Today we continue the “Temperament and Travel” series, featuring bi-weekly advice for traveling with children of each and every temperament. In case you missed them, the previous posts in this series offer advice for Travel with a High-Energy Child.and Travel with a Low-Energy Child.
Today we turn from Activity Levels to that temperament trait that gets more opportunities than ever to reveal itself through travel: Approach to New Things.
Approach to New Things: Eager vs. Cautious
Eager – Does he rush into new places, ready to explore, find the best toys, and make new friends? To see what snacks might be available? Is he happy to try a new food or wear a new jacket?
Cautious – Is he slow to warm up to new people and surroundings? Is he hesitant to talk with strangers and new acquaintances, turning away from them and in toward you? Does he prefer tried and true toys and clothes, and the same favorite books
Advice for Travel with the Eager Child
Whenever arriving on a new scene, make safety and supervision a top priority as this child may waste no time in testing every door, drawer, window, and balcony rail before you can even take off your jacket. Be ready to explore new spaces together so you can act on any unsafe situations and explain any new safety rules or procedures.
Stand guard when entering the territory of unfamiliar pets (e.g., a relative’s home) as your child may get too familiar too quickly for some animals.
When visiting developing regions where they may be more common, be on the lookout for street dogs, strays, and wild animals so you can hopefully spot them before your child does.
Since each feature of the hotel room calls to him—the hair dryer, the shampoo bottles, the minibar, the phone (unplug it if you must to avoid constant battles), arrive ready with temporary childproofing solutions (see travel childproofing recommendations here). You may also need to rearrange furniture or strategically place large suitcases to block below-window AC units or said minibar (just remember eager travelers are not afraid to climb).
For relaxing vacations, it will be important to plan trips where safety concerns are minimal and activities are abundant. Resorts with children’s play areas and splash pools are ideal. And to your advantage, this child will most likely be delighted to join supervised children’s activity programs or kids’ clubs and drop-off nurseries, where they can mingle with other children and discover new toys–allowing you a little down time to actually close your eyes as you lie by the pool. 😀
Have you subscribed to Travels with Baby Tips?
More tips and advice are on the way! For help for planning travel of every kind–with babies and children of every temperament–in Travels with Baby: The Ultimate Guide for Planning Travel with Your Baby, Toddler, and Preschooler.
Read More from the Temperament and Travel Series:
Shelly Rivoli, author of the award-winning Travels with Baby guidebooks
What?! Your kids aren’t babies anymore? Visit my new site: Family Travel 411