There is no better time for a child to experience travel than during the early years. When the mind is open and fresh, traveling can be a tremendous, learning, growing, and broadening experience. If your child is well-traveled, he or she will have a great deal to add to classroom discussions and to any conversation throughout life. Even if you do not have the resources for jaunts around the world, car and bus trips close to home and visits to places of interest in your immediate area can do a great deal to help your child have a wide experience of the world.
No matter where you are in the US, there is bound to be some open space to explore nearby. Even in the heart of New York City, Central Park offers opportunities to explore nature and the great outdoors. Be sure to learn about the natural wonders near your home. If you are fortunate enough to live in areas that have tremendous natural beauty, such as the Grand Canyon and Yosemite in the western part of the nation, don’t be a stick in the mud! It’s easy to neglect to visit these wonders when you live nearby but don’t let this happen to you. Make it a point to visit places of interest nearby.
If you live in a major city such as New York, Dallas, or San Francisco, you have a wealth of choices in museums, parks, fairs, and exhibits to choose from. Be sure to take advantage of big-screen presentations of nature around the world, science fairs, traveling theater, and more. Even if you live in a small town, look up the history of the town online and talk with locals about older buildings and items that may be landmarks. Being involved in your local community can be a tremendous learning experience.
When you do plan big adventures, try to choose destinations that have historical and cultural value. A road trip that takes you through historic areas such as the settings of the American Revolution or the Civil War can be very interesting and enriching. Of course, everyone wants to go to Disneyland at least once, but make sure you don’t allow all of your family travel plans to take you to this sort of artificial setting. If and when you do go to an iconic theme park, take the time to explore the history of the park and its significance.
It’s also a good idea to expose your child to a lot of different types of countryside. If you live in a flat area, take a trip to the mountains. If your home state gets lots of rain and is heavily forested, explore the austere beauty of the desert. Partake of outdoor activities that are inexpensive and require some real effort and learning on the part of your family members. Hiking, fishing, and camping can be incredibly enjoyable, relaxing, enriching, and not too expensive.
If you don’t have the money to take your child on a trip around the world, you can rest assured that there is great enrichment and learning to be found in points of interest in your neighborhood, town, and state. By looking into landmarks and other settings that exemplify cultural and historical significance and participating in activities that provide opportunities for learning and growth, you will help your child broaden the depth and scope of his or her ability to learn.
Read also: Family travel tips: Traveling with kids