It’s National Travel Week, and while our cruises and tours are built around the concept of Christian travel—deepening each passenger’s personal relationship with God—we also appreciate travel’s impact on other significant relationships.
Over and over we see how travel creates lasting family bonds and memories, bringing married couples closer together. The benefits aren’t just anecdotal; research shows many benefits to getting away with those you want to keep close.
Talk to adults and ask them what they remember most about their childhoods. It’s likely that one of their most vivid memories is from a family vacation. It’s typical for parents and children to spend more time together when they travel than they do during their busy day-to-day lives. New activities, sights and sounds create opportunities that stay in the mind long after the experience has ceased.
Research has shown this combination of “nearness” and “newness” when vacationing together can improve a family’s connectedness by fostering communication and can even help siblings get along better with one another. Child psychologists believe that the unscheduled moments of free time during vacations often stimulates creativity and self-sufficiency among children.
Here’s an example: Let’s say your family books a Caribbean Christian cruise this fall. Together, you get to explore and make memories by hiking nature trails at Half Moon Cay in the Bahamas. In Georgetown, where the cruise docks in the Cayman Islands, you spend a sunny day at the Turtle Farm at Boatswain’s Beach. Not only do you and your family members get to see a 600-pound sea turtle, you may even get to hold a tiny turtle yearling.
During the rest of the cruise while you’re unplugged from technology, you get to interact, laugh over delicious cuisine and explore the vast ship together. Combine each of these experiences, breathtaking places and time in each other’s presence, and you’re sure to build powerful and positive memories.
It’s true that kids may not always remember destinations, but they will remember specific moments. They will see God’s creation. Their exposure to new cultures will even increase their understanding of the world and spark their imaginations. All these benefits are reason enough to travel with family!
Research reveals that couples who travel frequently often enjoy increased intimacy. A marriage survey a few years ago by the U.S. Travel Association found that a vacation sparked deeper romance than a thoughtful gift. The increased interaction of spending a full week in each other’s presence can help you reconnect.
Traveling forces couples to step out of their daily routines and see one another in a fresh, new light. They may even have opportunities to step outside their comfort zones. Experiencing new adventures together forges powerful connections. Friendship is vital to marriage, and it is only increased when a husband and wife have fun together.
As an example, imagine traveling to Alaska later this summer. After departing from Seattle, the two of you spend a week creating memories and having new experiences. Imagine sipping coffee together on your balcony as your ship glides through the unbelievable beauty of Glacier Bay, or exploring the totem poles in Sitka or savoring minutes-fresh salmon in Ketchikan.
Then, picture returning to the ship for teaching designed to help you understand each other at the deepest level, increasing your communication and connection, guided by Dr. Gary Chapman. By the end of the week, you’ll return home communicating more clearly and with insight into your core motivations and needs. Your week in Alaska has renewed your commitment to one another and deepened the romance.
Is a Christian cruise just what you need to prioritize your marriage or family?
What are you waiting for?
Whether you’re looking to plan a family vacation or hoping for some much-needed rest and relaxation with the one you love, go somewhere new together! You’ll find that it draws you closer to those who matter most.