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Travel is a fun way to learn about the world and other cultures. It can give us an appreciation for nature, and allow us to connect with people who are different from us. One of the best times to experience new cultures is during the holidays. Here are 4 simple ways you can use holiday travel to teach kids about culture.
1. Travel During Worldwide Holidays
Traveling during major worldwide holidays will give you a glimpse into how other people celebrate these familiar holidays. These celebrations provide cultural lessons that kids can easily compare and contrast with their own experiences and traditions.
Christmas, New Year’s, and Easter are perfect times to teach your children about other cultures and beliefs.
Head to France and trade your annual photo with Santa Clause for one with Papa Noel. Or go to Germany to show your kids a traditional Easter tree.
And you don’t have to travel to other countries to teach kids these valuable lessons.
Spending Christmas in Hawaii can teach your family a tremendous amount about the Hawaiian culture.
Taking a day trip to an ethnic neighborhood in your own city can show you a lot about how they celebrate the holidays differently. For instance, head to China town during Chinese New Year to teach your kids about the Chinese culture.
2. Travel During Local Holidays
Another great way to teach kids about culture is to take a trip during local holidays. Now, when I say “local holidays,” I mean holidays that are unique to your destination or that area of the world.
These local holidays will give you a glimpse into that culture’s history, traditions, and values.
For example, by spending time in American Samoa during Flag Day, we learned how much the locals value being a part of the United States. Samoans are very proud to be Americans.
We also learned about White Sunday during our time in American Samoa. It is a very special Samoan holiday that celebrates children.
White Sunday is the child equivalent of Mother’s Day. Being able to experience this local holiday taught us about the Samoan belief that children are a blessing from God.
So, to use local holidays to teach kids about culture, do some research when planning your trip to see what holidays are celebrated when. The website timeanddate.com has a list of holidays celebrated in each country around the world.
If you discover once you arrive at your destination that the locals are celebrating a special occasion, take some time during your trip to experience it for yourself.
3. Attend Holiday Events
The next way to teach kids about culture through holiday travel is an extension to the first two. This is to attend special holiday events during your trip.
Holiday events could include parades, festivals, or other community events. Typically, these events will showcase traditional music, dress, and food that are unique to the local culture.
The venues that host these celebrations are usually decked out in special decorations as well. This is an easy way to get a firsthand look at the traditions and customs unique to the local culture.
These are also fun things for your family to participate in together.
4. Sample Holiday Foods
The last way you can teach kids about culture while traveling is to sample the special holiday foods of your destination.
While you are attending those holiday events, be sure to sample some of the treats and other special foods.
Most of the time, the foods offered at these celebrations are traditional cultural favorites which have been enjoyed by the locals for many years.
Some of these may only be available during the holiday, but they will give you a good look into the ingredients and cooking methods used by the native people.
And you never know, you may discover a new family favorite treat that you want to incorporate into your own holiday celebrations!
Most families who love to travel want to learn about the different cultures of the world. A great and easy way to do this is to travel during holidays.
By traveling during local holidays, attending holiday events, and sampling some of the food offered during these special times, you will be able to learn a lot of cultural lessons during your travels.
I hope these easy tips help you teach your kids about culture during your next trip.
For more tips on holiday travel and travel with kids, see:
- why you should skip the holidays and travel instead
- how to give experiences instead of stuff
- tips for flying with Christmas gifts
- how to celebrate your birthday by traveling
- simple ways to make family travel traditions
- how to make travel themed Easter baskets
- how to make any destination kid-friendly
- tips to avoid stress while traveling with kids during the holidays
- top reasons to travel with kids