Travel myth – BUSTED

Travel myths: BUSTED

Travel myth #1: The kids won’t remember. 

Families often are concerned about spending money and time on vacations they think kids won’t remember.

While it is generally thought that permanent memories can be made as early as age 4,  new research suggests memories can be made even earlier.

Even though kids might not remember the exact details of the vacation location…what kids will remember is family interaction. Family interaction on vacations  with more time spent together chatting and talking about experiences increases communication skills in infants and toddlers while improving vocabulary of older kids, too!

The results of a poll for the US Travel Association show family vacations are valuable:

Family vacation memories last a lifetime:



Most adults surveyed (62%) said their earliest memories were of family vacations taken when they were between ages 5 and 10, and they remember childhood trips more clearly than school events or birthday celebrations.

Like their parents, children cherish family vacation memories:


Youth surveyed strongly agreed that they get to see and do things on vacation that they’ll remember for a long time (64%) and that vacations bring their family closer together (53%).

Parents underestimate the value of including grandparents on family vacations:


Children who traveled with their extended family reported that they get to spend quality time with their grandparents (78%), they feel closer to them (60%), and they like to remember stories about what they did with their grandparents (65%).

So…how early can they remember? Interestingly enough…..very, very young, but some of those memories fade away and thus, adults don’t remember things like their 2nd birthday parties. The earliest forever memories are thought to come at about 3 1/2.


What is the number 2 travel myth? *

I won’t enjoy my vacation because of all the kid wrangling.

Banish the thought!


Do not fear! Keep the kids busy…


Keep the kids engaged.


Use my travel guides for interesting history and activities for your kids (and are like Cliff Notes for grownups). If you don’t see your destination, give me a shout. I’m always working on new ones!






Vacation WITH the kids – build memories and enjoy the memories you make. They will last a lifetime.

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**Based on my completely unscientific opinion. 😉

Happy Travels,

Natalie, The Educational Tourist

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11 Responses

  1. Sarah says:

    Take your favorite Aunt on vacation, too!

  2. Excellent post! You raise some really good points. My first memory is my father pouring milk over my head because I wouldn’t finish it. Too bad it’s not riding a camel in Egypt! 🙂

  3. TravelingMel says:

    I am all for traveling with kids! It is more work, but more rewarding, too, in some ways. And I like your point abut them not needing to remember the details to get something from the trip.

  4. This is very reassuring! We don’t have kids just yet but plan to within the next few years, so we’re starting to think about ways we can continue to incorporate travel into our regular lifestyles even when we have kids. Some great advice here!

  5. onlybyland says:

    As I have a 2 and a half year old I have actually thought about this before. I take her away because I love to be with her and the pictures we take, she can look back on when she’s older. Hopefully they will mean something to her and she’ll probably want to go back and recreate the photos when she’s older. So the official age of being able to remember is 3 and a half, very good to know.

  6. Such an important post. Being an strong advocate of family travel, even with small kids, I can’t agree with you anymore. I always get into debates with people on this topic and i’ve traveled as a child and take my children on all my travels so I know.

    It’s great how you break down each myth and give examples including statistical data to prove your point. Thanks

  7. I can vouch for number 1! The earliest trip my youngest son can remember is Europe at 4yo. His fondest memories? Lining up for ‘hours’ for the Eiffel Tower and me buying him a laser pointer from a hawker to keep the peace. Leaving his game boy (remember those? He’s 21 now lol) in a park in the UK and having to pay for a rather expensive taxi to go back and retrieve it (yes it was still there!). Having to pay to go to the toilet. Getting upgraded to business class on the way home and the first class chef offering to make him a burger when he didn’t like what was on the menu. Buying load of cheap (probably stolen but I wasn’t asking!) Pokemon cards from a newsstand. Glad I could create a cultural experience for him lol. I agree just take them! Travelling with kids makes some of the best memories that you will treasure for years to come and talk about often. Even if it is paying to go to the toilet …

  8. Jean says:

    We don’t have children nor plans to ever have children. It’s always great seeing families with well behaved children off exploring the world. I don’t see why parents avoid it. Then again I guess some parental alone time is always needed!!

  9. Wonderful post! I love, love all the pictures…beautiful!!

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