Traveling with children: How to prepare children for the journey af Pernille Smidt-Kjærby
How to prepare for travel with children?
I am regularly asked what we do to prepare the children for an overseas children's trip. Whether they understand where we are going at all - and whether they are interested in it.
The destination for the sake of the kids could just as well be named Fanoe that Phillipines, only there is one family trip. But we can easily get them interested in the different destinations, if only we include them a little. We therefore spend a little energy preparing them for what we are going to do and pulling out some things that they can relate to and look forward to.
Here is a few tips for preparing for the children's trip.
Look at the map together
At home with us, we love cards. We have a large world map on one wall in the living room, and part of the travel preparation is to look at the map with the kids. Here we show them where in the world the next destination is in relation to Denmark, and which continent it is in. We also show them which way we should fly and which country we should stopover in.
We talk about where it could be exciting to get to where we have already been and where the children were born. The children also have a globe in their room, and they like to look at the large globe on DOKK1 in Aarhus.
As the travel nerds we are, we love cards - and it spreads to the kids.
Talk about the country
We talk a lot about the country we are going to. Where is it and what language do they speak? When we were in Japan, my son picked one up travel app down, where a voice pronounced the words in Japanese when, for example, he pressed "hello", "yes" and "no". He had a lot of fun with it, and actually learned a few Japanese words that way.
When children ask "what currency do they have?", It means in children's language: "what kind of money do they spend, and can I exchange some of my money so that I myself have some money to buy for - and preferably in my own little purse? ”
Let the children have some money with them, and make sure to change some of their pocket money - give them some local currency when you arrive. They think it's fun - it's the little things that entertain on trips with children.
We also talk about the fact that there are some children who are not as lucky as we are and do not have any toys. And then we might get our kids to find some little things from their rooms that we can take with us and give as gifts. It can be both small toys or maybe pencils.
We think this is both a healthy and educational exercise for children. And they are allowed to experience how great a joy even the smallest thing can mean - and how much value it has, for those who have nothing.
On trips with children, the flight is an important part
As we approach departure, we begin to talk about where to fly from. E.g Billund, København or maybe Hamburg, and whether we should stay overnight at a hotel close to the airport. We often do this if we have to fly very early in the morning. One of the most important things to have a good experience when you travel with children is to get a good start on the trip. The adventure starts at the airport.
We also talk about how long we have to fly, whether there are stopovers, who we have to fly with, and whether it is one of the big planes that have screens in the seats - kids love it! The children have gradually flown so many times that they are beginning to take an interest in those things, so it pays to tell them a little about the part that the rest of us might mostly just count as transport. For the kids, it's part of the adventure and something they look forward to.
Talk about the experiences, when traveling with children
We try to put into words the things that we expect to experience - at child height - and draw out some things that they can relate to. And as they think sounds exciting. It is very individual, but it could be:
We have to visit Indians, we have to see some cool animals that they only know from movies or we have to climb a "mountain" or an active volcano, we have to see one of the world's largest temples, we have to sleep in a cave or in a tent out in the desert with the Bedouins, just like in Anders And, we have to ride camels, we have to go kayaking, or we have to see some mega beautiful cities - and they look exactly like in Aladdin, or maybe Hodja from Pjort .
So we find something that we know will arouse their interest - and then we tell about it. Be creative, there is always something. And it does not always have to be a big deal. Just like most other children, our kids are of course also pranked with both beach and pool.
We therefore always think that there must be something for all four of us on a journey. So on to the upcoming journey to Uzbekistan, where there is no beach nearby, we have promised that we will probably sleep in hotels where there is a pool.
In addition, we have talked about desert, Bedouins, mountains, donkey and camel riding and such a little 1001 night with flying blankets and Hodja from Pjort. And yes, they are looking forward to the trip and they think it sounds exciting.
And most of all, they are looking forward, like all other children, just to getting on a journey with their mom and dad.
View photos before departure
After we have talked a bit about the country and what to experience, we look at Lonely Planet and also google some pictures that we show the children so they have an idea of what it is we are going to experience. It may well be that we think it sounds insanely exciting to spend the night in a cave or a yurt out in the desert. But what is it really? Show the kids a picture so they can also start rejoicing - and get some pictures put on.
The pictures help to prepare them, and they get used to the idea. Many children are perhaps more for recognizability and security than for surprises and adventures and can at the same time also tell their peers what to do during the holidays.
We do not always choose a destination that all children have heard of. The chance that they also think it's cool when they stand in front of the old worn tent in the desert is usually greater when you have talked in advance about how exciting an adventure it will be on the upcoming trip.
Travel with children starts from home - pack your suitcase
Okay, admittedly - it's easier not to include children in the package. But such a little in the small, one can with advantage do it. Then you also get to talk a little about the journey - and they sense that we should leave in a little while, and start rejoicing. Often the talk also falls on previous trips, and it can be quite nice if you have time for it.
Will it be hot or cold? Should we sleep in a tent, camp or hotel? Should we bring hiking shoes or sandals? Is the weather for swimwear or rainwear? Yes, you can advantageously involve the kids - and they think it's cool to choose some of the clothes that they should bring. And they want to help.
At the same time, they can see how much space we actually have to deal with and can therefore understand a little better why we can not bring 20 dresses and 10 LEGO figures. We always allow them to choose a few personal items - the favorite teddy bear and a few travel-sized toys.
And then it's really just a matter of getting off - and remember - the adventure starts at the airport.
Traveling with children is a great way to experience the world. Good trip.