Traveling with children definitely takes preparation. I have found that motivating and inspiring my children and teens about the places we will be visiting, makes for a much more positive and enthusiastic experience once we finally arrive.
There are a lot of ways in which you can get your children and teens excited about your expedition. It is important to take time to prepare, and allow your children to prepare as well. I will discuss a few things I’ve found has worked for us.
Getting your Kids Involved
Involve your children and teens in the trip by getting them directly involved with the itinerary. A great way to start is to prepare your kids by discussing and reading either with them (or to them) information obtained from the internet regarding your destination. Important information to cover includes: background about the cities, the cultures which reside there, and the sites you will be visiting.
My wife and I like to assign our kids designations. Our children and teens create reports about the places we are going to visit. You can do this by assigning each 1 or 2 cities, or it can be as focused as a single site. Allow them to be creative with their research and the destinations they choose to focus on. You’ll be surprised what they come up with. You may also learn about some new travel destinations you’ll want to put on your itinerary. Children and teens often will find interesting, fun places you may have missed which you may want to add to your itinerary to balance itinerary with fun and education.
Prepare your children and teens by discussing and reading either with them (or to them) information obtained from the internet regarding your destination. Important information to cover includes: background about the cities, the cultures which reside there, and the sites you will be visiting.
Giving your Kids a Hands-on Travel Experience
After you prepare your itinerary; have your children and teens create ads for the destinations in the cities they will be visiting in preparation. One great method that works for our kids is using oak tags to do this. Another great way to get your kids involved and offering hands on experience is to have your children and teens locate establishments that are on the itinerary. For example: I have had my kids locate for me the closest Starbucks to our hotel room.
Another great method we used is to have our kids get crafty with their involvement. One such way we do this is by having our children and teens create detailed maps. The younger children will enjoy using crayons and colored pencils for this and serves as fun, educational art project; which targets the various destinations on the itinerary.
Another great method we use to get our children involved in our itinerary is to have them create videos about the destinations we will be traveling to. Kids get excited about creating videos and being on television. We play the videos before our trips in the family room. A great time to do this would be after having a meal together, or during designated family game nights. Watch the videos you kids have made together as a family and then offer encouragement and discuss the attractions and culture of the places you will be visiting.
Discuss the Currencies that will be Used during Your Travel Destination
It is important to teach your children and teens the currencies used in the different countries you will be visiting. You want to make sure your kids know the value of the money used; as it is often very different than your native currency. Teach your children and teens the exchange rates and discuss how much a dollar is worth in the country you will be visiting; as compared to its worth at home. If you have any currency for the place you will be traveling to, bring it out and show your kids to allow them to get accustomed to how it looks.
Preparing gets your Children Excited about the Trip
Getting your kids involved is important, because it allows them to feel like they are directly involved in the planning of the trip, rather than simply a passive participant. If you haven’t given these methods a try—try them out. You will soon notice that your children and teens will be more eager to travel; you will also notice they will become more excited and enthusiastic about the trip.