Family holidays are more than just opportunities to have fun and spend quality family time together. They can also be used to teach children about other cultures and how people from different countries live and celebrate festivities.
Travel during Festivals or Religious Holidays
One of the best ways to experience another culture is to travel to that country during a big festival or religious holiday. That’s when traditional customs, foods and attire will be at their most conspicuous. A quick search on the Internet or calling up a travel agent will provide the relevant information. Once the date of the desired festivity is found, try planning the holiday around it. Do note that in some countries, the time of a festival may vary from year to year.
Have Meals with Local Families
Local dishes are a big part of a culture. So if possible, try to get a family to have at least one actual meal with a local family. This is easily arranged if the family is travelling to a country in which they have friends. They may even get to enjoy homestays with their friends. Alternatively, ask the travel agent if it’s possible to arrange meals with local families. This is certainly better than being served hotel food that is often very different from what the locals do eat daily.
Visit Local Markets
If the family is visiting a less developed country, a trip to the local market can be very educational for both children and adults alike. Many countries in Asia, Africa and South America have very different markets from those in developed countries.
In Thailand, for instance, there are floating markets in which fruits and vegetables are sold on boats. In Malaysia, there are many night markets in which food, groceries, household items and even clothes are sold in open markets at night. In Hong Kong and countries that are predominantly Chinese, traders sell their wares along both sides of selected streets at specific times of the day. Prices of goods can often be bargained. All the shopping and marketing experiences will leave a lasting impression on kids who’ve enjoyed them.
Stay in the middle of the locals
Using sites like Trusted Housesitters, allow you to stay in someone’s house for free in exchange for looking after their house or pets. It’s a fab way to stay within the local community. That link will get you 25% discount but you can also use the code RAF282680. The cost of the annual membership is similar to a one night stay in a hotel so well worth the money and you can apply for as many house sits as you like through the year.
Be Respectful of other Cultures and Beliefs
There are stark differences in cultures and beliefs between countries. What is acceptable or even fun in one country may be offensive and rude in another. So this is a good opportunity to teach children to be respectful of other cultures and beliefs no matter where they are. Witnessing first-hand of what is considered right or not right will teach children they have to behave accordingly when in the company of others who do not share their culture and beliefs.
Cultural experiences through travel will definitely enrich the lives of children. Make the best of family holidays abroad by using them as a means to teach children about other cultures. This can be achieved by travelling during festivals or religious holidays, having meals with local families and visiting local markets. It’s also a good way to teach children to be respectful of other cultures and beliefs.