In order to go on vacation with your kids, you have to first get them interested in the idea. It’s not going to be fun if you have to drag them kicking and screaming. Work on getting them comfortable with the idea before you start bringing them around to unfamiliar destinations.Twelve tips for getting your kids comfortable with traveling that will make your family vacations more enjoyable.
Remember that they’re children, and all they may need is a little learning curve before they dive in. There are ways that you can get them feeling better about the topic and help them ease their nerves. It may take some work, but it’ll be worth it if at the end of it all, you can enjoy a wonderful family vacation together.
My Best Advice on Getting Your Kids Comfortable With Traveling
1. Talk to them about it
Open up the dialogue about traveling and vacation with your kids. They may not even know what it means or have the wrong idea about what it is. Ask questions, get them to open up and share what they’re thinking so you can get inside their head. Tell them all you’ve done in your lifetime and what you loved about leaving the house for a few days. Let them express their feelings and how they view traveling from their perspective. This will allow you to get some insight as to what they’re thinking.
2. Go some Place they’re Familiar with First
Start by traveling somewhere your kids have been before. Do what you know they like doing. For example, camping is an activity that’s fun for the whole family and that they’re used to if you go a lot. Pick a weekend and bring all of the right supplies including sleeping bags, flashlights and a cheap gazebo and water proof covering. It’s great protection against the weather and will give you plenty of shade from the hot sun. Get the kids involved by helping you pack and set up once you arrive at the campsite. Mention how what they’re doing is a type of travel and see what they say.
3. Try A Staycation
Another idea is to try a staycation and stick in your area as a way to show your kids that traveling comes in many different forms. Pick their favorite hotel and spend time swimming, playing and enjoying each other’s company. Select a restaurant to eat out at and continue the discussion about what they think of your current experience. This way your children will be comfortable with the idea of leaving home and getting to experience a short vacation at the same time. They’ll likely begin to see that traveling is fun and that being with the family is what matters most.
4. Have them Watch Travel Shows
One way to get your kids more interested in travel is through their electronics. Introduce them to shows and games that have to do with the subject matter and that teaches them more about the entire experience. A lot of the time, kids learn better through educational teachings than you trying to tell them information. They may see a location or a fun activity and want to go travel to the place to do it themselves. Let them explore a bit on their own through their everyday activities and see what sticks with them.
5. Highlight the Fun Aspects
In order to get your kids engaged with traveling, you have to make it relevant to them. Focus on all the fun that comes with traveling. Let them know they get to break their routine, get out of school and swim all day long. Highlight certain aspects that you know they’ll like to hear. While they may be hesitant to try new foods or meet people, remind them that you’ll be by their side and there’s nothing to worry about. Get an idea of what they consider fun when away from home and take that into account when you’re planning your next family vacation.
6. Get them their own Suitcases
One proven way to get your kids excited to travel is to buy them their own suitcases. Have them go to the store with you and pick out what type and pattern they like best. This way, they’ll get excited when it comes time to pack and will want to help put their clothes together for the trip. They won’t mind having it be their responsibility to pack and wheel it through the airport. They’ll feel special and excited that they’re in charge of their own belongings. Having a personal suitcase to pack will have them looking forward to the next time you tell them that you’re leaving on a fun trip.
7. Show them Pictures of your Past Adventures
Bring out the photo albums and flip through all the fun times you’ve had traveling. The kids will love to see you in your younger days and will want to know all about where you’ve been and what you did. Use this as an opportunity to explain all of the fun you had and why you enjoyed going on your various adventures. The kids will see for themselves that you enjoyed yourself while traveling and want to be like you. This is also your chance to talk about International traveling and what it’s like to leave the country.
8. Test Out New Foods at Home
Start slowly cooking new foods at home and work in different kinds of recipes to your evening routine. Your kids will be trying exotic meals without even realizing it. If they like what you’re cooking, let them know that they can try all sorts of delicious foods when traveling to different places. Doing this will make them less nervous to try new cuisines once you start going on more vacations and eating outside of your home. This is another area of travel that they won’t need to be scared about as they get warmed up to the idea.
9. Ask their Friends to Share their Experiences with your Family
Whenever your kids have their friends over, bring up the topic and ask about any recent trips their friends have been on. Listen as a group to hear what they have to say and make encouraging comments. This may help your kids see that it’s fun to go on vacation and have new experiences. They want to be like their friends and hearing them explain what a great time they had will help your kids see traveling from a new perspective. It’s at least worth a shot to get your kids to be more open to the idea of going away for a few days.
10. Start Traveling
After all the preparation work is done, it’s time to actually start traveling. This is the fun part for you, but may be a bit nerve-wracking for your children. Begin planning family vacations and exposing your children to new places, people and experiences. Start somewhere you know they’ll love and then expand to more exotic locations as they get more familiar with the process. Sometimes the only way to learn is to actually do it yourself. Understand that you may get some backlash or have to deal with crying fits here and there, but it’ll be worth it to get them more comfortable with traveling.
11. Get them A Travel Buddy or Toy
Find a cute toy or stuffed animal your kids can bring with them when you go on your next adventure. This way they’ll feel safer and won’t be as likely to put up a fuss when it’s time to depart. It’s a great way to give them some protection and help to feel safe and secure when you’re traveling to an unfamiliar place. Let them pick out what item it is and explain that it’s only to be used for when you travel. This way it’ll be extra special and serve a specific purpose.
12. Discuss what they Liked & Didn’t Like when you get Home
Similarly to how you prepared your children before the trip, it’s also a good idea to get some feedback when you return home. Find out what they liked and didn’t like about your most recent adventures. Take what they say into consideration as you plan your next family vacation. You can even go as far as doing an arts and crafts day and having them express their feelings and emotions of traveling this way. Have a family meeting where everyone participates and shares their thoughts on their personal experience. This way everyone will be included in the discussion and you can make the appropriate changes for next time.
Traveling can be a lot of fun when the entire family is along for the ride and enjoying themselves. Make this a reality by using these tips to get your kids more comfortable with going on vacation. It’ll take some work on your part, but the outcome will be exactly what you were hoping for and well worth your time. Remember that it’s a process and they may not be completely engaged right from the start. Let them have time to warm up to the idea and start to form their own opinions on the matter.
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