6 Lessons Children Learn While Traveling Abroad
So many parents have grand plans of raising their children, sending them off to college and traveling with their spouses. While this is an optimistic and positive goal to have, why wait until your kids are grown to travel the world? Sure, children are a lot of work and carting them across the globe may seem like a daunting task, but the truth is your kids will learn how to travel and then they can contribute to an overall enjoyable family trip.
They say travel is good for the soul, but it’s also a great way to teach important lessons about history, geography, culture and life. Here are 6 things kids can learn while traveling abroad.
Even best-laid travel plans go awry occasionally. Flights get delayed, luggage gets lost and hurricanes devastate entire cities. These circumstances serve as humbling experiences for even the most traveled of adults. However, if you can look past the inconvenience and embrace the adventure of it all, you can show your children how to adapt and overcome unforeseen events. Plus, they learn exactly how to make judgment calls in difficult situations. For example, what situations are minor enough to continue your adventures, and when should you give up and go home?
Exposing your children to other cultures early in life shows them the value of global citizenship. When young people understand that not everyone looks, speaks and acts as they do, then they can truly appreciate diversity. In many parts of the world, people live in less desirable conditions and suffer food insecurity on a regular basis. Travel teaches empathy, which leads to initiatives that help impoverished nations. Perhaps your well-traveled child will grow up to pursue an essential career in international relations or humanitarianism.
The science behind linguistics points to early childhood as the prime time for language learning. Plus, it fosters communication with people from other cultures. This is great for establishing relationships, but it’s also important for ensuring safety while abroad. Teaching your kids common phrases in the local language of the place you’re visiting will benefit them in the event they become separated from you and need to seek assistance.
When you’re out in the world with your family, your standard routine does not apply. This forces each member of your group to assume new roles and take on different responsibilities than usual. This is an opportunity to present your kids with new leadership challenges from navigation to logistic and culinary decisions. Additionally, if your child feels some anxiety about travel, a special job to focus on may make the journey a little easier to process.
Kids develop confidence through experience. Exposing them to adventure at a young age will enable them to step outside their comfort zone and try new things. It will also help them to determine and define their boundaries. A child may express over-the-moon excitement to swim with nerf sharks but may draw the line at climbing the Eifel Tower, and that’s okay! As children continue to grow, travel and try new things, they will feel more capable and assured.
The reality of going on an international excursion is a lot of waiting. You arrive at the airport early to wait for your flight, and then you sit on a plane for hours waiting for in-flight meal service. You stand on the curb for a while until your bus or taxi arrives and then you wait while the hotel staff checks you into your room. Remaining patient during those long hours is difficult for adults, so of course, it would be impossible for kids, right? Actually, these are the perfect moments for your children to reap the benefits of boredom, overcome it and entertain themselves without disrupting others.
When planning your next overseas holiday, consider bringing the kids along to share in the fun. When you think of it as an educational experience, there are no ends to the benefits of family travel.