“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”

Help Your Kids Be Better Travelers

It’s a new year. Ready for a new project?

 

Generational travel is a great way for families to bond and for children to learn about the world and themselves. How can parents help kids get the most out of travel?

 

As with any trip, start with the planning. Get kids involved in researching your destination. It’s important to know the cultural norms of the place you’ll visit. And that leads to a conversation about different cultures and that not everything is done the way you do at home. This prepares your kids to be flexible and adaptable and open to new experiences. These are qualities that will be useful throughout life.

 

Practice at home, starting at an early age. Visit local museums, local historic sites, local parks. Instill a sense of proper behavior in all these venues before heading out into the wider world. Make sure your children know when to use their ‘indoor voices’ and how to avoid annoying other visitors.

 

Next, expose your children to the wider world through books and films and photographs. Explore websites that can show them the Grand Canyon, the Eiffel Tower, or the Taj Mahal and help them discover anticipation to see these wonders in person.

 

After the trip, make it a point to discuss the adventure later to keep the memories vital and to build a sense of wonder and of accomplishment. As high school kids get ready to step out into adulthood, parents can encourage them to think about where they might like to travel one day—all on their own.