Vacations Better Than Toys?

We live in a very materialistic society — every birthday, holiday or graduation all kids ever want is a new toy or game.  They want the newest and latest version of just about every toy on the market, and this leaves their parents in a frenzy.  What toy should they buy? Which version is the latest? Do toys really cost this much nowadays?

While it may be good to get your kids the things they want every now and then, toys and gifts are often very underappreciated and quickly forgotten.  And they can result in families spending even less time together in our very busy lives.  In fact, Oliver James, Britain’s best-selling psychologist-author who wrote the book Love Bombing: Reset Your Child’s Emotional Thermostat, told The Telegraph that many of the toys we purchase for our children aren’t even actually valued or wanted.

In fact, multiple surveys have found that one-fifth to two-thirds of toys are unvalued or unwanted.  What should you do the next time you need to get gifts for your kids?

Simple! Plan a vacation for them and the whole family.  James expands on this, stating “family holidays are definitely valued by children, both in the moment and for long afterwards in their memory. So, if you’re going to spend money on something, it’s pretty clear which option makes more sense.”

While toys and gadgets encourage kids to be by themselves, vacations make time for families to be together, which is a key to remaining happy and stress free.  It is actually proven that family vacations not only help de-stress the parents, since they are getting time away from their jobs, but actually de-stress the kids as well.  According to a 2015 survey of 754 kids, 77% of kids reported feeling no stress when their parents take a break from work to spend time with them and it said that parents who want to help their kids reduce stress should consider using a vacation day.

Now while you may think kids live a stress-free life, this is not true.  That same report found that 79% of 8- to 14-year-olds say they regularly experience stress. And toys won’t help solve this.

Vacations truly are the gift that keeps on giving for kids. They’ll also help with your child’s brain development.  According to Dr. Margot Sunderland, a child psychotherapist and Director of Education and Training at The Centre for Child Mental Health, exploring during a family vacation, whether it’s in nature or a heritage town, activates many critical areas of the brain.  This brings about brain growth and maturation in the frontal lobes, the very part of the brain involved in cognitive functioning, social intelligence and well-focused, goal-directed behaviors that may last a lifetime.

With all of this information it’s time for the old adage ‘parents know best’ to be put into practice for gift giving.  No longer should parents feel pressured to buy the latest “must-have” toys…they instead should consider family vacations for gifts.  A timeshare could be your best option since they ensure you take a vacation each and every year.  And with locations across the globe, each vacation can be a new experience where you will be able try a new place and experience a new culture in your timeshare.  Your kids will thank you for it and it will stick with them for the rest of their lives.

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