Travel has numerous advantages, including beautiful scenery, delicious cuisine, eye-opening encounters, and strengthened family relationships, to name but a few. It is simple to instill and nurture a love of travel in your children as a parent. A child’s perspective is broadened by travel, which introduces them to new people and deepens their understanding of other cultures and people. But, before you pack your things and jump on the plane, make sure your children understand that travel is a special experience and a luxury that not everyone in the world has the opportunity to enjoy.
Let their interests direct you
Allowing your child’s interests to determine the destination will get them excited about traveling. Consider all the places, near and far, that will pique your child’s interest. For example, if they are obsessed with trains, book a rail tour of Europe. If animals are their thing, look into a safari in Africa. If you are in need of some helpful tips before embarking on an African Safari, check out this handy guide by BornWild.
Don’t forget to ask friends for recommendations on any interesting, unique, or out-of-the-ordinary places they have visited. It’s worth driving an hour out of the way to see something extraordinary or unique to the area.
Get them involved in the planning
Engage the help of your little one in the planning and research of your vacations and trips. Ask your children where they would like to go and let them choose a few activities. When the school calendar is released, pull out the globe or Atlas with them and plan where you will spend long weekends. After you have decided on a destination, look for a family-friendly guidebook about the area you intend to visit. Look for family-friendly activities like children’s museums or junior-ranger programs at national parks.
Don’t force the enjoyment
Try not to fall into the trap of overscheduling the trip. If you want it to be a fun experience for the child, some of it has to happen organically and spontaneously. You do not have to plan everything ahead of time. Allow for leisure time and free time. Allow the child to move at their own pace, not yours. Remember that versatility will earn you bonus points with your children and will most likely save your composure. There are things that happen when you allow children to be spontaneous. They see magic in things that we may not have done. They find things more adventurous than you would if you traveled with only adults.
Keep in mind to let go of your expectations. It’s okay if your children do not enjoy every minute of the trip. If you have multiple children, they will most likely not enjoy the same activities. Make sure that everyone has a chance to choose an activity so that no one feels left out.
Connect with people
There may be no better way to nurture a love of travel than with connections. Introduce your children to families with children wherever you travel. Help them learn some culture and even some words of a foreign language. Making friends when you travel is one of the best parts of exploring the world, and it will create long-lasting memories.
Preserve your memories
Place a premium on experiences over material gifts. Your memories will last much longer, too. Save ticket stubs and receipts from flights, museums, stadiums, and restaurants for a scrapbook or travel journal. Make notes on the pages with captions about a funny moment, a memorable activity, or a favorite food. Include postcards or photos as well. For more ideas on how you can preserve mementos from your travels, see Ten Crafty Travel Projects.
Sharing travel experiences with your children will be much more meaningful if you nurture a love of travel from an early age. Talk about your own travel adventures and get them excited. Plan age-appropriate activities for your kids, so they can cherish their own travel memories. Connect with others and allow your children to explore. The world is a wonderful place and it is a blessing to explore it.