Choosing to travel with your kids can be the best parenting decision that you will ever make. Even though traveling with children can sometimes feel like herding cattle, if you are able to prepare in the right way, it will all be worth it. Ultimately, the experience of traveling with your kids provides so many incredible opportunities to bond with your as a family in new ways and to learn together.
How To Prepare
Even a little bit of preparation can go a long way when it comes to traveling with your kids. Planning ahead will help to ease your mind and theirs. Traveling with hungry children is sure to be a nightmare, so bring snacks wherever you go. It is much harder to enjoy a travel experience (or any experience for that matter) when you are hungry. Preparations can also include some time explaining to your children where you will be going to. Parents and kids can learn about the new cultures together before leaving. Maybe you could practice some new words with your children if you will be visiting a place where the language is different from yours. Practicing learning how to say ‘hello’ and ‘please’ and ‘thank you.’
Rabbi Steven Carr Reuben, Ph.D. suggested in The Huffington Post, “involve [your kids] in the planning of the trip, from choosing the ultimate destination to the method of travel to the activities you will both do along the way and when you get to your destination. Even for small children, you can find simple decisions that they can make that will affect the whole family.”
Learning Different Ways of Living
One of the most important aspects of travel is getting to see how people live differently around the world. It is inevitable to see people speaking different languages from you, looking differently from you, and acting in ways that feel unfamiliar. You have the opportunity to learn with your children how to get along with different types of people. Rabbi Reuben also advised parents that “all these experiences are opportunities for us as parents to teach our children first-hand about the differences that exist in the world and to teach them not to fear differences, but to celebrate, expect and cherish them as something that adds color and depth and beauty to our lives.”
While traveling, it is inevitable that things will not go your way. Try to go with the flow as much as you can. Here is another prime opportunity to teach your kids how to live outside of their comfort zone. Being outside of your home lets the family learn how to live and function in new ways. Let yourself enjoy the time away!