FFF: Why Travel is the Best Teacher


There is so much one can gain by traveling. It broadens our minds, develops our cultural empathy and gives us a much better understanding of the world. Not only does it allow open-mindedness, but it also teaches important life skills. The experience can have a great positive impact on any individual and even more so on children. Traveling helps children to improve social skills and to become decent global citizens. More than that, in exploring the world children can learn numerous practical skills. Here are a few ways travel can be one of the best teachers for your child:

Lesson one: Prioritization

By taking responsibility for their own luggage, it can teach them what is a necessity and what is a luxury; what they can survive without and how it can vary based on trips.  Once they master this skill, they can apply it to school bags, sleepover bags and day trip bags in everyday life.

Lesson two: Getting from point A to B, technology free

In our busy day-to-day lives, aided with GPS and smartphones, it is easy to forget to teach our children how to read a map. Traveling can be a great opportunity to teach them this skill which includes being aware of their surroundings.

Lesson three: Knowing how to haggle

This includes understanding why people bargain, knowing that it happens in some places and not others and knowing how to do it both successfully and respectfully. Negotiation like this is important because it teaches diplomacy and cultural empathy, as well as basic economics.

Lesson four: Money matters

Traveling demonstrates the real-life importance of classroom math. In traveling, they have the opportunity to understand and use foreign currency, all while building knowledge of how things are valued. Additionally, using money unfamiliar to them helps to better master handling money at home.

Lesson five:  Learning the lingo

By taking your child somewhere with a different native tongue they can learn to better communicate. It can be as simple as being able to say ‘hello’, ‘please’, and ‘thank you’. Maybe they are learning a language in school and are then able to apply it. If verbal communication is difficult for them, they will learn how signing and body language can overcome language barriers.

Lesson six: Tasting the difference

Traveling not only allows for children to explore new places but also to explore new tastes, see different cooking techniques and to learn how other cultures may eat differently. They can learn to push their own boundaries in trying new things and learn to break old habits as well.

Lesson seven: Have no regrets

Children learn through example and watching adults approach decisions. Traveling is one long exercise in decision-making and the ability to accept you made the right, or wrong, decision at the time. They can learn life skills in assessing risk and being prepared to go outside their comfort zones. They can take these skills back home and use them in everyday life.

Lesson eight: how to live with boredom

While there are exciting times in traveling, there also tends to be long periods of time spent waiting. The more a child travels, the more they learn how to deal with boredom in public spaces. Engaging them in games or conversations can lead them to become more self-reliant in entertaining themselves. Repeat the mantra, ‘boring is only in your head.’

To learn more tips on how to teach your kids these lessons abroad, read this article. Until next time, travel folks!

-The Terminal

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