The Grand Tour of Europe: 7 Valuable Life Lessons and Skills Families Learn by Traveling the World

July 13, 2022

Here are some of the best life lessons that families can learn by traveling the world.

The “ultimate” travel experience: In years past, it was the “Grand Tour of Europe,” where men and women of a certain class took a break between college and the start of their career. Funded by their families, young people would spend several months (at least) traveling in Europe after finishing school. 

A cruise ship at night with your family
Photo by Sơn Bờm

The Grand Tour of Europe: 7 Valuable Life Lessons and Skills Families Learn by Traveling the World

    The purpose and value of this trip was the exposure to art, music, and the aristocracy and culture of Europe—things they would likely never experience otherwise.

    World travel is often referred to as the “ultimate classroom,” and can be an incredibly valuable gift for children. It introduces them to new people and places and helps to instill an appreciation for different cultures.

    Benefits include the rewards of experience and an expanded worldview, say the travel experts at CruiseCompete.

    Here are the 7 valuable life lessons and skills that can be taught by travel for your tweens & teens:

    1. Travel Enhances Critical Traits Necessary in Life

    When you travel, you may see character traits that don’t necessarily reveal themselves at home. You might see new traits of charity, compassion, and diplomacy. Or realize that your Tweens & Teens have an interest or passion that comes to light in this new situation. 

    Interestingly, they may get more out of an experience than adults due to their interaction with the locals. Tweens & Teens can cross cultural boundaries that are more difficult for adults, simply by being children.

    2. Travel helps Tweens & Teens develop decision-making, and builds confidence

    As you travel, a wide variety of choices present themselves. Gone are the routines of home; instead, children have the opportunity to make choices about which new experiences to experience, museums, wonders of the world, different destinations, and foods they would like to try. Stand back, and let them make some choices. They may surprise you!

    3. The Development of Problem-Solving Skills

    Hope for the best, but be prepared for the worst. Travel is fluid, and teaches Tweens & Teens about the possibility that things may not go as planned. It’s essential to be flexible, and having things go awry can actually be one of life’s best lessons. Unforeseen circumstances happen over and over in life, and adapting with grace is one of the hallmarks of strong character.

    4. A Broadened Perspective for your Tweens & Teens

    Travel helps to present your children with a valuable worldview. A foray into other cultures affords them the knowledge that other people, places, and things can be very diverse. 

    Exposure to different cultures, standards of living, languages, and even sounds will serve Tweens & Teens well over time; it serves to develop tolerance and compassion. Traveling is an excellent way to show children that different points of view are a normal part of life, in an educational, non-threatening way.

    5. Travel Helps Sow the Seeds of Altruism

    Tweens & Teens can begin to understand the challenges faced by those in different life circumstances. Sometimes travel can allow them the opportunity to help those in need with specific programs.

    6. An Inside View of the Business World

    Take your Tweens & Teens on a business trip. There’s value in understanding the challenges and rewards of hard work. Seeing you perform your business activities is an eye opener for most children. 

    It clues them into the skills it takes to be successful and may help them with career choices later in life. It also provides valuable information about coordinating the logistics of travel, currency, and navigating customs. Above all, they learn about the importance of time management and the consistency required to stick to an itinerary.

    7. Travel: A Shared History and Sacred Memory

    Your common travel experiences—good and bad—will become part of your family history. During travel, there may be times when you feel closer than ever before and times when you wish you were back in the comfort of home and in your own personal space. 

    These things will be a topic of discussion for years to come. Encourage children to keep a travel journal. It will help them remember the travel itself, and their reactions to the experiences of the trip.

    Travel’s benefits to Tweens & Teens truly are incalculable, so now is the time to start planning your next family vacation.

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    1 comment

    1. As a digital nomad and a freelancer, knowing how to travel on a budget and in a smart, safe way is super important to me. It's true that traveling develops critical skills needed in other areas of life, and for me, it's helped me think faster and find solutions when there are problems with flights and hotels. Thank you for sharing your thoughts!! Sam