Travelers planning to enter Westgate Resorts’ ’12 Stays of Christmas’ Photo Contest need to act now. The contest submission window, which opened on December 12, closes soon.
To celebrate the times travel has brought people together, hotel company Westgate Resorts is searching for the “most Instagrammable” memory on your photo roll. “The holiday season was made for making memories,” says a spokesperson from Westgate Resorts. “From time with family to extravagant trips, the holidays are a time to cherish. And we want to see your best holiday vacation memories!”
These vacations and traditions are not only for creating content for your Instagram feed or entering contests. They sow the seeds of deeper meaning about the season and help children learn how to have happy, healthy relationships later in life.
That’s why, no matter if a favorite memory is the edge of an infinity pool overlooking a turquoise sea or baking cookies, Westgate Resorts wants to celebrate what the holidays look like for everyone.
The Benefits of Family Vacations and Traditions
While traveling with children sounds daunting, Mary Beth DeWitt, Ph.D., chief of child psychology at Dayton Children’s Hospital, believes multi-generational travel is a good thing.
“Our relationships from early childhood help us develop later relationships which, when healthy, contribute to our positive self-esteem, resilience, and happiness,” she says. However, the point of vacations isn’t about spending money on luxe trips so much as it’s about prioritizing making time to bond and make memories.
This “bonding” time can also lead to happier marriages, a stronger sense of identity in adolescence, better overall academic achievement, and more fulfilling relationships between family members. Children also see examples of stress management and healthy coping skills as they see their parents and grandparents handle the turbulence that can come up when traveling.
“Travel and educating children about their roles as citizens of the world whey they’re young ensures they will retain that message into their adult years,” Dr. Robin Hancock, a global education specialist at Bank Street College, adds. “When someone begins a habit or a tradition … early in life, that becomes the foundation through which they view the world for the rest of their life.”
Couples Who Travel Together Stay Together
Making time to travel as a couple is just as important as time with the extended family. According to a study published in the Journal of Travel Research, not only does travel feed an individual hunger for change and for new, but travel also fulfills couples’ need for intimacy.
Talking to Brides, relationship expert and strategist Elizabeth Overstreet adds that couples need to travel alone without extra family members. “The couple is the foundation of the family,” she says. “And in order to keep building that foundation, it’s important that you carve out time with one another, independent of your kids,” or other extended family members.
Taking this time away from everyone else and away from the usual routine of your daily life is essential for being a good partner or parent. Not only can travel help you discover things about your partner you forgot about, but it can help bring a “positive disruption” to your daily routine.
Habitual behavior can put people on “autopilot,” writes Lisa Firestone, Ph.D., a clinical psychologist and Director of Research and Education at the Glendon Association, which “can cut us off from feeling.” Staying in a routine has benefits and can feel safe – but it can also dull the capacity for wonder, excitement, and curiosity.
Why Shaking up Routine Is Important
These “positive disruptions” also benefit brain health, which can help strengthen personal and professional relationships.
According to a study published in The Journal of Gerontology: Psychological Sciences and Social Sciences, changing your daily routine can help boost cognitive function and prevent memory loss, among other cognitive abilities.
Looking for more reasons to prioritize travel in 2024? Taking time off from work to travel helps prevent burnout, improves job satisfaction, and decreases sleep problems, headaches, back pain, and many other health complaints.
To travel for free in 2024, enter Westgate Resort’s ’12 Stays of Christmas’ giveaway. The winner will receive a “$1,200 gift certificate to a participating Westgate resort, plus $200 in resort credit” to use during your 2024 stay. Westgate will also choose twelve finalists, winning $100 in resort credit.
To be considered, submit a photo of a favorite family memory to the company’s website. Entries are due December 22.
This article was produced and syndicated by Wealth of Geeks.
Nicole Tommasulo is a travel writer and editor based in Boston, Massachusetts. For almost a decade, Nicole has been covering the lifestyle beat, writing about mental health, physical health, nutrition, food, travel, and books.
She has an MFA in Writing from Savannah College of Art and Design and has been previously published by The List, Explore, MSN, AP, Heels Down Magazine, Hello Giggles, xoJane, Femsplain, and more.
Besides working at Wealth of Geeks, Nicole founded a travel and food magazine, savor+roam. You can follow Nicole on Instagram (@nicoletommasulo or @savor_roam) for more.