Travelling abroad is an exciting time for everyone. Adults, children, senior citizens all find the prospect of visiting a new place fun. However, getting kids ready to travel to a new place can be overwhelming for adults. Children also may get anxious about travelling by flight, eating new foods, and seeing unfamiliar faces.
Some children may also get nervous that they will never make new friends again. While this is irrational, children won’t always understand the concept of shifting and seeing new places. As parents, guardians, and caregivers, it is up to us to put their tender minds to rest and ease the transition process.
Before we get into helping you assist your child, you should first ensure that all the necessary paperwork is in order. The best way to do this is to hire well known immigration lawyer from Oxford to get the documentation like passports, visas, immigration papers, and insurance ready. Having all these things prepared will also make your life much easier during the shift.
Let us look at eight ways to prepare your kids for their first overseas travel. If you have toddlers and infants, you won’t need to prepare them. But children over the ages of four need to be handheld throughout the process.
Map The Destination:
Once you decide the destination and are in the process of getting all the paperwork ready, you should introduce the idea of shifting to your kids. Bring out an atlas or a globe, and show your kids the location of the new place. Let them map the distance between your current location and the new one with their fingers. Doing this will help make the shifting real and will also start preparing them.
Let Your Children Start Planning:
Allow your children to feel like they are in control. Ask them to plan what books they want to carry, which toys they want, and if they are ready to sort and throw old toys and clothes. Make them understand that shifting to a new place involves throwing away ‘small children’ things, so they can make space for ‘big children’ stuff. You should actively source new children’s books with animated characters that are set in the new country.
Explain Foreign Currency:
Small children are used to seeing familiar things in the house. The local currency is one such everyday thing. For children, seeing the money in your hand at retail outlets, buying water or chocolates simply means that this is the exchange for something they like. If your kids are old enough to get pocket money for chores, you should let them know that this tradition will continue in the new currency. Let them keep a little of the new cash as a token for good behaviour, and you will see smiles all around.
Let Them Hear The New Language:
If you’re shifting to a country where they speak a different language, now would be an excellent time to expose your children to a few useful words and phrases. Things like ‘good morning’, ‘thank you’, ‘sorry’, ‘my name is ___’, will help your child feel like they are learning something new. You can find flashcards, language apps, games, and more to help with this endeavour.
You can find some food recipes native to the new country. Cooking these at home and allowing your children to taste a little will help them understand the difference and build familiarity. When you expose them to new foods in the comfort of their home, you will find they are more willing to try out new cuisines later.
If a travel show or a family movie features the destination country, you should watch it with your children. Point out noteworthy things to them to build interest and eagerness. The show doesn’t matter much as long as it is suitable for child viewers.
Music changes according to region. Children enjoy listening to catchy music. If you know of any folk songs, you could share them with your children and explain the importance of this new music to the country’s people. This will also help familiarize them with the new language and its nuances.
Set A Countdown For The Departure Date:
Set up a large calendar with the travel date marked with stickers and colourful markers. Allow your children to cross out each day as it passes. Doing this helps build eagerness and enthusiasm in the shifting. If your child is inquisitive, they will probably ask you how many days left to travel (at least 10 times a day), followed by why you’re taking so long to leave!