Travelling abroad with Children: Is it worth the hassle?

March 22, 2017 Published by

 

Whether you’ve been stuck on a plane for hours with your toddler screaming because his ears have popped, or feel like you haven’t had a moment to yourself, family holidays abroad aren’t always the relaxing break you were hoping for!

You might even need a second holiday just to recover.

So despite the warm sunshine and the cultural experience an overseas holiday promises, you find yourself asking ‘is it really worth the trouble when you have children in tow?’

 

The benefits of travelling abroad with Children

 

Learning that people in another country speak a different language, have different traditions, or wear different clothes helps your child understand that every individual is unique.  

You’ve spent ages booking the flights, researching child-friendly accommodation and learning the language so you can ask “où sont les toilettes?” when the children get caught short.

Holidays abroad take a lot of planning, but they do mean that your child gets to experience a new environment and culture.

Learning that people in another country speak a different language, have different traditions, or wear different clothes helps your child understand that every individual is unique.

This helps them develop empathy and become more accepting of others, while also reinforcing their own identity.

It’s also a great way to get older children enthusiastic about learning.

For example, they might practise a foreign language in everyday life, or see artworks they have learned about at school up close.

They can visit museums and landmarks to learn about the country’s history, or see natural wonders that show them how important it is to care for the environment.

 

Choosing a ‘staycation’

There are plenty of reasons to go abroad for your family holiday, but (depending on the age of your children) it can be quite a challenge too.

Planes leaving in the middle of the night can disrupt sleeping patterns.

It can be difficult to find food your children will eat (although trying out the local cuisine is a great part of the learning experience, if they’re willing).

And while sunbathing on golden sun-baked beaches or improving your skills on the ski slopes sounds wonderful, temperatures can be too severe for younger children.

Alternatively, you can choose to stay in the UK for your family holiday.

While it’s not without it’s complications – like fitting a family’s worth of luggage into one car, or dealing with the infamous British weather – it may offer a less stressful option.

The less drastic change in culture and environment means it can be easier to adjust and simply enjoy the break.

That doesn’t mean your children will be missing out on enriching experiences though; there is loads to explore in the UK that will teach them about their own heritage and identity.

For example, English Heritage brings history to life with events at hundreds of historic buildings, monuments and sites – from medieval castles to war bunkers.

The National Trust preserves the natural countryside and coastline, giving your family breathtaking walks and views right on your doorstep.

 

So, home or away?

 

Don’t forget that it’s your holiday too; if you are relaxed and having fun, your children will be as well.  

The choice to stay in the UK or holiday abroad is completely down to your family’s requirements. Your children will be happy just spending some time with you, and an ice cream is an ice cream, whether it’s in Italy or Great Yarmouth (and that’s often their favourite bit of the holiday).

Don’t forget that it’s your holiday too; if you are relaxed and having fun, your children will be as well.

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This post was written by Anna Taylor

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