In honor of Valentine’s Day today, I wanted to share *some* of the things I LOVE about travel. Honestly, I could probably go on for days; however, I narrowed this post down to a top 5 list.

  1. Family Time: Without a doubt, my favorite thing about travel is the uninterrupted time I get to spend with my husband and children. I LOVE it! Dedicating days (or in some cases, weeks) to having no priorities other than each other and our destination has given us the sweetest quality time. The funny thing is as a mom, this answer is probably very obvious. But recently someone asked my 10-year old about her favorite part about travel. Without hesitation, she immediately answered “spending time together as a family.” I truly believe there is no greater gift we could give our children than the experiences they get through traveling together as a family!

    The BEST kind of family time!

  2. Seeing New Places: For us, a lot of our travel involves seeing new places. And that starts long before we actually get there! We do tons of research before we travel. Each of us has specific niches that interest us about new destinations. For example, my son loves learning about the various sports teams affiliated with each city. My daughter really enjoys researching the different aquariums and zoos in every area. My husband is addicted to Yelp! and reading all sorts of reviews on the best restaurants to try. And, I always want to know about the touristy places as well as the National Parks or recreational activity opportunities. Even before we arrive, we’ve learned so much about the new place. And then experiencing it together produces forever memories!
  3. Revisiting Favorite Places: As important as visiting new places can be to us, we also find comfort and relaxation in going somewhere very familiar. We have favorite cities and favorite beaches. And then, of course, within those locations we’ve got our list of favorite activities. Sometimes our best travel memories are a compilation of years of trips to the same spot. We reminisce and then make new memories. Often we feel less pressure to see everything since we’ve “been there, done that” and that gives us more time to relax and enjoy the trip in a way that we can’t when exploring a new place.

    Trips to Chicago will never get old. It’s one of our favorite cities in the world to re-visit over and over!

  4. Hands-On Education: Recently my daughter began a history unit on the formation of our country as we declared independence from British rule. Almost every night as she reads her text book she calls me into her room to discuss how her education is intersecting with her travel memories. There is truly nothing that warms my heart more than to hear her start a conversation, “hey Mom, remember when we were in Boston on Bunker Hill…” or “remember when we were at the Confederate White House and learned about his kids?” I truly feel that there is no better education than a hands-on education. The beauty of travel is that we can make the pages of a history text, or science or geography come alive through exploring our world.

    A visit to Jefferson’s home, Monticello.

  5. Food: I really debated putting this one. In a way, I feel like it shouldn’t be such a high priority in my life. But, if I’m being honest, it definitely belongs in the top 5! Although we enjoy eating good food at home (specifically when I’m not cooking!), when we’re on the road things get really exciting. Whether it’s pizza in New York or Chicago, or potato cakes and stew in Ireland- there’s always something exciting about testing out the local fare. Interestingly enough, my children are much better at trying new foods when we are traveling. For example, I bought some Clam Chowder at a local specialty market and they wouldn’t even eat one bite. Then I ordered it at a restaurant in Boston and the kids fought to finish my bowl. We ended up having to order more because I barely got any! Another one of the things I love about food is the fact that we totally splurge on vacation. I read somewhere that calories don’t count and your children won’t be spoiled if you choose to eat dessert after every meal on a vacation! 

What do you LOVE about travel?

You might also enjoy reading:

The Most Interesting Place I’ve Ever Been

10 Years of Traveling With Kids

Just A Backpack And A Beach

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