|A kid’s perspective on world travel from “The Balcony of Europe,” Nerja, Spain.|
While gearing up for our next journey, I had to smile as I thought back on my own advice on raising a happy traveler–now that I have three–in Travels with Baby. With the exception of somehow raising one of the world’s pickiest eaters, in spite of my good intentions, I think I’ve done pretty well so far (the other two eat fearlessly, for what it’s worth).
One thing I think I’d add to the list is to also instill an early understanding that long-range travel is a privilege the vast majority of people in the world never know–and that we we should always be very grateful for the chances we have to do so.
If it gets a little quiet around here, don’t worry. I’ll just be off practicing what I preach for a while, and I can’t wait to share my adventures with you soon. Meanwhile, here is that excerpt from Travels with Baby.
Tips for Raising a Happy Traveler
1. Start traveling as soon as possible (before they know any better)–babies get used to what they get used to.
2. Discourage brand loyalty–this can help avert crises at Grandma’s house as well as in restaurants and foreign markets.
3. Encourage a palate of universally available foods–rice, yogurt, vegetables, beans, and noodles can be had in virtually any country.
4. Emphasize “routines” over “schedules.” For example, we do this and this before going to bed, regardless of the time zone.
5. Be the most enthusiastic traveler your child knows–share your excitement about where and how you will travel and your child will most likely share the joy.
6. Get a globe or put a world map on the wall and make reference to it often: when reading a story about an Emperor in China, when watching a movie about animals in the Amazon, when mentioning cousins in Indiana, and of course, when planning your next adventure.
7. Create a travel scrapbook just for your child to record his adventures, large and small. As he gets older, he can help choose the pictures and watch for special mementos along the way to add to his travel book.