Globetrotting parents are most likely to have kids who love travelling too… it’s in their blood! That is, if the parents let them tag along in some of their travels. Not everyone would love to have kids tagging along because planning can just get more intense and the cost more expensive with special arrangements to ensure security and comfort.
Another concern that most parents have is finding the right destinations for them that will offer great learning lessons, will keep them enthusiastic, and would be fun and exciting too. If you are in this stage, it will be useful to read the article The Wonder Years by Julietta Jameson posted in Traveller – Experiences Section. She opened the blog with inspiring narratives of parents and children about their own experiences.
Cath Pirret and husband talked about their experiences when they took her daughters Jessie and Holly (10 and 7 years old respectively) to Britain. … “Holly didn’t realise that there was a 1st century and that the world was so old. She thought it started at the 16th century. Jessie says she learnt how to deal with new situations quickly.”
Jameson reinforces the benefits of allowing children to gain travel experiences. She shared stories about C.J Johnson, film critic and ABC Radio broadcaster from Sydney, who travelled as a child with his parents, and Tracey Spider, a travel writer, and her experiences with her 5-year-old daughter Grace. Spider is convinced, “Travel is one of the greatest gifts you can give a child.” To this Keith Bellows, editor-in-chief of the American National Geographic Traveler Magazine, wholeheartedly agrees. He believes that the world is “the greatest classroom we have” and that “Children who learn to travel will travel to learn… and they will do it all their lives.” This inspired him to write a book “100 Places that Can Change Your Child’s Life (National Geographic).
Indeed, “Every corner of the globe, from the Great Barrier Reef to the Great Wall, is a classroom. Julietta Jameson selects 25 places, from a new book, that to visit have the potential to transform a child’s life.”
Jameson breaks the destinations into categories: Culture; Exotic, Wildlife, History, Architecture, Unique, Cities, Islands, and Adventure. These categories allow travelling parents to discuss first-hand with their children their options when they gather to plan and make decisions. For this to work, parents need to take time to find out which of these would appeal to their kids’ sense of imagination, discovery and adventure.
Jameson has these suggestions:
- Culture: Tokyo, Paris, London
- Exotic: Amalfi Coast (Italy), Chiang Mai (Thailand) and Rhine Valley (Germany)
- Wildlife: Rockies (Canada) and Serengeti (Africa)
- History: Venice, Athens, Jerusalem
- Architecture: Gaudi Cathedral (Barcelona, Spain), Taj Mahal (Agra, India) and the Great Wall of China
- Unique: Great Barrier Reef and Uluru (Australia) and Antarctica
- Cities: Berlin (Germany), Edinburgh (Scotland), Hongkong
- Islands: Easter Island (Chile), Galapagos, Hawaii
- Adventure: (Albert (Canada), Marrakesh (Morocco)
Jameson also included a list of tips in order to “build travel into a child’s life.”
- Buy a world globe for your child’s room. Encourage them to imagine what life is like in each country.
- Whenever a destination is mentioned on television, Google the country’s name to discover interesting and quirky facts to share.
- Always sensitise your child to cultural differences. This will lead to greater social awareness as an adult.
- Encourage your child to take (small, measured) risks, whether exploring at home or abroad. Ask them to lead the way.
- Compare and contrast topography, geography and political and social systems between the country you are visiting and Australia. Tracey Spicer
Travel delays, cancellations, missed excursions, lost luggage, and small mishaps… these are just a few of the situations you’ll likely encounter when travelling. With kids in tow Mobile Apps for Kids during the Road Trip, these are extra challenging, not to mention their tantrums, boredom, and frequent stops to attend to their countless demands and needs.
Despite all the possible difficulties, there are many great reasons to take your kids to places. Savor each of these, commit them to memory and watch them become great travellers as they grow up, and great parents too with their kids tethered on them each time they go globetrotting.