When you become a parent, traveling takes on a whole new meaning. A vacation before your child could have meant lounging on a beach in Bali or painting the town red in Paris. Priorities shift when children are involved. Parents frequently choose excursions that are less physically demanding and more child-focused. This involves selecting sites that can provide a fair amount of entertainment as well as instructional value.
The advantages of travel for children are numerous, as it provides various types of exposure for children of all ages. Traveling provides an incredible opportunity for children to develop critical developmental skills, widen their horizons, and encourage their sense of curiosity, from establishing historical and geographical awareness to diving headfirst into new and thrilling adventures. Here are five of these advantages.
1. Teach Mathematical Concepts and Skills
Getting to handle interesting-looking foreign notes and coins is one of the small pleasures of traveling as a child. However, using foreign currency allows your child to exercise his or her mathematical skills, such as when deciding what souvenir to buy or what to eat for lunch. Encourage them to calculate the cost of the item in Singapore dollars and compare it to similar goods back home. Although many of us are now becoming cashless, the concept remains the same. You can also ask your child to estimate how long the trip will take based on the speed you are traveling at if you are traveling great distances by air, rail, or road!
2. Adapt to Novel and Difficult Situations
Children are often surprised over the holidays, albeit some are more pleasant than others. Parents may shield their children from the worst, but no matter what happens, the child will be exposed to new and unfamiliar circumstances and experiences that will require him or her to respond appropriately. Resilience, adaptability, and problem-solving skills are all enhanced by such experiences. People grow when they are pushed out of their comfort zones, and while your vacation may be luxurious in material terms, your child will need time to adjust to the new experiences. Younger children, for example, maybe experience the winter cold for the first time and the dangers of not moisturizing their skin properly. Children may also have to deal with the disappointment of missing out on a highly anticipated section of the itinerary as a result of a flight or rail delay.
3. Develop a broad understanding of history, geography, and other subjects.
Traveling also provides an excellent opportunity for your child to broaden and develop his or her general knowledge outside the confines of their textbooks. Unless your vacation consists completely of theme parks and shopping, your child will almost certainly visit a historically, geographically, or culturally significant attraction. To get your child to widen their intellectual horizons, use their natural curiosity, imagination, and sense of wonder. Encourage your child to ask as many questions as possible about a certain interest, or ask them a couple of your own to start a conversation. What would the environment have been like a century or two ago? Why are certain mountains snow-capped while others aren’t? Why was this particular structure constructed, and why was it constructed in this manner? You might wish to perform some pre-trip research so you’ll be prepared with all the answers!
4. Encourage self-sufficiency and teach responsibility
Taking your child out of his or her comfort zone and away from the family’s everyday routines has the added benefit of instilling new responsibilities in your child. These additional tasks can be introduced even before you leave for the airport, such as having your child pack his or her own suitcase. Older children may be asked to participate in some aspects of the trip planning, such as selecting an attraction that meets the needs of all family members. Your child may also be assigned with navigating, handling loose change, or looking after their own and the family’s luggage during the vacation. Children learn essential lessons about planning ahead of time and being considerate of their loved ones’ needs from the decisions they make and the repercussions they bear. These are abilities and behaviors that will serve them well as they get older and enter adulthood.
5. Promote cultural awareness and respect for differences
Finally, nothing beats travel for teaching children (and adults) to appreciate the many ways in which people are different, as well as the many ways in which they are the same. It’s one thing to realize that there are billions of other people living on the same planet in hundreds of other countries. It’s another thing to interact with them in person and observe how they live their lives. In an increasingly globalized world, your child’s ability to recognize and react to cultural differences, as well as find methods to relate to individuals of other backgrounds, is more vital than ever. In an increasingly polarised society, it’s critical that your child learns to live with – rather than against – all of these differences.
Your classroom is the entire world.
What other choices do you have, given the many travel restrictions during this time and your child’s need for a sense of escapism from the rigors of school life? Give your child the best of both worlds by providing a sense of escapism from the stresses of school life while also allowing them to practice vital academic skills through our selection of travel-themed activity sheets. Choose from a plethora of intriguing destinations in your virtual trip plan to immerse your young aspirational globetrotter in the wonders of the world.