I have had a passion for travel as long as I can remember. As much as I would like it to be something that I found on my own, it’s not.
Kids are like play-dough, they are easily shaped and it’s always someone else who is the creator.
We can change over time when we’re older, but much of that foundation will always be there – whether we like it or not.
My parents always had an intention to make me like traveling, something which I didn’t realize until a few years ago when my mum was trying to rationalize me leaving to travel for the first time.
It wasn’t something which she said out loud, it was more like a subtle reminder to herself –
”well, I guess this is what we wanted… We did make an effort to inspire our kids to travel…” Important to get back into a routine after traveling.
Why Send Your Kids To Summer Camp Abroad?
Traveling For A Year With Kids – Tips From A Parent
We did travel all the time and sometimes also on all inclusive family vacations – something which I am very grateful for today, some people don’t want to travel with kids because they won’t remember it when they’re older, but it’s not always about the memories.
I believe that traveling with your children will help them develop so many skills that they otherwise wouldn’t, as well as a different understanding of foreign cultures and accepting other ways of living.
However, looking back at it, I can imagine it was a lot of hard work for my parents to travel with kids…A friend of mine, Åsa, has a family of two kids (7 and 9) and they have just spent a whole year traveling around the world.
It’s definitely something which I will be doing when I have a family myself, so I asked her to share some tips…
Involve Your Kids In The Itinerary
If you make all the decisions on where to go you will more likely experience a trip to hell than a trip around the world.
At the same time, you also need to think about yourself and enjoy the trip as much as your kids.
Set up a system, where they get to choose something fun to do, like going to a theme park, and you get to choose something to do as well, like visiting a museum.
The kids will be fine with coming along since they know they get to do something they want as well.
Set Up Daily Routines
If you’re going to be away for a long period of time, education is necessary. Set up a routine of studying, and before leaving it’s necessary to draw up an appropriate ”curriculum” of teaching together with the school so you know that your kids aren’t missing out on anything.
Things such as tests and exams are still important to make sure your kids actually learn and are at the same level as other kids their age. Some schools even set up something called ”cyberschooling” where your kids can ”go to school” on the internet, but we never used it.
Stay In Apartments Or Houses Whenever Possible
Both traveling with kids as well as home schooling is very different from normal travels and you’re juggling a lot of things at the same time.
We dealt with this by traveling slow and taking longer breaks between travel days, and found that we had much more fun and it made the kids more relaxed and happy.
Staying in apartments also made things easier and cheaper. We could cook our food, and there was often much more space than in crammed hotel rooms.
If you’re not planning on staying for a whole year you can actually rent timeshare weeks that have similar apartment style accommodations plus amenities like swimming pools which children always enjoy.
We also traveled around much by car, renting a car in the country for a week or so, rather than traveling long hours by bus or train, which allowed for breaks whenever we wanted.
Often you can rent a car at one place and leave it at another, which makes it pretty easy as well.
When arriving in England we rented a car from the Heathrow parking area and when we were leaving, we left the car at the Gatwick parking lot without any problems at all.
Did The Children Benefit?
I saw a lot of changes in my kids during our year of traveling; they became more confident, more outgoing and they picked up new languages very quickly.
It’s a big step to take your kids traveling, and there are a lot of worries, but I guarantee that the benefits far outweigh the downsides.
There are so many things you need to plan that this barely scratches the surface, but those are things that I found helped our travels a lot that I didn’t read much about before hand.
Would you consider taking a gap year and travel with your family?
Promoting Adventurous Spirit at a Young Age
How young were you when you realized you had a thirst for adventure? The average age of a traveller seems to be getting younger with each passing year and people are craving adventure at an increasingly earlier age.
Research indicates that a child must taste food at least 10 times before he or she will accept it and the younger a child is, the more willing they are to try new foods.
Although this seems irrelevant, you’d be surprised by how often parents have cited food as a reason for not travelling to more exotic locations with their kids.
Parents are more health conscious and see the need of adding more activities into their family life.
Travel plays a large role in this, parents are more open to taking the kids along and including them into travel activities such as winter sports, camping, hiking, cycling and even backpacking.
Teaching a child to be adventurous with food at any early age, therefore, is a great thing for parents to do. With a new-found taste for the uncommon throughout their growth, they become increasingly hungry for adventure.
With a wealth of travel information at their fingertips, it’s easy to imagine the next generation of travellers having a thirst for globetrotting that will be increasingly unquenchable.