Travelling is one of the best times to bond with family, besides enthusing relaxation and revelry, travel is great learning experience for children and adults. According to various studies well-traveled children are likely to be more confident, more adventurous, more flexible and likely to score better grades than their less travelled counterparts. Every vacation irrespective of the distance travelled or expenses incurred can teach children innumerable things beyond their school curricula. We have listed eight of them:
1. Involve children in planning the trip, choosing transport and hotel stay, work on budgeting and expenditure on local visits, shopping etc.
2. While on the journey make them witness the fields and farms, the nature of soil, vegetation and crops grown – how the cotton pod looks, or the paddy looks before its available as rice in the market, phases and types of farming – contour and strip cropping, techniques applied – tractor vs using bulls for plough, canal vs drip irrigation etc.
3. Help children observe the climatic and geographic differences or similarities compared to the city/town they live in, the topography of a hill station versus coastal area versus plains and plateaus, the influence on construction of the houses, the clothing and food consumption of the people.
4. When in the city, visit places of historical and incumbent significance. Narrate the influence of history on the culture, the language and dialect. Visit the museums, factories and places of importance, take pictures, print them and get children to make an album or scrapbook with those photos.
5. Consume local food instead of choosing fast food and outlets of chain restaurants present in your city. Relish on the local flavours and cuisine of the place, enquire and explain how a certain dish is cooked, its nutritional value and its local significance.
6. Trip to the local markets is also a knowledge expedition; explain to kids what goods are unique to that place and popular among tourists, purchase some samples to take home and some to distribute to friends and relatives the home town.
7. When things do not go as planned or mishaps occur, instead of exhibiting anxiety, keep your cool and demonstrate patience and problem solving, this will inculcate the spirit to deal unpleasant situations with confidence and calmness.
8. Travelling with extended family is also fun. Having grandparents, uncles, aunts and cousins on a vacation teaches children to bond and know them better. Children observe how adults cooperate and distribute responsibilities; they learn to be more accommodating and flexible, offer to share their stuff and help in little ways they can.