I hope more families get to travel with their children. You not only create invaluable memories together, but you also provide experiences that can’t be taught in a classroom.
3 Things Travel Can Teach Your Kids
Still unconvinced? Here are three things kids can learn from traveling:
- Geography: it’s very different to see the Grand Canyon in a textbook than to explore it, or to memorize the state capitals than visit them. When you are walking though a city or seeing mountains, hills, rivers, oceans and volcanoes, everything seems to come together and make sense. Road trips are great to show different cities and landscapes to our kids. Just make sure to show them the itinerary on a map so everybody can see where you’ll be going. Even better: ask children to do some research on the cities you’ll visit and ask them for one suggestion on what to do there.
- History: the events that have shaped our country and our world come alive while we visit the sites where important documents were signed, where battles took place or where thousands arrived with the American Dream. When we visited Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty with my family, we talked about World Wars, about intolerance, about immigration and our own family history. We have also visited London and visiting Buckingham Palace was the perfect segue to explain what a constitutional monarchy is. In Spain, we walked around Toledo and learned about the Inquisition and how faiths coexisted in peace before it.
- Respect for other cultures: now more than ever it seems extremely important to teach our children about tolerance and how each culture needs to be respected and valued. Traveling with your kids to other cities and countries can show them how diversity enriches us and how we can build bridges across cultures, races and religions. It helps tremendously if you prepare your kids before the trip by explaining your destination’s local customs and foods. By seeing that despite different languages, beliefs and ways of life we are all human beings, kids learn to look beyond labels and stereotypes.
Disclosure: I am collaborating with Embassy Suites and have received compensation for this post. All opinions are my own. Find more travel tips from experts and other parents by visiting embassytravelhacks.hilton.com or follow the conversation on Twitter and Instagram using #prettygreat.
Photos: Jeannette Kaplun