Although there are many families that successfully travel with children of all ages, I believe there is a magical point in which a child holds onto memories-processing and reinterpreting their surroundings and experiences more fluently.  When, exactly does this occur? I imagine it is different for every child. I am also sure that the field of developmental psychology has studied this concept extensively. But for me I saw the signs of a pending traveler after taking a mini trip with my extended family in October.  I noticed how excited my son was simply exploring eclectic shops, trying new restaurants and sightseeing. We openly debated if we should plot out the day or make a definitive choice to wander freely.  I took it as a sign-he was finally old enough to begin composing his personal inventory of places traveled.

As a part of my 2013 New Year’s resolution to make connections with family; I felt the need to create what I hope will become a new tradition. Beginning 2013, we (my son & I) will plan 1 unique get-away each year until he graduates from School (9 trips in all)!

Here were the parameters I chose to set:

–          It will include a minimum of one stay overnight,
–          Two thirds of the trip destinations will be located within the United States
–          The first trip will be announced on his birthday in June,
–          He must successful pass each grade and all subjects,
–          Variety will be key

  • Use different modes of transportation (train, boat, bus, plain, automobile, etc.)
  • Identify types of travel (alternative vs. mass)
  • Explore diverse sights (historical, natural, manmade, etc.)
  • Experiment with various travel experiences (adventure, volunteer, etc.)

My Goals:

–          Start simple
–          Establish a tradition
–          Build memories (although I anticipate not all will be positive nor perfect)
–          Incorporate teachable moments
–          Encourage him to set goals
–          Ignite personal connections
–          Enlist my existing knowledge of travel and expand
–          Commemorate another year (school-life-love-family)

 [Layers] tourism degree, transportation planner, new experiences, annual resolutions, birthdays, celebrations, achievements, family, traditions, parenting, goal setting, lifelong learning, and variety.

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