I don’t mean to plan the whole itinerary. I mean give kids the background they need to make the trip enjoyable for them. The more enjoyable it is for THEM, the more enjoyable it will be for you. And that’s why it’s important to prepare for a family trip.
Three reasons why it’s vital to prepare kids for upcoming trips
1. Traveling in Context
Traveling with context
The more we know about where we’re traveling, the more we can take enjoy what we see. Not that it’s not enjoyable if we don’t know anything about a place, just that it has a chance to be more enjoyable.
The Mona Lisa without its history is just an old painting. The graffiti on the streets of Athens that give the city a dangerous feel turns out to not be this negative thing when explained by our driver. It’s a communication tool. Or, at least part of it is.
But in these contexts, things look different.
2. Valuing our time
Trips take time. Over spring break we went to Iceland. It was shorter than I wanted it to be. Which isn’t saying much. I lived in Germany for eight years of my life and still feel like I could travel there another eight years. Or more.
Trips cost money. I want to spend our time and our money doing things we know we’ll enjoy. But, Iceland isn’t a place my 6 and 8-year-old learned about in school. It’s not a place I knew too much about and I’m a person who tends to like learning about places. Most places we travel to, we only have basic knowledge of.
So, we’re prepped for our trip by reading books about Iceland + more.
Lucky for me, I have a website that helps me find books… this one. 😉
3. Making it memorable
The other part of the value equation
One of the things parents who travel with their kids hear often is, why do this if they aren’t going to remember it?
I don’t agree with this assumption. I fed them dinner last night, pretty sure they won’t remember it. There are lots of things we do with them they don’t remember, but it’s all building up to create values we hope for our kids. For me, it’s global citizenship. Travel helps make that happen.
However, I do feel that we can help them remember a little more about it by helping them learn a little more about it. It’s kind of my three-part travel memory builder.
Learn about it before you go + Keep a journal while you’re there + Document it when you’re back = Something will stick longer
Thoughts? Let me know in the comments.
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