Summer is here and it’s time to load the family into a car, onto a boat, or train, or plane to explore and make some lasting memories. But did you know that, other than some much needed rest and relaxation, your child is benefiting from travel in several different ways? According to an article from Travel and Leisure, traveling teaches children to adapt and be flexible to changing situations, and heightens their willingness to try new things. For younger children, it can even help with language development! All of these experiences, if continued, can carry over to their everyday lives and benefit them when they begin/return to school. But don’t wait until you’ve got your toes in the sand to reap these benefits. Planning for a vacation can be just as important a tool for learning executive functioning skills like planning and organization. If you and your family are ready to start your next adventure, here are Three Apps and Resources for Families Planning a Vacation:
For Families Who Are At Home In Nature: The Official National Park Service App
If you and your family love the great outdoors, then look no further than the National Parks official app. Once you have your destination picked out, your child can simply search for parks and monuments within the area. The app will pull up all national parks and spaces in the immediate area, as well as provide information on activities, reviews, and even what the weather will be like. Navigating an app and using its information to plan out family activities is a great way to give your child some responsibility in creating the family vacation as well as teaching them how to weigh review opinions when planning for travel, purchases, etc.
The National Park Service App is free on both iOS and Android.
For The Family Who Loves Traveling Off Of The Beaten Path: Atlas Obscura
There are always new things to see and learn when traveling, but for families who want a little extra boost of off-the-beaten-path activities, why not give Atlas Obscura a try? This website has thousands of recommendations for places to visit around the world. Want to see the inspiration for Hogwarts? Want to see the largest concentration of cave paintings in Mexico? Want to know what strange things are hiding in your own home state? Atlas Obscura has got you covered. Once you know your vacation destination, let your child explore the website and see what activities are possible within that area. This allows them to practice their flexibility skills and organizational skills, as most of these places require the purchasing of tickets or other such arrangements.
Atlas Obscura is a website but also has a podcast for people who want to dream up future vacations.
For Creating Memories After You’ve Returned Home: Shutterfly
If your child has an artistic flair or you just want them to develop some planning and organizational skills, using a photo book making app like Shutterfly is a great way to do this and preserve precious memories at the same time. The app has various options for making photo books with different layouts and designs, including economical options for memorable but shorter trips. Having your child choose which pictures to include as well as the order in which they are placed gives them control and can help develop their planning skills.
Shutterfly is a free app that is available for both iOS and Android.
Where are you and your family traveling this summer? Leave your answer in the comments below!