Benefits of Traveling Abroad With a Toddler
Aren’t they too young to appreciate it? No I don’t believe they are. I believe you’re never too young to be exposed to different ways of living, climates, food, culture and language. The more differences a child absorbs, the less they’ll actually find them “different” when older. I believe this encourages tolerance, acceptance and an interest in multi-culturalism (even at this early age).
Toddlers have an amazing ability to play without a language in common. My children have spent countless happy hours playing in a park or beach with local kids or other holiday makers without being able to speak each other’s languages; it doesn’t mean they can’t communicate however. They just get on with the international language of play. And you’re never too young to learn a few words in the language of the country you’re in. A “bonjour” or “merci” said by your little toddler will charm the local shopkeepers/café staff etc. The kids themselves will love knowing a few foreign words too, it adds to the adventure.
If you’re staying in a self-catering place you don’t have to eat out all the time, but encouraging young children to try foreign or different foods is always a good idea. The more adventurous a toddler is with food, hopefully the more adventurous they’ll be as an older child/teen/adult. And not only adventurous but accepting of difference. It isn’t always “better at home”!
Traveling with toddlers might mean you won’t see as many cultural sights in as much depth as you might have done pre-children, but you’ll be rewarded in other ways and see your holiday location through different eyes. Don’t underestimate just how exciting the seemingly simple activity of playing in a foreign playpark can be to a little kid, using different equipment and hearing different languages all around. Don’t forget too that you can get some adult time when your kid naps. While they are sleeping in their buggy you can visit a museum or gallery, do some shopping or take a leisurely meal in a restaurant. We never felt obliged to be “at home” for nap times in a bed, strollers are perfect for holiday naps!