Tips for exploring the world with your family
When your little ones start to reach an age where they are beginning to gain an interest in the outside world and developing more of a sense of adventure, it’s a great time to develop their skills and take the opportunity to show them a little more of the planet they live on.
As a parent, the lack of holidays during your babies early years will also have left you with a sense of longing for new scenery and different experiences, so it’s great for all the family when you decide to go on an exploration. Planning your trip can be a bit tricky, and making sure it lives up to everyone’s expectations can leave you feeling under even more pressure.
However, it doesn’t have to be too hard to organise and execute an amazing adventure with your family, so read the following handy hints to get started and have some stress free fun in the sun in no time at all.
Introduce Them Slowly
Although you may be very interested in jetting off to Africa to go on a safari and climb Kilimanjaro, it’s unlikely that your little ones will be ready to take on this kind of trip for their first and at such a young and sensitive age.
If your child travelled anywhere before, it’s more than likely that they will be quite nervous during their first flight or boat ride, and initially find the new location confusing and scary.
This is why it’s so important to introduce them to travelling slowly, so they can be completely comfortable with every aspect of the process and be able to understand and enjoy every trip you take.
You will also need to build up their immune system and tolerance to the different bacteria and illnesses that come with foreign locations and cultural differences.
Start off by visiting a different town or city within your own country, so they can get used to longer car journeys, visiting hotels or staying in other unfamiliar rooms, and meeting completely new people they’ve not set eyes on before.
When they’re happy with this, it may be an idea to take a step forward to start looking at the potential of now travelling to a different country.
Possibly one of the most fun ways for children to travel when going abroad is across the sea, and cruises from Southampton head to so many locations around the world making it very simple and easy to just hop on and sail the open seas to wherever you choose. Little ones usually find boats quite exciting, but be sure that they are aware of the dangers and know what to do in an emergency.
Cruises are also a great way of visiting several different locations during one trip, without having to use lots of energy to do so. Each route will have several stops along the way to its eventual destination, and you will be about to disembark from the ship to visit each one, usually for a day or two.
Being able to see several different locations without having to organise several different individual trips and tickets is a life saver when you have children to focus on, and the whole situation just tens to be a little smoother and easier due to the professional and timetabled nature of this kind of vacation.
Taking a Plane
When you feel as though your children are old enough to sit through a plane journey without kicking up a fuss and causing a huge scene, grab the opportunity with both hands. Planes are generally the fastest mode of transport, and can send you from one side of the world to the other in the space of 24 hours.
It’s better to ease them in gently, starting with a local adventure so you only spend a couple of hours in the air. Once they become accustomed to the experience, you may want to consider booking something a little further afield.
When you choose a longer flight, be sure to check what’s available onboard. Some airlines offer free meals and entertainment (such as mini tv’s) onboard long haul flights, so it’s better to find out beforehand so you can take advantage of these and ensure your family is as comfortable as possible.
Taking a plane can be extremely stressful for a child, so be sure to explain the process to them beforehand. Assure them of the safety of their journey, and make it very clear what they should do if there were to be an emergency situation.
Always check on how they are feeling during your flight, and keep their spirits up by playing games and sucking boiled sweets to keep their mouths busy whilst stopping their ears from popping.
Take some snacks and food on board with you if you are able, as sometimes plane and airport food can be quite intolerable and there really aren’t many things worse than being trapped inside a plane with a hungry and tired child.
If you can, choose an overnight flight as they’ll be more likely to just sleep through the whole thing and cause no problems at all. Bring your little ones favourite toy or blanket to help them feel more relaxed, and give them that extra bit of comfort to fall asleep and allow for a stress free journey.
Choosing the Right Activities
Dependent on what interests and hobbies are as a group, choosing the right activities in order to keep everyone happy and occupied can be pretty difficult. Getting the most out of your trip really does depend on what you manage to get up to whilst you are there, so try to establish and plan these outings beforehand.
The best activities are those which are cultural and educational whilst still being fun and exciting, so try and combine these factors when searching for your own ideas. Do your research into what is available in your holiday destination, and what other families have managed to get up to during their visits.
Opting for something within nature and run by local people will be the best thing you can do, as these will help to support the community whilst preserving the environment and teaching your little ones about the difference in the ecosystem and culture when compared to home.
When your children reach speaking age, you get a chance to establish their aptitude for understanding and speaking different languages. If you encourage them to converse and play with other local children, they may be able to start picking up a few words and phrases the more time you spend there.
The one thing that children love is to make new friends, and their eagerness to do so will really help their motivation to learn the language and start speaking with the kids they meet around them.
Travelling around the world with your family can be an amazing and life changing experience, but only if you put in the planning and dedication to make it happen.
Try to put yourself in the shoes of your children, and think about what would make you feel more comfortable if you were in their situation having had little experience visiting different locations. When traveling with kids, you should book comfortable accommodation beforehand. For example, check this website for affordable options in Munich and elsewhere!
Having fun together can be so easy, and there are so many things that you can do to make sure your kids are safe and sound, enjoying every moment of each activity they get to do. Implement these top tips when planning your next family getaway to make sure you have the best time ever!
Angela Milnes is a Qualified Early Years Teacher who has specialised in Preschool and Kindergarten teaching. She has a wealth of experience teaching young children and is passionate about kids crafts and having fun as a family. Angela has also taught cooking skills and loves to share both family recipes and easy crafts here on The Inspiration Edit. Follow her on Pinterest!