Raising a child who loves to travel and also appreciates and respects other cultures is essential in an increasingly global community.
While traveling to other countries used to be reserved for families with wealth, traveling on a budget now means that globetrotting is within reach for families on any budget.
How do you prepare your kids for a life filled with possibilities and adventure? By starting young and making travel a part of their upbringing.
Raising a Confident World Traveler
Learning is part of the equation, whether you plan on traveling with your toddler now or hope to take them along when they’re a bit older.
The type of education they get from pre-school and beyond contributes to their confidence and how they perceive the world around them. Make sure your toddler is enrolled in a program with a curriculum that is inclusive and encourages learning in unusual ways.
Schools using innovative programs like Frog Street use a multi-lingual curriculum and innovative learning tools to nurture confidence and an inclusive worldview, which are essential for world travelers.
Scheduling Kid-Friendly Stops
Taking your children on a world tour sounds amazing until it isn’t. You can fly to Italy and spend a few weeks dragging your kids from museum to museum, trying to force culture down their throats.
You will all end up miserable, and your kids will resist future travels, equating them with boring field trips. Or you can take them to Italy and find experiences they’ll love.
Murano’s glass-blowing artists, the gondolas of Venice, and Puglia’s pristine beaches are all wonderful diversions that will captivate your kids. A museum or two is fine but balance it with hiking in the Dolomites and other activities geared toward exploration and appreciating nature.
Introduce Foreign Cultures at Home
Traveling to the far corners of the world introduces your family to cultures with their own languages, foods, and customs. But nothing is stopping you from dipping your toes into their culture at home before you leave.
Read with or to your children about the region’s customs and talk about what they might see and hear. Listen to the country’s music and talk about it.
Look for simple recipes for authentic meals from the region, so your kids are accustomed to unusual flavors and textures.
Include Your Kids in Planning
Make sure your kids look forward to their travels by including them in the process. When planning a trip, it’s essential that children are part of the process so that they look forward to it as much as you do.
Buy guidebooks, visit travel blogs and websites, and discuss the many options as a family. Give your kids the chance to choose at least one destination that’s all about what they want, not what you want.
There will be plenty of activities you’ll all enjoy, and giving your children the freedom to chart their own travel path will guarantee their enthusiasm.