan a family trip in the summer as well, and your children will develop much faster.