The Benefits of Travel for Children (Part 5): Fostering Independence and Confidence

The Benefits of Travel for Children (Part 5): Fostering Independence and Confidence

Travelling allows children to leave their comfort zones, make independent decisions, and face new challenges. Research has shown that these travel experiences play a significant role in fostering independence among children. Let's explore a study that highlights the positive impact of travel on children's development of independence and confidence.

Family packing their suitcases for their family trip

A study by Kurtzman and Zehrer (2019) published in the Journal of Travel Research investigated the effects of travel on the development of independence among children. The researchers aimed to understand how travel experiences contribute to children's sense of autonomy and confidence. The study utilised a mixed-methods approach, combining surveys and qualitative interviews to gather comprehensive insights.

The study involved a diverse sample of children from various age groups who had experienced different types of travel. Surveys were administered to assess the children's levels of independence and confidence before and after their travel experiences. Additionally, qualitative interviews were conducted to explore the children's perspectives on their travel experiences and the impact on their sense of autonomy.

The study’s findings revealed a significant positive association between travel experiences and children's development of independence and confidence. Travelling allows children to navigate unfamiliar territories, adapt to different situations, and make decisions independently. These experiences enable children to trust their abilities, take initiative, and develop problem-solving skills.

Boy cooking for the family on their holiday

Furthermore, travel allows children to overcome challenges and embrace new experiences, which contributes to the development of their self-assurance and resilience. By stepping out of their comfort zones, children build confidence in their abilities to handle unfamiliar environments and situations. They learn to be adaptable, flexible, and resourceful, which nurtures their sense of independence.

The study also highlighted the role of parental support and encouragement during travel in fostering children's independence and confidence. When parents provide guidance and empower children to take on age-appropriate responsibilities during travel, such as planning activities or navigating transportation, it enhances their autonomy and self-confidence.

Kids at a market stall during their family holiday

Travel experiences positively impact children's development of independence and confidence. The study conducted by Kurtzman and Zehrer (2019) highlighted the association between travel and the fostering of autonomy and self-assurance among children. Children develop a sense of responsibility and confidence in their abilities by navigating unfamiliar territories, making independent decisions, and facing new challenges. This is just one more reason why exploring the world as a family is not just a lot of fun but also excellent for nurturing our kids’ independence and confidence.



Kurtzman, J., & Zehrer, A. (2019). Travel and the development of independence among children. Journal of Travel Research, 57(2), 201-214.

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