Traveling is not only fun, but it can be an incredible learning experience for children. Whether you are a wealthy parent or not, finding ways to travel with your kids can have numerous benefits and improve their development in so many ways.
Luckily, traveling the world is much more accessible than it once was, which means traveling with kids is not as challenging. Now, kids can easily see the world and experience new places and cultures, which can be such an enriching experience.
This article will look at the many things children can learn from traveling the world, as well as helpful tips for parents traveling with kids.
According to experts, traveling can significantly boost development in children in numerous ways. This is because traveling to new countries places children in situations they’ve likely never been in before, which gets their mind working harder than it has potentially grown accustomed to on a daily basis.
There are so many new sights, sounds, things, and people to experience when traveling the world that it can have a huge impact on skill development, emotions, behaviors, and more.
Below are a few of the many benefits children can gain while traveling.
One of the most important things children can learn from being a world traveler is more of an understanding of different cultures. Cultural awareness is crucial in teaching kids how to appreciate differences and have empathy and respect for people who aren’t like them.
The world is a big place, but it can be small and sheltered for kids, which can result in less understanding and acceptance of others. By traveling the world with kids, however, it can help them learn that there are other people out there that matter, and not everyone has to look or be the same to earn kindness and respect.
Of course, traveling will naturally put kids in contact with more people, forcing them into situations where they have to learn how to connect and communicate with others. This is a great skill to have, especially as they get older and enter the workforce. People skills and social skills are essential for those who want to build quality relationships, grow as a person, and excel in their careers.
Adding on to the previous benefit, mingling with diverse groups of people around the world not only builds social skills but it can also improve language development, especially for children who start traveling at a very young age. It is much easier for young kids to learn new languages than it is for adults.
Traveling to new countries can also help children develop their math skills. Learning how to count is something we teach kids from a young age, but we tend to only teach them how to recognize numbers and coins or money from our own culture. Thus, exposing them to money or signs with numbers in other countries can expand their mathematical abilities.
Traveling the world is also a bit like getting a history and geography lesson. Children are inherently curious, so they will likely ask a lot of questions about where they are or where they are going, which can help them learn about history and geography in a more engaging way. Reading about history and geography from a textbook is one thing, but learning about it from experience is another.
It’s important for today’s youth to grow up with more of a philanthropic and activist mindset. There is no denying that climate change is a real issue, and the only way to mitigate further damage is to teach younger generations how to take better care of the planet to ensure a more sustainable future. And one great way to do this is to broaden their worldview.
The more empathy kids have for the world and other cultures, the more they will be inclined to take care of it and its people. So traveling the world can not only help build empathy and cultural awareness, but it can also increase climate change awareness and the need for environmental activism.
Traveling can come with its challenges, even as an adult. When you are traveling somewhere new, it forces you out of your comfort zone and teaches you how to better adapt to unexpected situations. Thus, if kids start traveling at a young age, it can teach them to become incredibly resilient and adaptable under challenging and unforeseen circumstances, which can help them better handle and navigate their lives as they get older.
Another great benefit of traveling for kids is that it can teach them how to be more independent and responsible. When children are home, they can become reliant on the things and people that provide stability in their lives. However, when they travel, they will be forced to pay closer attention to themselves and their surroundings to understand and stay safe, which can teach them how to be more responsible for themselves.
While traveling with kids can be an excellent learning experience, many things can easily go wrong if you aren’t adequately prepared or taking safety precautions. And if you are planning an extended international trip with your kids, it’s also a good idea to take steps to prep your house before you travel as well, such as making sure everything is locked up and secure and cleaning perishables out of your fridge.
Below are some helpful tips for parents to make the trip go as smooth as possible and ensure everyone stays safe:
- Make sure you pack all the essentials, especially if you are traveling with a baby. While you might be able to get by without certain things as an adult, it’s harder for young kids. So always double-check that you have everything they’ll need before leaving.
- To keep your young kids safe while traveling, pack easily identifiable outfits so you won’t lose sight of them in crowds. You should also teach them the buddy system or what to do in case they get lost or separated from you.
- Give your kids some independence. To encourage your kids to have fun and learn, give them some freedom when traveling. If you control everything and make the trip too structured, it can discourage them, which can result in a bad experience and a lack of interest. Instead, let them have the freedom to make some choices and decisions on what you do.
- Plan for downtime. Not only can an overly structured trip diminish the fun for kids, but it can also be exhausting. You and your kids will need time to relax as well to refresh yourselves and maintain energy levels. So plan for a balance of activities and downtime.
Overall, when traveling with kids, you want to make the trip as fun and exciting for them as possible to encourage them to learn and have an interest in what they are experiencing. Understandably, traveling with kids can be more stressful and even scary, so you will likely have the urge to plan everything down to a T. But the more open-minded and flexible you are, the more likely your kids are to have a good time and enjoy the trip rather than feel like it is an overly structured school field trip.