Selecting Travel Destinations With Children In Mind
When traveling with small children, try to keep your child’s likes and dislikes in mind when selecting a destination.
Some children will happily visit “boring old places,” but many will not. Most children, however, might be more willing to sit through the boring spots if they understand that they’ll get to go to “someplace cool” afterwards.
Remember to think through the destinations, too. While an amusement park-with the rides, costumes, food and fun-might sound great, children might disagree when they’re too small to actually ride the rides. How much fun is it to sit in a stroller while the older kids ride the roller coaster, or to wave to Mommy from Daddy’s arms on the shore as her paddle boat passes by?
The reverse is also true; while the younger children will happily explore a petting zoo or pony ride, the older children might spend the entire visit wishing they were anyplace else and hoping that pictures of them feeding a baby goat won’t get back to their classmates.
Some children will be thrilled by a museum, while others will not. The fossilized skeletons and stuffed hunting cats will fascinate some kids and terrify others. Many museums have interactive areas that provide a hands-on learning experience.
National parks and other outdoor attractions attract kids of all ages. The younger ones will appreciate the chance to run around and play, while the older ones might be interested in the science or history of the site.
Keep in mind the attitudes and feelings of children, too. They might say they’re looking forward to visiting a cave, until they realize that “exploring the cavern” actually means “climbing down into this really big really scary dark hole in the ground.” Sensitive children might just cut the exploring short when they see what it involves.