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Travel is a wonderful thing to do with your kids. It broadens their horizons, teaches them about other cultures, and opens their eyes to new adventures. But, it can also teach them important life lessons that they will use for the rest of their lives! Keep reading to find out what life lessons to teach your kids by traveling and exactly how to do it!
We took our son to Disney World to celebrate his 6th birthday. He had about $200 in birthday money to spend while we were there. When we told him that his birthday money was the only souvenir money he would get, he switched from wanting everything he saw to thinking about each purchase he made. He learned more in that one week about the value of money than he ever has before.
Life Lesson #1: Time Management
Time management is something that everyone needs to learn how to do. We all have lots of things to do and very little time to do them. So, it’s important to learn how to better manage our time.
One of the easiest ways to teach time management to kids is with travel! Why? Travel is fun! And we all want more fun! The better you manage your time, the more fun you can have on vacation.
Motivate your kids to get ready faster each morning while on vacation by reminding them of the fun adventures that await.
Explain to them that the less time they take doing something necessary, like eating breakfast, the more time they will have to do something fun, like swimming.
Once your kids learn how to better manage their time while traveling, it will be easier for them to implement these skills into their everyday lives at home.
Life Lesson #2: Budgeting
Next on my list of life lessons to teach kids by traveling is learning how to budget your money.
Traveling is a great time to teach this skill to your kids. It’s not hard for them to understand that if you run out of money before your vacation is over, they will have to sit in the hotel room for the remainder of the trip.
So, how exactly do you teach your kids to stick to a budget while traveling? You can do this is a few different ways.
First, get your kids involved in the planning of your trip. Explain to them how much money you have to spend on the trip. Show them how much the various components of your trip costs, such as flights, hotels, and rental cars. Then, ask their opinions on how to cut these costs.
A second way you can teach your kids about budgeting is to put them in charge of planning one day of your trip. Give them a budget for the day. Tell them that money has to pay for the entire family’s food, entertainment, and transportation costs for the day. See if they can figure out how to make it last the whole day.
Thirdly, you could put each child in charge of a particular aspect of the trip and give them a set budget. Have them make choices to make their plans come in under budget.
Lastly, you can give them a set amount of spending money and let them spend it as they see fit throughout the trip. If they run out of money on day one, then they must do without souvenirs and treats for the remainder of the trip.
Life Lesson #3: Flexibility
Another big life lesson you and your kids can learn by traveling is flexibility. Things don’t always go our way when we’re traveling. And these are the perfect times to show your kids how to be flexible and adapt to the situation.
If your flight gets delayed by a couple hours, adjust your dinner plans to eat before you board instead of after you land.
Hit construction on your road trip? Show your kids that you can take an alternate route and still get to where you’re going.
Encounter rain on your beach day? Salvage the day with some fun indoor activities.
Whenever you encounter a road block while traveling, use it as an opportunity to show your kids how to adapt and make the most of the situation. Don’t let the unforeseen problems throw you off. Keep calm and know that your kids are learning from it.
Life Lesson #4: Problem Solving
Another life lesson to teach kids by traveling is problem solving. This goes hand in hand with learning how to be flexible during your trips.
Whenever something goes wrong while on vacation, let your kids see you thinking creatively to solve the problem. Take this a step further by asking them what possible solutions they can think of to fix the problem.
If your flight is moved to a different gate, have your kids check the monitors to find the new gate. If the wait is too long at a restaurant you wanted to try, have them look for another place nearby that looks good.
The more you involve your kids in finding solutions to the problems you encounter on vacation, the more they will learn problem solving skills in a very practical, real life way.
Life Lesson #5: Navigation
Last on the list of life lessons to teach kids by traveling is the most relevant and that is navigation. While it is easy to rely on our phones and GPS to get us where we want to go, traveling is a great opportunity to teach your kids to reach maps and street signs to get around.
As you explore a new city, show them how public transportation works. On your road trips, explain to your kids the interstate highway system. Give them a theme park map and have them lead you to your next ride. Teach them how to find their way through an airport.
All of these situations will teach your kids invaluable navigation skills that they will be able to use as they become adults in the future.
Traveling is a great way to teach your kids about the world. It’s also a perfect opportunity to instill in them valuable life lessons. I hope this article inspires you to teach your kids on your next vacation!
For more tips on teaching your kids through travel, see life lessons to learn at Disney World, how to teach your kids at Disney, how to stop meltdowns on vacation, how to teach kids about cultures, and how to help your kids wait in line.