The holiday or journey begins weeks before the departure from home! To help a child maximize the travel experience, consider a checklist that finds out the following items:
Where is the destination on the atlas. This will lead to a lesson on geography and an introduction to latitudes and longitudes.
The time zone of your destination. This will remind the child that the world is round and this fact affects your traveling time. It is also very timely to explore the topic on the rotation of the earth and how that causes the same journey to take up different time traveling from west to east and back home again.
Who are its neighbors? What is its language? What is its historical background? Is the majority population of migrant background or indigenous people? Was it ever colonized? A basic lesson on its history will greatly help the young traveler to sensitize himself to the custom of the land.
What is its currency? Give our young traveler a lesson on currency exchange and how his holiday shopping budget will be affected by its very important factor.
When at the destination, study the transport system and compare it with that of home. Discuss the merits and weaknesses of the infrastructure. Let the child decide on the option of the mode of transport for a section of the journey. Should it be an express coach or a train? This will certainly help him realise that his choice will impact a minor portion of the journey.
What better way to learn about the locals than to eat with them? What is the main reason for they choice of diet? In some places, the diet of its people differ in the north and south due to its climate.
Learn some of the local language? Are there any similarities between yours and theirs? Why so? Show the child how the locals live and play. What is the cost of living as compared to home?
The benefits of educational travel are plentiful and hugely intangible. Perhaps it could also be life changing. Maybe the experiences may affect his future choices, spouse or career.
With every educational travel, it heightens the child’s awareness to foreign cultures. It could also raise environmental awareness and issues. The traveler child will link the present circumstances of the travel destination to its past and appreciate how an ever changing world might affect a visitor like him from a far flung country.
Whichever way to enrich learning while traveling or whatever methods are used, the parents’ involvement and open-mindedness is crucial to how the child sees the world around him.