When people think of traveling with young children they might start feeling a headache coming on, because anyone who has experienced this knows how challenging it can be. But it can be very worthwhile, especially for your preschool age children, and will benefit them as they grow older.
Grainne Kelly, founder of BubbleBum, Child Passenger Safety Technician, and child travel expert, gives reasons why you should really consider traveling with preschoolers.
- What do preschool kids gain through travel? Kids learn that the world is a lot bigger than just themselves and their house or familiar places. They learn certain rules about staying safe, social etiquette, etc. They will, hopefully, see different people doing the same familiar things, which will let them understand how similar we all are. In addition, it will also give them an appreciation of what makes each culture special, including language, customs, food, celebrations, teaching them that differences between people and cultures are not something to be feared, but rather embraced.
- Why is important to take preschool kids on trips instead of waiting until they’re older? Preschool kids just want to spend uninterrupted time with those they love. Family trips are perfect! In my experience, preschoolers see the whole trip, even the drive to the airport and the waiting around as part of the excitement and adventure. My kids love exploring the departure lounges and guessing who is going where and why! When they are older they sometimes just want to get there and they’ll be glued to an iPad until we arrive. Preschoolers can also be a lot more open and curious about new places, people, foods etc… so it’s a good time to introduce these things and to begin teaching them awareness of their surroundings when you are with them. You hope that these rules to keep them safe will be normal for them as they get older.
- What are some “emotional firsts” that preschool kids are likely to experience on trips? The excitement and nervousness of leaving home in the middle of the night to go on an airplane or long road trip. My kids love this part when we go away. Busy, strange places like airports or wherever you are traveling from can be intimidating and my children tend to stick together and hold hands much more than normal. Traveling as a family can be a great bonding experience and encourage children to look out for each other and be responsible for their belongings. Something that in the safety of their own environments they haven’t needed to do.
- What are some ways to make trips memorable for preschool kids? Younger children enjoy being part of the planning process too which again can be a great learning experience for them and it adds to their excitement. Not something they’ll fully understand, but it’s about planting the seeds. My kids love to plan what they take and to help pack their things. They each have their own carry on bags which they are responsible for no matter how young. Photos of the whole journey and little keepsakes make trips memorable. We do little journals that start before we leave. Some we keep, some we don’t.
- Other suggestions for making travel special for preschool kids? For special trips, like summer vacations, we make each of the kids a scrapbook with photos and they help write the captions. Kids, even preschoolers, remember more than we think. If they know a little bit about where they are going they can imagine and plan things to do, sometimes making the trip more meaningful. However, kids do love a surprise too.
BubbleBum was founded by Safekids USA Certified CPST Grainne Kelly from Northern Ireland. Kelly believes that every child deserves to be protected and safe while parents should be able to do just that with convenience and ease.
BubbleBum is an award-winning portable, lightweight, brightly colored, inflatable booster seat for kids ages 4-11 easily deflates and folds flat so that kids or parents can carry it in backpacks or handbags, making it perfect for vacations, rental cars, taxis, buses, school trips or carpooling.