Going on holiday as a family is often a highlight of childhood. From the excitement of staying away from home, to potentially trying new food and having more freedom, these golden days stay with us long after we’ve packed away the suitcases. Whether you go away in the UK or head to somewhere slightly more exotic, a holiday is certainly something to look forward to.
Each family will want something slightly different from their holidays. Whilst some people love to be outdoors and explore new locations on their two feet, others typically prefer a more relaxed escape, perhaps lying on the beach or driving around with regular stops for a drink and cake. But there are a range of benefits to getting out in the fresh air – especially for children and families. Here, we cover a few reasons why you might want to include some days out and about in your holiday itinerary.
Trying something new together as a family can create some of the most memorable moments of your holiday. Whether you strap on your boots and go for a hike across the countryside, or try out a new sport like stand up paddle boarding or kayaking, you’re sure to relax and enjoy seeing each other flourish in a new environment.
Remember, you don’t need to be good at your new outdoor pursuit, but you do need to have fun! Try and remove that hardcore competitive element for children by showing that adults aren’t always good at new things – watching you make a bit of a fool of yourself can be freeing for your kids.
We spend a lot of time interacting with technology, and it offers us a great many benefits – especially on holidays abroad, where we might rely on translation apps, maps, review websites and digital tickets. However, being dependent on our phones can also mean that we struggle to take a break and be in the moment with the people around us, especially our children. Doing an outdoor activity together can also take the pressure off if there’s something your child wants to talk about, as it feels less formal and frightening than sitting down at the table.
Children might also be used to having screens to entertain themselves – it’s part of modern life. Getting outside can be a way to ditch the TV and tablets without them becoming bored. For younger children, even something as simple as a nature walk, visit to a park or the beach can be a stimulating opportunity for them to run around and play. If your children are older, try and incorporate them into the planning stage of your trip so that they can choose more adventurous outdoor activities that they’ll get excited to go home and tell their friends about.
Spending time outside has been shown to be beneficial for mental health, reducing stress and improving confidence as well as encouraging exercise and activity. Children who build a positive relationship with nature when they’re young are more likely to retain that love of the outdoors as they grow older. As a result, they’ll learn that they can utilise going outside as a tool to manage their overall health. Additionally, they’ll be able to entertain themselves – a long walk goes from being a boring waste of time to a chance to decompress and spend time alone or with those they love.
Going outdoors on holiday can give your children the space and opportunity to explore the world around them, boosting their confidence and ability to entertain themselves. Whilst all good holidays are about balance, and you don’t need to go hiking every day, taking the chance to plan a few activities into your holiday itinerary may offer your family an experience they’ll never forget.