According to Travel Effects' website, travel promotes an active sex life in most couples, increases the likelihood of degree completion and increases wage potential, decreases work related stress, raises national revenue, and provides jobs.
UStravel.org sites even more benefits such as: increased performance on vigilance assessments, decreased chances of heart attack and overall increased happiness.
A study done at Indiana University found that travelers are more creative and better at solving puzzles than non-travelers. It was also found that while traveling, people have more epiphanies about their regular life.
Living abroad has even more benefits than mere travel. People who live abroad are generally more open minded and employ more flexible thinking. Of course there are logical reasons why all of this happens. I don't really care about the reasons, I just care that there are benefits and I am handing them on to my children. From a parent perspective I believe there are benefits specific to children, which I highlight below.
1. Kids learn patience from travel. We all know that travel involves lines. We wait in lines multiple times at the airport before we start the trip. Many countries have much longer lines than in the United States for every day things. Banking is a perfect example; in the US we stop at a bank to make a quick withdrawal or deposit and then get onto our planned activity. In many countries the lines at the banks are so long that going to make a deposit is the day's activity. There is nothing to do but wait -and maybe some reading or people watching.
2. Kids learn to try new things. On trips kids try new food, new transportation and new adventures. My kids LOVE cereal and cold milk for breakfast. My husbands family eats a hot sit-down breakfast together...a HEAVY full meal breakfast. They learn to eat it or go hungry because there is no cereal in the house, and even if there were, the milk does not taste the same. They may balk at first, but by day three there grumbling tummies win out and they eat the fried steak and hot broth at seven am.
3. Kids learn to think about others' perspectives. We do things a certain way and we get used to doing things that way. Then we bring our kids into a new culture and people do things differently. Kids notice the differences, and they ask questions. These questions are great. We can examine why we do things the way we do and why others do things differently and it can be a great time to teach acceptance of multiple perspectives.
4. Kids learn life skills and lessons that cannot be taught at school. Money conversion, public transportation, history museums, bartering, geography, language, time zones...Enough said?
5. Kids disconnect and live in the real world. Batteries are expensive overseas and their devices run out. Internet is not always available. They finish their books. Cable is not always available or in a language they understand. Again, enough said?
I know there are actually more than 5 benefits and more than the benefits I found sited in some studies that come from traveling. I think the more extensive the travel the greater the benefit. Is travel fun? Most of the time, not always, but sometimes the trickiest times teach us the most. So my advice to all families...go travel! Where will you go?