Traveling is a rewarding activity for many of us. Going to unfamiliar places broadens our horizons by exposing us to novel experiences, diverse cultures and to new friends.
It can be more so for kids; taking them on out adventures into the wider world affords us opportunities to teach them lessons that will prove valuable to them in the future, not just when they venture out on their own trips, but as they go through their daily life.
Here are some of the lessons that you can impart to your kids as you go on the road.
One: How to travel light.
There is a limit to what you can take with you as you move from one place to another. Whether it depends on what your body can carry or the luggage capacity of your means of transportation, this limit forces you to prioritize which of your possessions will be of most use to you as you travel.
You will need to guide your little ones as they pick and choose items for the trip such as clothes that are easy to clean, those that don’t take up much space in your luggage and their essential toiletries.
Two: How to keep themselves entertained.
Not every moment you spend traveling will be exciting or interesting. You can expect downtimes when you can either rest or find a way to occupy your time.
The little ones may get antsy or bored during long wait periods or while in transit. So it would be wise to plan ahead with them on how they can keep themselves entertained while still packing light. They will need to leave behind their bulky game consoles in favor of easy-to-carry books, a pack of cards, and, with your permission of course, mobile electronics.
You can also take the opportunity to point out the sceneries you’re passing through or fill them in on the places where you’re going to drum up their excitement or spike their interest.
Three: How to discover on their own.
Some kids are adventurous by nature. They will want to strike out on their own. Nurture this inclination by helping them identify interesting places where they can safely venture out by themselves such as parks or play areas, with you keeping yourself easily accessible to them should they need you.
Of course, you will need to equip for their quest. Teach them to read maps and road signs, agree on places where they can meet up with you and point out places they can go to in case they need help.
Four: How to keep themselves safe.
Foremost among our concerns as parents is the safety of our kids. When traveling, little ones should be instructed to always stay near or within your sight, to be wary of strangers and to keep your contact details handy so that they can ask someone to get in touch with you should you get separated.
Five: How to stay on budget.
A big consideration in traveling is, of course, our budget. There may be times when the things you want to buy or the activities you want to experience may be beyond your means. Usually, you prioritize those that are more affordable or you limit yourself to those that are essential to your travel experience.
Similarly, you need to help your kids understand that they won’t be able to buy all their hearts’ desires during the trip. You can negotiate with them on which purchases you can afford that they can still enjoy.
Six: How to be good guests.
Remember, no matter which place you visit, you are basically visitors there. You and the kiddies should therefore behave as good guests. Aside from being polite to the people that you meet, you would also need to brush up on the basics of local customs so as not to offend anyone.
Furthermore, it is important to respect the local environment by following their conservation laws and cleanliness practices. As the famous quote among travellers goes:
Leave nothing but footprints.
Take nothing but pictures.
Kill nothing but time.
Seven: How to be thankful.
Not everyone has the means and opportunity to travel. It is therefore important for the kids to realize and appreciate the fact that they are able to.
For me, the best way to be thankful for opportunities such as these is to make the most of them in terms of learning and enjoyment.
Planning a trip with the kiddies any time soon? Do share your tips for traveling with kids.