Traveling allows you to explore the world we live in. As adults, many of us find that traveling creates wonderful memories that we can draw on happily for the rest of our lives.
The same is very much true for children. Especially if they’re over the age of 10.
To take kids places to is to teach them to see it up close and understand the beauty that awaits them as they grow up. A single trip can offer exposure to new culture, rainbows spread across the canyons of a rainforest or the way that a monument put up two hundred years ago is still standing today.
Navigate the world wisely — by both travel method and activity — with the youngsters in your life using the following tips:
1) Prepare Before You Go
Older kids have different needs than their younger counterparts. Before you go, proper preparation is vital.
Start with a list of all the items you’ll need for the trip. Create a separate checklist for each kid. The checklist should include all the belongings they are going to take with them as well as all vital documents they may need to have on hand while traveling.
Make sure each child has a train ticket and all other important documents such as a passport tucked somewhere safe and easy to reach before you get on the train.
2) Plan Short Trips
For shorter trips — roughly anything under two hours — children over 10 are typically good travelers.
Many kids love getting in the car for a quick day of fun at the shore or to a local amusement park. Make traveling with them even easier by having at least one snack on hand for each hour of travel. Healthy snacks for kids like dried nuts and fruit are excellent as they store easily and leave no crumbs.
3) Venture on Longer Trips
Longer trips require more preparation.
Many older kids are avid readers. Buy a few classic favorite kid’s books and designate them for car use only. This gives kids something to do each trip that you know they’ll love. A set of the Anne of Green Gables books or the Harry Potter series can last awhile too.
4) Take a Road Trip
Road trips are perfect for older kids because they are old enough to sit in the car for longer periods of time. Take advantage of this fact and bring them along to see America firsthand.
Ask the kids to help plan the trip by looking up unique and exciting road trip destinations before you go anywhere. Letting them engage in trip planning activities helps them develop critical thinking skills.
A car makes an ideal means of travel with kids. Older kids can stretch out in the back seat. Parents can stop for meals or scenery whenever they please.
No car? Buses go just about everywhere, too. Whether you’re planning a long distance trip from one state to another or just a quick tour of New York City, travel by bus with kids over 10 can be an ideal way to travel. Many tour bus companies allow people to hop off and then hop — providing you with additional flexibility.
5) Travel by Plane
Traveling by plane, even with older kids, often requires specific preparation. It is important to make sure that you have all the details well in advance. Prepare the kids you’re traveling with on what they can expect and how they should behave.
Here’s a handy list of tips for plane travel with kids that is sure to make any planned flight easier. Print it out and keep in on hand before boarding.
6) Consider Train Travel
Taking the train can be a great way to relax and let someone else do the driving. Long distance train travel allows kids the chance to view the world right from their own windows. Kids older than 10 can be trusted to carry their own bags and even get off and on the train by themselves.
7) Go by Boat
Traveling by boat can be one of the most memorable ways to get from one place to another. Boats can go places that are hard to get to by other means. Many families choose to take a cruise as their family vacation each year.
When cruising with older kids, look for cruises that have specific activities organized around the needs of kids over ten. Many cruises have special programs for kids this age that allow them to interact with their peers and even enjoy shows and meals designed just for them.
8) Keep Them Occupied
No matter the method by which you travel, keep the kids occupied. Older kids enjoy playing games. Buy a few travel versions of favorite children’s board games — like Othello or Rummikub — to have on hand.
A deck of cards also can also provide kids with endless possibilities that everyone can enjoy at the same time.
9) Use Travel Apps and Maps
Give kids a detailed map to trace the trip as it takes place from the window of the car or have them watch the miles go by on an iPhone. Travel apps for kids are widely available and can make the hours go by faster.
If you already have the trip planned out, have your kids look at the map, give them a list of pre-approved activities and let them choose! Let them pick out three or four places or activities they think the entire family will enjoy.
10) Relate Your Travels to School Work
Learning can take place everywhere and anywhere.
In winter months, ask your child’s teachers what they’re learning in social studies or English. If you’re visiting Washington D.C., seeing the halls of the Supreme Court or touring the White House can make history come alive.
During the summer, teachers often assign kids a summer reading list. Look for ways to tie in the books your child is reading through school with the places they’re traveling during this time. Ask your child to do a bit of research and find out which books on the reading list have a specific connection to your planned summer vacation destination.
However You Travel, Do It Together!
Taking kids on a trip can help families grow closer together. Older children often remember trips they’ve taken with parents and family members for the rest of their lives.
With the right planning and careful attention to detail, the entire family can have a fun trip while opening their minds to the wonders of our world and the joy of being together as a family.
About the author: Kacey Mya Bradley is a lifestyle blogger for “The Drifter Collective.” Throughout her life, she has found excitement in the world around her. Kacey graduated with a degree in Communications while working for a lifestyle magazine. She has been able to fully embrace herself with the knowledge of nature, the power of exploring other locations, cultures, and styles, while communicating these endeavors through her passion for writing and expression. Her love for the world around her is portrayed through her visually pleasing, culturally embracing and inspiring posts.
The Drifter Collective: An eclectic lifestyle blog that expresses various forms of style through the influence of culture and the world around us.