Be social

Sometimes parents are made to feel guilty about taking their children out of school to go on holidays but while school is a very important part of a child’s education, there are just some things they will never learn in a classroom.

I am a big believer in my children having a fully rounded education that isn’t just about school so since they were quite young we’ve always made a concerted effort to take them travelling and expose them to as many different experiences as possible.

While we love spending time reading books in our family, there is no substitute for getting out into the world, seeing new things, meeting new people and trying new experiences.

Here are 10 lessons that children can learn from travelling:

[headline size=”small” align=”left”]1. A sense of adventure[/headline]

river kayaking with kidsThe world is an amazing place just waiting to be explored and a holiday is a wonderful new adventure just waiting to begin.

There are endless opportunities for adventure on a holiday in North Queensland and many of them are suitable for children.

So whether its snorkelling on the reef, swinging through the rainforest on flying fox ziplines or navigating around rocks on a sea kayaking trip, instil a sense of adventure and wonder in your children.

[headline size=”small” align=”left”]2. fun is what you make it[/headline]

camping activities for kidsSometimes it rains on holidays or you miss your connecting ferry or bus and your holiday doesn’t always go as planned, but instead of getting upset you can choose to look on the bright side and have fun anyway.

We recently went on a camping holiday to the Daintree and it rained the whole time, as it sometimes does in FNQ.

But we still had a fun holiday (even though the photos weren’t very good) and the kids learned a valuable lesson about how to deal with setbacks and disappointment.

Pack a deck of cards or Uno for unexpected delays, enjoy the rain and getting to experience rainbows, plan games and activities for long flights or car trips and try to find the positive in things.

[headline size=”small” align=”left”]3. the world is diverse[/headline]

bama way aboriginal cave paintingsLearning about other cultures and people is such a valuable life lesson for children and in the longer term helps foster tolerance.

Most kids from urban areas in Australia have the opportunity to grow up alongside children from other cultures but it is still important to give them the opportunity to learn about Aboriginal culture, languages and traditions.

Our kids just love any trips or activities involving Aboriginal culture. On this Bama Way bushwalking trip with Willie Gordon in Cape York, they were captivated by his stories and itching to ask lots of questions.

[headline size=”small” align=”left”]4. Importance of nature[/headline]

starfish at elim beachChildren are naturally curious about the environment and are endlessly fascinated by all the things they can observe.

So, as adults it is our responsibility to teach them as much as possible about how to protect it.

Appreciating nature also introduces kids to the beauty to be found in the simple things in life like watching a sunset, collecting shells on the beach, swimming in freshwater creeks, admiring wildlife and listening to the sounds of the rainforest.

[headline size=”small” align=”left”]5. there’s more to life than technology[/headline]

little aussie nomadsWhile it is very easy for kids to become addicted to technology at home, travelling allows them to put down the gadgets and have fun entertaining themselves in the real world around them.

Going sightseeing, bushwalking, enjoying water sports and even wandering through local country markets gives them an opportunity to breathe in fresh air and get back to nature. And depending on where you travel, like remote camping spots, technology won’t work anyway.

[headline size=”small” align=”left”]6. give things a go[/headline]

snorkeling fitzroy island queenslandTravelling is good for kids because it gives them lots of opportunities to try new things, step outside their comfort zone and give things a go.

Whether it’s eating indigenous bush tucker for the first time, snorkelling off the beach, kayaking down small rapids, stand-up paddleboarding or even fishing, travelling allows kids the freedom to try new things.

[headline size=”small” align=”left”]7. awareness of surroundings[/headline]

Going on holidays teaches kids to appreciate their surroundings and be aware of the imprint they leave.

Whether it be lessons learned while camping, visiting the beach or just understanding the environmental impact their decisions make, children become more respectful of their surroundings through travel.

[headline size=”small” align=”left”]8. organisational skills[/headline]

little aussie travellersAny travel requires planning whether it be an overseas holiday or an off-road camping trip.

There are maps to study, money to budget, food supplies to shop for and luggage to pack, and there is no reason kids can’t be involved in the planning and packing before a trip.

In fact, its a great learning opportunity so at the very least they should be able to think about what they will need and pack their own things.

[headline size=”small” align=”left”]9. inspiration and insight[/headline]

kids on the beachI find getting away from my home environment very inspiring and I often return from even short breaks brimming with new ideas and fresh perspectives.

And, the same is true for children.

I am constantly surprised and amazed by what my children learn and remember from our trips. Sometimes small things that I barely remember make a huge impression on them and I know it will be something that they’ll remember for a long time.

We all get stuck in life now and again so its great to teach your children the benefits of changing their environment occasionally.

[headline size=”small” align=”left”]10. family time[/headline]

fish and chips cooktown australiaFamily holidays create memories that last a lifetime and it is also a time when everyone can bond and enjoy each other’s company without the distractions of technology, telephones, work and daily chores.

Teaching the kids how to fish, playing board games together or sitting around the campfire toasting marshmallows and telling stories, are all cherished moments that make family holidays memorable.