Five ways to introduce children to responsible travel

19 August  |  Family

Responsible travel is about minimizing the negative impact of your travel on destinations and communities, and leaving behind a positive footprint where possible. Every single choice counts, including the ones your children make.

Then, why not introduce the idea early during childhood to those curious little minds? If talking about words like ‘sustainability’ and ‘footprint’ seems daunting or drab, worry not. Here’s how you can weave green, responsible ways into your family travel and make the whole experience fun for your children.

Plan together

Get your kids interested in the holiday from the planning stage. Talk about possible destinations. You can introduce ideas such as natural resources, wildlife and water resources available at each location. Discuss the advantages and challenges of visiting each location and zero-in on one.

Make local culture fascinating

Children are curious and that makes them great learners. Read up about your holiday destination and introduce your children to the local culture there. Pull out interesting titbits about the local way of life. Paint a fascinating picture about traditions, beliefs and values. Teach them to respect cultural diversity.

Award points for being non-literati

Make staying tidy and eco-friendly a fun activity. Award points for right behaviour such as putting waste in a dustbin or refusing a plastic bag when buying from a local shop. Let your kids redeem the points at the end of their holiday.

Engage in the outdoors

Children often turn restless if not engaged. Instead of letting them stay glued to the TV, take them outdoors. Go on a nature walk. Camp out and enjoy a star gazing session. Organise a picnic lunch near the river. Check with your travel consultant or host and see how you can make the outdoors exciting for your little ones.

Accessorise conservation

Encourage conservation and responsible travel with interesting accessories. Get your kids their own colourful water bottle and ask them to refill, instead of buying bottled water. Gift a backpack with their favourite cartoon theme and encourage them to pack their own belongings.

Ask children to learn about the rules, dos and don’ts the hosts follow and adopt the required behaviour. With these, and some common points such as respecting wildlife, you would have started off your children on the path of ‘responsible travel’ without even uttering those words.

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