When it comes to family vacations and childhood, Disney certainly has its place.  It's a rare child that doesn't want to eventually shake Mickey Mouse's hand, hug Donald Duck or snap a picture standing beside Snow White.

But here's a fascinating idea to consider - the things a child learns between the ages of five and 15 will have a direct impact on the characteristics and decision making skills he will possess as an adult.

Why is this important and what does it have to do with the annual family vacation?

Well, just ask Ashish Sanghrajka.

At a recent family travel conference in Arizona, Sanghrajka spoke passionately about how travel can profoundly impact a child, forever changing his or her life.  But he wasn't talking about just any kind of travel.

Sanghrajka, president of Florida-based Big Five Tours & Expeditions, spoke of family travel with a purpose that involves and engages children in the issues facing the planet and its people, travel that includes a focus on such things as tolerance, diversity, human rights, conservation and more.

"It's not just about where do you want to go," Sanghrajka said. "It's about why do you want to go. Do you want to see an animal? Great, then just go to a zoo. Are you explaining why poaching is happening? And why poachers become poachers?"

"I want to raise a son who is caring, empathetic and who will have a positive impact on the world," he added, with the key follow-up question being - how about you? What kind of child do hope to raise?

If you liked this article you might like

Under-the-Radar Cities and Destinations Dominate Travelers' Plans for 2017

Holiday Gift Guide for the Millionaires in Your Life

The Future of Travel to Cuba in the Wake of Trump's Election and Post-Fidel Castro

The Latest in Native American Tourism: Cultural Experiences and Educational Opportunities