If you’re feeling guilty for taking your kids out of school for that family vacation, don’t. It might actually be making them smarter. According to a new survey commissioned by the Student and Youth Travel Association, travel has an extremely positive impact on students’ educational prospects, cultural awareness, and even their future careers. One thousand five hundred US-based teachers were polled in the survey, with 74 percent agreeing that travel has a “very positive impact on students’ personal development,” and 56 percent believing that that positive impact extends to a student’s educational experience.
The majority of teachers surveyed agreed that children who travel have an increased tolerance and respect for other cultures and a greater willingness to try new things. Teachers also observed that kids who traveled were more likely to demonstrate higher self-esteem, independence, confidence, adaptability, and sensitivity when interacting with other children. Unsurprisingly, a whopping 76 percent of teachers noted that once students had been taken on a single trip, they suddenly had the travel bug and expressed a desire to travel more.
Although no actual college admission statistics are provided to substantiate this belief, 42 percent of teachers said that they believe well-traveled students look more attractive to college admissions recruiters and are more like to be accepted.
A “well-traveled” student doesn’t necessarily mean the child has gone on an epic globetrotting trip to Asia. Impactful family travel can be as small as venturing domestically to a city or town vastly different from where the child grew up. Small, frequent weekend trips can be just as beneficial as a trip to Europe.