How to Help Young Children Appreciate Travel

It’s the little things that matter most, and when you travel with your little ones—it can be hard to make the actual experience of travel be the part that matters most. The stresses of packing, flying, and transportation with young children can add pressure and take away from the original goal of bringing your children in tow: enriching experiences to shape how they’ll grow as a person. Here are some tips for helping children appreciate travel—because they can remember if we give them tools.

Ask them to help document the trip.

We all have memories that we think we remember but when it comes down to it, what we think are memories are just photographs our parents captured. While this is all a part of collective memory, engage your children in the documentation of the trip through their own photography. Encourage them to be on the other side of the lens, too. Ask younger children to interpret experiences while on vacation through drawing or art projects. Older children can reflect on their thoughts and memories through writing.  

Take them to adult attractions, too.

Venture away from the children-specific tourist attractions and you might be surprised to find just how much your children enjoy museums, sights and other attractions that entertain adults, too.

Help them make an impact.

While “volunteer tourism” might not be the right answer for all families, it’s still possible to appreciate travel through smaller, enriching experiences. Depending on the age of your children there are plenty of organizations such as Best Friends Animal Sanctuary or Sierra Club that offer

Make it about the food.

If your kids have an entire list of what they won’t eat at home, you’re not alone. Given the chance, you’ve probably also found that your kids are more adventurous about eating while on the road. Don’t stop there. Using food as a learning experience can help them appreciate travel in a new way. Why is that food specific to your travel destination? Can you get it back home? How old is the cuisine? These are all questions to explore further for a more impactful vacation.

Caroline Hernandez

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