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Travelling with kids - what are your experiences?

Travelling with kids - what are your experiences?

Old Jun 17, 22, 5:32 am
  #1  
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Travelling with kids - what are your experiences?

Travelling with kids - what are your experiences?

Iím working on an app with the purpose of creating better travel experiences for kids (and ultimately the entire family). If youíve been travelling with kids (age 7-12 years), I would love to hear about your experiences.

As much as cultural travel experiences and city breaks can be eye-opening, exciting and enriching experiences for the young ones in the family, just as overwhelming they can be. There are many new impressions and situations to take in and the kids find themselves outside of their comfort zones. Not only can this cause sad faces and a few tears while away but also unnecessary friction, resistance, and setbacks.

As grownups we know how to cope with new surroundings. We research, navigate cultural differences and languages, and have a toolbox of strategies and knowledge that we can apply to unfamiliar scenarios. However, for a child, none of this is necessarily an available option. With fewer reference points and less life experience, everything is new.

Iím a firm believer that these negative experiences can be mitigated to some extent by preparing and engaging the kids to make them more familiar and comfortable with the destination ahead of the holiday. But letís be realistic, with busy schedules finding time as a family to coordinate, talk and plan doesnít always happenÖ

So what if we instead hand the steering wheel to the kids to involve them and allow them to explore the destination in an interactive app on their own to make them feel more safe, confident and curious about the place they are going?

Iím in the early stages of the project and would love to get a better understanding of what your experiences are taking your kids on cultural holidays and/or city breaks.

Feel free to share as much or as little as you wish - I want to leave this entirely open-ended. If you feel anything else is relevant, by all means, please share as well or send me a private message. Your help and time is tremendously appreciated.


What are your experiencesÖ

Ahead of the holiday
For example:
  • How do you as a family prepare for a holiday?
  • Do you involve/engage your kids in the travel planning process? (E.g. where to go, what to do/see?)
  • And in which way? (E.g. do they read guidebooks/books or watch programs/videos about the destination, do you talk to them, do you put them in charge of anything?)
  • Based on previous holiday experiences, have you modified the tactics in if/how you prepare/engage/involve the kids prior to going away?

During the holiday
For example:
  • If your kids have ever felt overwhelmed during this kind of holiday, how did they overcome it?
  • Are your kids engaged in the destination throughout the trip? (E.g. how do you engage them, do they seek out information themselves, do they show interest in the places youíre visiting?)
  • Has anything in particular triggered a more active participation from your kids when visiting places throughout the trip?
  • If the kids have been involved in the planning or have knowledge of the destination, do you feel a difference in their engagement with the destination? And if so, how?
  • Thinking back of these kinds of holidays, which factors have been key in creating your and your familyís fondest memories while away?
sarah_kp is offline  
Old Jun 17, 22, 8:49 am
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Ugh. Trying to substitute an app for parenting - exactly the wrong way to prepare kids for real world situations.
CDTraveler is offline  
Old Jun 17, 22, 10:12 am
  #3  
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Quite the opposite. I'm not trying to remove the parents' responsibility but support them in preparing their kids for getting more acquainted with their holiday destination. Just as with a guidebook, a parent can decide to sit down with their kids and talk, or encourage them to read about a few things themselves. This app is meant as a supplementary tool that will trigger the children's interest in the place and give the family a more solid platform for planning a trip that is interesting and fun for all parts.
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Old Jun 17, 22, 10:59 am
  #4  
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for many questions i would give near opposite answers depending on which of my kids this applies to...

but overall this is all about expectations and baseline - at that age most (always add ymmv) kids have no reference point about what's rare, unusual or special to see and what's most generic.. after multiple trips to utah and some stunning scenery/hikes/activities they remind me that we need to make a trip to moab to have milkshake at a diner... they remember riding quad bikes around lucca walls this spring but little about museums or cathedrals.. a cartoon on local tv will be more memorable than mona lisa..(ok that's my guess as i decided not to waste time and effort on that)... they will remember a playground or riding overnight train rather than museum or a glacier crashing in ocean.. trying to rush with pushing priorities the way adults see them will fail miserably imo..

just go, pick a few things to do along the way and be flexible - let them absorb the world around.. i do teach them to pack and prepare ahead - understand duration of trip, check the weather, take/charge gadgets, check maps ahead or along the way etc.. recently they started looking up places from preferred youtubers - some progress i guess...
azepine00 is offline  
Old Jun 17, 22, 11:25 pm
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Originally Posted by sarah_kp View Post
Quite the opposite. I'm not trying to remove the parents' responsibility but support them in preparing their kids for getting more acquainted with their holiday destination. Just as with a guidebook, a parent can decide to sit down with their kids and talk, or encourage them to read about a few things themselves. This app is meant as a supplementary tool that will trigger the children's interest in the place and give the family a more solid platform for planning a trip that is interesting and fun for all parts.
You said, and I quote, "Iím working on an app with the purpose of creating better travel experiences for kids" - I dispute the very idea that an app, moving pixels on a screen, is an effective, or even appropriate, way to prepare children for travel, especially in the 7 to 12 range. Travel is about getting away from the screen, seeing new things, being somewhere you have never been before. Best way to acclimate your child to the idea of travel is to actually get your child away from a screen, and take them places. Maybe it's a local park or library, maybe it's taking a train ride, visiting a museum, taking a horseback riding lesson, playing on a beach, or whatever works for a family, but you can't substitute an app for an outing. And frankly, if a parent wants to look at online travel information with their child, there's already several million travel websites encompassing far more information than you can put in an app.
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CDTraveler is offline  
Old Jun 22, 22, 6:08 am
  #6  
yno
 
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I would also not consider an app for preparing travel...

Preparing travel involves discussing where we go and then suggesting possible visits. Either books or website for the kids to look at information, discussion together what they would like to do.
The only apps I would consider are actually those in e.g. museums that provide an interactive visit / audioguide, but those are already provided by the locations.
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