How to get Children Interested in Travel - Part IIPublished: 08/09/2013
As we grow up we meet people, we hear stories and see pictures and objects from faraway foreign places. Our natural instinct to be curious is always present and a certain toy or anecdote might capture our attention and spark an interest in a certain city or country. We hear accents and eat international cuisines. We watch movies and read books, all the while wondering what it would be like to taste a certain flavour or set eyes upon a certain view, maybe stand amidst the ruins of a certain old archaeological site.
The best way to instil a love of travelling your young ones is to take them travelling with you while they're growing up.
Not all countries are equal when it comes to safety and child friendly facilities. In fact, many are unsafe for adults, especially those that are caught in conflict or have hostile policies towards visitors. Then there are the countries that are marginally safe but a certain amount of awareness is essential in avoiding trauma on holiday. When your children are still young, opt for the more comfortable family resorts but don't get caught up in all your resort has to offer. Get out and about and explore the city and its sites with your children. Don't be tempted into leaving them in the hotel kids' club.
Always be prepared when travelling with children. Travel insurance is vitally important, literally, and keeping young people in a routine can often mean the difference between a fantastic day out and a whole 8 hours of listening to whining and crying, fighting children. Travel can be exhausting on adults so remember that it's probably taking an even bigger toll only your children and make sure that they get the rest that they need to be awake and receptive to these amazing, once in a lifetime experiences.
Being prepared and sensible are important but safety is just as important, if not more so. In some countries child trafficking is a real and present danger. Children need to be kept under constant supervision in order to avoid kidnapping and parents need to educate them about stranger danger and what to do in such a situation in a foreign country.
Eating out at restaurants and in airplanes and hotels is fun but not healthy. Keep the kids in good spirits by avoiding too many sugary, fatty and salty meals out and try to keep them feeling more at home with self-prepared meals wherever possible. Sometimes this may mean choosing a different type of accommodation such as self-catering apartments instead of hotels.
Instead of just taking the children along for the trip, get them to actively help in planning for it. They can help plot out the route and decide on the sites that you'll visit to make for a more rewarding vacation.
If you don't have enough money to take you overseas, never underestimate the value in travelling around your own country and staying in campsites where your children can meet and run around with the locals and learn more about their culture first-hand.
Posted in: General Travel