10 Reasons to Backpack with Your Family
People think that all fun and adventure ends the moment one has kids but it actually doesn’t. True, a lot of parents are hesitant about bringing the entire family on a trip of any form but only because having kids around makes things extra challenging. It certainly isn’t for the faint of heart BUT it is NOT impossible.
So, why should you even decide to backpack with your family? Below are a few good and compelling reasons why you should:
1. It teaches you to rely on fewer things
Backpacking forces you to pack only the bare necessities of life (haha, just watched Jungle Book). Basically, everything you really, truly need during your days on the road are all fitted together in one backpack. If you have always had a lot of things (and clutter) at home, it might be time to rehabilitate yourself to learn to let go of the material things.
That applies not just to the parents but also to the kids, especially those who are too hooked on their electronics.
2. It brings the best learning experience to you and your kids
Traveling and backpacking teaches everyone more lessons than a four-walled classroom can. Will they learn how to prioritize their things and pack only what they believe they need? Will they learn how to budget and stretch out money for as long as possible? Will they be able to find their way around with just a map in hand? Backpacking around the world exposes everyone to different languages, cultures, architectures and histories.
3. It is the best form of exercise for everyone
We’ve tried backpacking for nearly a week and, with a huge pack in our bags (because we also bring our camping gears with us), it is truly a great form of exercise.
4. It is much cheaper compared to other methods of traveling
We rarely go for package tours unless they prove to be a much cheaper way of getting to a destination for us. Instead, we take the public transportation (yes, even with a huge backpack and a backpack carrier) just like regular people, stay at backpacker inns and even walk our way around the city. Of course, we also try to splurge on other experiences but we do our best to scrimp and stretch our budget whenever and wherever we can.
5. It allows you to explore the road less traveled
Riding a van that come with tour packages the entire time limits the places you get to visit. Who knows what’s hidden in that corner or what that neighborhood or local mall or market offers people? When you backpack, you get to choose where to go and, in the process, discover hidden gems you would have otherwise not found.
6. It encourages everyone to get out of their comfort zone
Backpacking is not for the faint of heart and it teaches you many, many things including exploring things that are way beyond what you are comfortable with. Have you ever tried sleeping with strangers in a dorm room?
7. It creates the best memories with your loved ones
The memories you make together when you go on a backpacking trip will surely be one that you would cherish forever.
8. It teaches you to be patient with each other
Being with kids at home will admittedly still be a major test of patience but, when you’re on the road, it becomes extra challenging. You have nowhere to retreat and no gadgets or television to entertain your kids so you will have to be extra creative to find other ways to distract them and prevent tantrums.
9. It enhances everyone’s problem-solving skills
How do you budget your money on the road? Which experiences will you prioritize over the other? How will you get from point A to point B? How will you entertain yourself when you’re bored on the road? These are just a few things everyone will eventually learn to solve on their own or together, as a family.
10. It helps you gain a new perspective on life
When you travel and backpack with the family, you learn that life isn’t just about your career or your paycheck, your business, your house or your car. There is so much more to life than these things and you get a better perspective. In fact, you might just be able to get a clearer view of your priorities the moment you start traveling.
So, what are you waiting for? Tell your family to pack your bags, hop on board a bus and make memories of a lifetime.
About the Author
Pam is an outdoors-loving millennial momma who loves to hike, trek and camp in the beaches and mountains with her partner and their 3-year-old daughter. When not exploring the great outdoors, she moonlights as a freelance writer specializing in the travel, parenting, personal finance and digital marketing niches. You can also follow her via social media: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest!