The first time your child travels could improve their confidence, develop their social skills, boost their future career success, develop their creative thinking, permanently whiten their teeth, and even give them the power to control time itself. Or at least according to the latest travel survey from Booking.com, minus the teeth-whitening and time-bending. The rest of it is true, though.
First-time travellers report that learning about other cultures, picking up new skills (like map-reading or languages), trying different food, and meeting new people all helped improve their confidence. This in turn had a positive impact on their life back at home. It looks like one of the most important holidays your child will ever take is the first one: so here are some tips and tricks for maximising the benefits.
Ventspils, Latvia is ideal for teaching your kids to stop holding the map upside down
Holidays to help your child learn to read a map
Learning new, practical skills helped boost the confidence of 45% of our first-time bookers and the most popular was map-reading. Quiet streets with quirky, memorable, landmarks are great for teaching kids how to navigate and, according to our reviewers, the some of the best places for this are: Oropesa del Mar in Spain, Ventspils in Latvia, Tirol in Austria, Santa Catarina in Brazil, Zaton in Croatia
Introduce your kids to Glutinous Sticky Rice in one of Kuala Lumpur's fresh food markets
Holidays to help your child try lots of different cuisines
New food can be intimidating but 43% of first-time travellers say that trying new food boosted their confidence. Travelling somewhere with lots of different options will help ease fussy palates into new flavours. These destinations were endorsed for “culturally diverse food” by our reviewers who were travelling with young children: Gaziantep in Turkey, Semarang in Indonesia, Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia, Singapore in Singapore, Paramaribo in Suriname
St. John's, Newfoundland
Holidays to help your child learn about another culture
1 in 5 of our first-time travellers say that learning about another culture helped increase their confidence. And the benefits to children are even clearer. Travel is a great chance to broaden your child’s understanding of the world, and help improve their language skills. Some of the best places for immersing your family in a new culture, as voted by our family bookers, are: Medellin in Colombia, Port Vila in Vanuatu, Yangon in Myanmar, Asunción in Paraguay, St. John’s in Canada
Cyclades, Greece. Endorsed by Booking.com families as one of the friendliest places in the world.
Holidays to help your child practise meeting new people
Balancing warnings about stranger danger with helping your child develop their social skills can feel like a never-ending battle. But! Meeting new people is cited by 40% of first time travellers as a major boost to confidence and a family holiday provides a great opportunity for children to meet contemporaries from diverse backgrounds, in a safe environment. When we asked our family bookers what the best places for meeting new people were they suggested: Surat Thani Province in Thailand, Cyclades in Greece, Nairobi in Kenya, Beograd in Serbia, Manila in the Philippines