What is your ideal holiday with the children? Do you imagine relaxing on the beach or camping in
nature? Do you want to meet your relatives back home or visit your ancestral homeland? Or do you
want to use it as a learning opportunity to teach your children valuable lessons about the world? It is
great travelling to developing countries with your children and it is not as hard as you may think!
Before you visit, just ensure all your children have had appropriate vaccinations. Try coordinating a
trip with a friend or family members. It would be even more exciting for children to be with their
friends or cousins in a foreign country and it would be a great time to bond.
You may have to take long haul flights with multiple stop overs. It is easy for parents to feel
overwhelmed at the thought of such a long journey. But children can adapt and will nap on planes,
trains, and taxi rides if they are tired. There will be some setbacks as having to drag heavy luggage
and stand in lengthy security queues. But it is just a minor setback in what promises to be a grand
experience overall! Make sure to take tons of pictures and videos to savour these memories!
A break from your normal routine and environment can be a great learning experience for your
children. There will undoubtedly be many sharp contrasts to your current hometown, but likewise
there will be many similarities. Your children will love seeing local schoolchildren playing outside
their schools in their uniforms, just like them. If your children are old enough to write, have them
keep a journal of their experience.
Let your children see how money from your country compares to other countries’ currency. If money
goes a lot further, let your children go on a little shopping spree. The shop layouts may be different
and have a more one on one feel, where even the children can interact with shopkeepers. Teach
them the art of bargaining and try to get some freebies as well. Encourage your children to build a
collection so wherever they travel in their life, they can have that momento, whether its coins, pens,
flags, postcards, or fridge magnets! But remember to get souvenirs that are unique to that country.
You can stay in fancy accommodation for less money comparatively as well.
Travelling is also a great opportunity to learn some new words and phrases in different languages.
Many places will have signs and billboards posted in English as well as the native language. Food
labels of the same things you have in your country, seeing it written in a different way, is a great
way of experiencing how people globally can share something in common. See if your children can
recognize any words that you are frequently encountering.
Travelling is a great way to learn about different countries’ history through museums, palaces,
famous landmarks and architecture. Try riding on different modes of transportation. Imagine
crossing the street in a boat or a three wheeled rickshaw! You can also dress in ethnic clothing.
Perhaps you want to fit in with the locals while you are there or buy some colourful outfits and
jewellery to take home with you.
Mealtimes at home can be very stressful especially if your children refuse to eat what you have
cooked. But even your pickiest eater can turn into a connoisseur when presented with a fancy
buffet. It may be a challenge to stop them from overeating! They will enjoy exploring different
cuisines. There is plenty of hot and fresh street food available in large town centres and markets.
Ensure you are only having bottled water. Avoid salads and eat fruits that can be peeled, such as
oranges and bananas, to avoid potential digestive issues. You may also find taking these precautions
You will no doubt witness poverty and see homeless children. It will be sad for your children to see
kids their age begging. Let your children hand them some money. Also if you have extra snacks you
can share those as well. Empathy with humanity is a valuable lesson to teach your children.
Learning that the sights and sounds of every country is unique and special in its own way and
respecting other people’s cultures and customs will go a long way in shaping our children’s
characters. Travelling abroad especially to developing countries has the potential to inspire our
children to be better global citizens so our next generation can be the catalysts for change to make the world a better place for all of humanity.