5 Reasons to empower your kids through travel
TheAsianparent have partnered with Holiday Inn to inspire your next family adventure. A family vacation should be planned by the entire family (as daunting as it sounds)! Here are 5 reasons why you should let your kids in on the planning of the trip too!
Would you dare let your children plan your next family adventure? The benefits of doing so are huge; not only will it add to the fun and excitement, but it will also teach your children valuable life skills they’ll require at a later age, such as researching, planning and budgeting – the three core pillars of successful holiday planning. And what better destination to get them to explore their inner travel agent than Bangkok, arguably one of the most exciting cities in Asia?
Bangkok is a great stepping stone for kids to plan a holiday. Not only is it packed with fun activities, but there’s plenty of information online - along with helpful user recommendations - on what to see, taste and do in this vibrant city. And your children will be spoilt for choice when it comes to narrowing down the endless list of things to explore in the Thai capital.
But don’t simply chuck them in the deep-end. Inspire your kids to make the best possible decisions by giving them an overview of Thai culture and history - and challenge them at every opportunity; question their choices and give them scenarios so that they know which types of activities they’re realistically able to do.
This will teach them about the tricky nature of travel – as well as how to schedule and plan based on their requirements. But that’s not all. Planning a holiday will also teach your little ones a whole host of life skills that even some adults lack. Here, we’ve outlined the 5 core learning opportunities that come with planning a holiday.
1. Research skills
Do not underestimate the power of research. While the word may have little meaning these days, having been replaced with the simple term “just Google it”, being able to research through swathes of content and come up with a clear conclusion is a life skill that will serve them well. So get the kids huddled around your laptop and set the wheels in motion.
Keep them focused by giving them an open brief or list of criteria they need to consider. Ask your children to come up with recommendations on what sights to see, what foods to eat and where to stay so that they roughly know what to research. And on days where your plans may change, perhaps due to bad weather, ask them to come up with a back-up list of attractions – this is arguably one of the most important things to do, as a lack of back-up plans can either make or break your holiday.
2. Routes, Maps and Geography lessons
What better way to get a sense of how expansive the world is than when pouring over world maps on Google or in guidebooks? It will also put their navigational skills to good use and they will be more aware of how to get around via different modes of transportation, whether it is by the swanky sky train, the good old taxis or by tuk tuk, the open air fun vehicles that liven up the road in Bangkok. The city’s public transportation system is comprehensive enough for them to be able to research cost and convenience online. Teach them invaluable skills like time management too - as it takes time for them to go from place to place, so they will learn to group up activities to be done in a day that are in close proximity.
3. Economics – How to make a budget and manage money
Planning and managing a budget is a useful life skill. During the trip, give your child some pocket money for the day and allow them to spend it on whatever they like. But do remind them to stick to their budget so that they spend wisely if they want to purchase their favourite trip momento.
They can also learn about currency exchange and the value of the different denominations and currencies during the trip. The Thai Baht is an easy enough currency for your kids to convert, also brushing up their quick math skills.
4. Communication skills
Teach them some useful phrases in the local language like “Sawasdeekhrap” (hello), ‘Khop-Khun Kha” (thank you), “Sabaay-D-Rue-Kha” (how are you?). Practice with them before the trip and encourage them to apply it during the trip. In addition, getting your kids to flash their adorable smile while saying “Sawasdeekhrap”(hello) may just get you that extra discount when bargaining for your purchase at the Bangkok night market!
5. Cultural sensitivity
Thai people, especially younger people, also say “wai” as a greeting or to say thank you, to show respect to elders, an important part of the Thai culture. They do this by putting their hands together in a prayer-like gesture and raising them to a position somewhere between the chest and forehead and then bowing.
Learning the cultural sensitivities of a destination before arriving aids in appreciation of culture. It also teaches kids how to conduct their behaviour in various settings, a great life skill to have.
Involving your kids in holiday planning allows for many life skills to be learnt and gets them excited for more discovery during the trip. Ultimately, the world is their classroom and there is always something for the little ones to learn and take away.
This article was brought to you by Holiday Inn®. Explore more family travel tips and inspiring itineraries for your kids at www.LittleBigTravellers.com. At 1,200 Holiday Inn® Hotels and Holiday Inn Resorts®, kids 12 and under stay and eat for free! Discover the Joy of Travel with Holiday Inn® today.