Once upon a time would-be adventure travelers like the members of your family wondered what it would be like to be Indiana Jones. But that’s all you could do. Wonder. After all, typical family travel didn’t involve strange lands with nothing but an old hat and a make-it-up-as-you-go attitude to get you through.
But things have changed in the travel world. More and more family travel has an added adjective – adventurous – and a new component to boot. These days families have taken wildlife treks together, explored the deep bellies of underground caves, and learned to say “Thank you” in six different languages. New & Gauley River Adventures said, “Family adventuring is becoming one of the most popular components of adventure travel.” Here are four reasons why.
The Growth of Adventure Travel
According to Travel Weekly, adventure travel has been on the upswing in recent years. Adventure travel has seen a 65% increase each year since the late 2000s. This is due in large part to the number of vendors offering these types of travel packages. As the industry sector has grown, the number of participants has grown with it. Family travelers make up at least 30% of this market.
Void of Distractions
But adventurous family travel is on the rise due to more than just an abundance of suppliers. Traveling together has a way of bonding families, according to the Huffington Post. In fact, sometimes the only times busy families can actually make time to connect with each other is when they’re away from the normal demands and distractions of life. These factors mixed with incompatible work and school schedules can lead to a family whose members don’t see one another very much. Adventure travel is a fun way to change all of that.
Better Than a Book or Language Classes
Learning on the spot offers real rewards. It’s one thing to think you know what there is to know about a culture or language. It’s another thing to experience it. From learning when to use “du” versus “Sie” in German to seeing the bones underground in the Douaumont ossuary at Verdun, these real-world adventures add context to language and history lessons that are difficult to grasp otherwise. And certainly this way of learning history, language, and culture is more fun than reading a book about it or watching a video about the same topic. They also build communication skills, foster an appreciation for different cultures, and of course, give the whole family a chance to try different foods and customs.
Finally, this experience in turn raises your ability to tolerate uncertainty, according to Good Nature Travel. This type of skill set comes in handy in new work or school environments, something that your kids will face in just a few years’ time.
A Change of Scenery
A ability to stretch muscles, to hike ancient hills, and to take in nature firsthand are some other reasons why adventure travel has grown in popularity, according to the Business Destinations website. That means that many of the places that families have traveled to in the past, the kinds of destinations that have sun and surf, are being replaced by family treks through countries like Mexico and Jordan. The chance for cultural immersion coupled with physical activity is behind this trend.
But there is an additional benefit. Once again, kids are being asked to explore and to learn about their surroundings through actual experience. Modern life often squelches a kid’s desire to explore, according to Good Nature Travel. It looks like a change of scenery offers your family more than just the stretching of their physical muscles. It stretches their imagination muscles as well.
Adventure isn’t just for movie heroes anymore. Adventure travel and specifically, family adventure travel looks like it’s here to stay. These vacations promise families experiences they could never have otherwise, including building language and cultural skills. This is another reason that adventure destinations are replacing beach destinations as the vacation spots of choice. Part of the rise in popularity of family adventure travel has to do with the availability of adventure travel vendors. However, families who travel together connect in a whole new way, one that wouldn’t have been possible had they not strapped on a backpack and hit the open road.