When you're a kid, everything is new and exciting. This can make for easy overseas holiday entertainment. A fun idea is to spend some time with your son or daughter and devise a holiday wish list. That way, every time you travel together as a family, your child has something to work towards - and everyday becomes an educational adventure.
To make it more visual, you could start a wish-list scrapbook and document every time a wish comes true. For older children, a travel blog is another possibility, where they can write about their experiences, share photos and posts with their friends online. In terms of what to put on the list, anything goes, but the following are a couple of ideas to get you started.
One of the first things to consider when making your holiday wish list is taking a flight on a jumbo jet. For kids who have never flown on a plane before, this is one of the best parts of travelling! It's also great for parents, as it can distract from the boredom, discomfort and restlessness that sometimes comes with flying.
Kids wrap their heads around foreign languages faster than adults do and usually have no shame in practising their new lingo. Instilling an interest in language in your kids is a great achievement. It gives them an appreciation for other cultures and the ways in which they communicate. You never know; you could also be opening up a door for them to make new friends.
Turn eating into an adventure with weird and wonderful specialties from wherever you end up. You could eat Huhu grubs in New Zealand, dine on deep-fried tarantula in Cambodia, sample smelly durian fruit in China or try stinky cheese in Italy. Your kids will be delighted by the grossness of it all.
Being accepting of and open to all kinds of people is one of the best characteristics your child can have. Having friends from around the world is a great way to broaden young minds, as well as having the benefit of keeping them entertained while you're away on holiday.
Every time you go to a new place, challenge your child to learn ten new facts about it, and then present them back to you. It's a great way to learn about new countries and cultures, and is much more exciting than a classroom lesson!
Make it a tradition to take a picture of an iconic building or landmark in every place you visit, and learn about why it so famous. This could be the Parthenon in Greece, Big Ben in London, the Opera House in Sydney or the Sky Tower in Auckland.
Bring stories to life with a visit to the settings of your child's favourite books or movies. Take a trip to the Disney Castle at Disneyworld Paris, a pit stop at Hobbiton in Matamata, New Zealand or an excursion to London's Kings Cross Station, frequented by Harry Potter when he boards the Hogwarts Express.
Put nature front of mind by tracking down an extinct or an endangered animal that your child is particularly fascinated with. This could be achieved with a visit to a dinosaur museum exhibition or an overseas zoo.
Culture comes into play when you book in for a cultural event or ceremony. This could include witnessing traditional dance in the Pacific Islands or partaking in a hangi on a New Zealand marae.
Stress the importance of keeping in touch with family by bringing your child to visit his or her relatives he or she rarely sees. Query them as to what they think is similar about their lifestyle, and what is different, in comparison with their own.
As a kid, absolutely nothing beats a good party. If you can fit it in your schedule, catch a special holiday or cultural event important to your host country. This could be an Irish Saint Patrick's Day, a New Zealand Waitangi Day or an American Thanksgiving.
When it comes to inspiring a love of travel in your children, there are many fun possibilities. Check out this clip from Expedia on more ideas to start planning your family adventures!
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