It is so important to us to prepare our children for our upcoming travels. We want them to be engaged and excited about our planning and our trip. Here are five things we do to help keep up their level of excitement.
1. Tell stories
If you have traveled in the past before you had children, tell stories about it! We have incorporated our travel stories into our bedtime routine. It can be a little story about a meal we ate, to more adventurous stories like the time a monkey stole my bag of chips, or the time we went kayaking in Halong Bay and we got kicked off an island by the military in the middle of the night. The kids eat this stuff up and never tire of our stories!
2. Look at Pictures
This goes hand and hand with telling stories, we show our kids pictures of our past trips and it gives them a great visual to our stories. And sometimes its just easier to show a picture of something than trying to explain it. Like the time I was telling them what a squat toilet looked like!
3. Watch Videos
We love to watch travel programs together. One that we were recently introduced to and I highly recommend is The Little Travelers. It is about two little girls traveling around the world and our kids love it! After each episode they both exclaim “I want to go there!”
4. A World Map
I am a huge fan of having a world map in the house. We are constantly using it as a reference for seeing where other countries are in relation to us. And not just the countries we are planning to visit either but any country that comes up in our daily lives and explorations.
5. Read Books
Head to the local library and check out the section on countries of the world. Often these books have fabulous pictures that will interest children. As our children are still quite young we tend to summarize the text for them, highlighting the really interesting tidbits so we can keep their attention. We also have a huge stack of old National Geographic laying around that they sometimes peruse and they are encouraged to cut out any pictures that they like to make collages.
Do you have any other tips on preparing children for travel? I’d love to hear them!