9 Destinations that bring learning to life for your child

theIndusparent have partnered with Holiday Inn® to inspire your next family adventure that’s all about travelling with kids for learning and fun!

Have you ever got frustrated because your kids were not focusing as you tried to help them with their homework? That glazed stare when the history book came out, or a blank look when you talked about mathematics?

The fact is that a child’s mind is naturally curious, however, their attention span may be low (and this is perfectly normal). This is why it is crucial to find riveting ways of encouraging a child to learn that will hold their attention. We present to you the perfect method – travel!

Mums and dads, come with us on a trip around the world to nine very special destinations that enable edutainment in History, Geography and Culture in a kid-friendly way.

Let’s start our journey now!

History is finally made enjoyable at these world-famous sites

As a subject, history is not every kid’s cup of tea. When you think about it, it’s difficult for a child to visualize in 3-D (three dimension) the rich and detailed background to significant historical objects and events.

And when there is no tangible context, a child’s attention would easily be captured by the toy store that just opened at the mall, rather than the Pyramids of Giza!

Our solution to this issue? Take them out to real historical sites and see how this changes their way of looking at the world (and History!).

1. Hop on board with us! Our first stop is…Cairo!

travelling with kids

Even the most absent-minded child will be inspired by gazing up at the soaring peaks of The Great Pyramids of Giza, in Cairo, Egypt. You can expect a moment of silence as they absorb this magnificent sight, followed by a string of questions – so best to be prepared!

Ask them to think about what’s inside the pyramids and spook them out (just a bit!) by telling that these giant structures are actually tombs.

Talk to them about mummies, mummy! First, carefully explain to them that mummies are different from you!

Next, tell them about the mummification process and how it involved taking all the internal organs out of the body, drying them out, and putting them back.

Giving them this information will cement the learning your kids have already got from their history textbooks, helping them visualise ancient Egyptian cultural practices.

Don’t let this cultural discussion pull you away from taking lots of photographs! For the best memory-making snaps, the best viewpoints over the Pyramids are south of the Mycerinus Pyramid.

While you are there:

  • Stay in the very kid-friendly Holiday Inn® Cairo – Citystars.
  • Visit the children’s museum within the Egyptian museum.
  • Eat hawawshy – a delicious, meat-filled roasted sandwich!

2. From one mausoleum to another – let’s head to the Taj Mahal in New Delhi!

travelling with kids

Travel with your family to the enchanting city of New Delhi. From here, hop on a fun train ride to Agra where you’ll be mesmerised by the sheer beauty of the Taj Mahal, which is also one of the seven wonders of the world.

Take your kids on a mini learning-journey of architecture, history and mathematics, as you point out interesting aspects of the Taj Mahal’s intricate design.

Watch your kids’ eyes light up as you tell them about the love that inspired the construction of this magnificent structure. Don’t forget to tell them that the Taj Mahal is a perfectly symmetrical building – a feat even a modern designer may struggle to accomplish.

While you are here:

  • Stay in one of the many family-friendly hotels in New Delhi.
  • Use this official audio guide app of India’s Ministry of Tourism to bring to life the fascinating stories behind the Taj Mahal.
  • Eat pani puri: small puffed puris filled with deliciousness!

3. Next, we travel the spice route to Petra, Jordan!

travelling with kids

From the Taj Mahal’s story of love and loss, take your little travellers along the ancient spice trail to Petra, Jordan. This adventure is perfect to expose your kids to the history of spice trade and sea-faring which has shaped much of human history!

Your kids will feel like real explorers as they wind their way through The Siq, the narrow passage that leads to Petra, just like the Nabateans who first lived there so they could establish it as a major trading hub.

For an added dimension of adventure, rent a horse and carriage at the entrance to the Siq, which will take you all the way to the awe-inspiring Treasury.

While you are here:

  • Make a trip to the Dead Sea and float weightlessly in its very salty waters. You can stay at the kid-friendly Holiday Inn® Dead Sea.
  • Look for the 450-year old pistachio tree as you wander through the ancient pathways of the Siq.
  • Eat falafel, a combination of ground chickpeas and spices shaped into little patties, then deep-fried until golden-brown.

Ahoy maties! Next port is Oman!

travelling with kids

From one incredible historical destination to the next… we now find ourselves in the birthplace of Sinbad the sailor. This is none other than the port city of Sohar, which is also the capital of Oman.

Once you’ve seen Oman’s flag, you’re not likely to forget it! Ask your kids to use their super observation skills and spot what sets this flag apart from others. In the corner, they will find the nation’s emblem, a Khanjar (dagger) in front of two crossed swords symbolising manhood and bravery!

This emblem is a nod to Oman’s heritage which you and the kids can marvel at in the Bait Al Zubair Museum, in Muscat (road-trip alert!).

Here, your kids will travel back to the year 3000 BC! Watch them gaze in awe at the vast collection of ancient Omani weaponry, costumes, strategic maps and more.

While you are here:

  • Break rest in Muscat at the very family-friendly Holiday Inn® Muscat Al Seeb.
  • Wander around the full-scale Omani village and pick up some bargains at the souk, located outside the museum.
  • Eat shuwa, spiced meat that is slow-cooked until tender in an underground oven.

Get your kids excited about Geography at these amazing destinations

Children often conceive of the world how they  see it on a map. In fact, maps are a great tool to show your little ones how much there is to the world outside the city they live in. But you can take this lesson one step further and bring these maps to life for your kids by showing them geography in 3-D.

Come with us on the second leg of our adventure as we show you just how you can bring Geography to life through travel!

5. The iconic Table Mountain in Cape Town, South Africa!

travelling with kids

If you ask your child to draw a mountain, you know they’ll draw you a triangle, and maybe even a little snow cap. They may not believe you when you say that a mountain can be flat too!

This is why seeing is believing when you show them the stunning, flat-topped Table Mountain in Cape Town, South Africa that dominates the city’s skyline!

Whilst you ride the cable car up the mountainside, teach your kids how it started forming 300 million years ago when it was still at sea level! You can also let them know that a whopping 2,200 species of plants are found on the mountain and that many of them are endemic to the area.

While you are here:

  • Stay in vibrant central Cape Town and check out the Two Oceans Aquarium.
  • Do look out for Cableway’s free guided tours that depart on the hour from the Twelve Apostles Terrace and learn even more about the mountain and its animal inhabitants.
  • Eat braaibroodjies, which are tomato, onion and cheese sandwiches toasted over a fire.

6. Across the world now to Mount Bromo, East Java!

travelling with kids

What’s more exciting than a flat mountain? A volcano! Your little travellers will be thrilled when you tell them you’re taking them to see Mount Bromo, which is an active volcano in East Java, Indonesia.

How interesting would this real-life geography lesson be when you teach your kids that a volcano is created when magma from within the earth works its way to the surface, and then erupts!

When this happens, fiery-red lava flows out and ash is scattered into the sky. And as the volcano continues to erupt, it grows bigger and bigger over time!

While you are here:

  • You can get to Mount Bromo easily from Surabaya.
  • Once you reach the foot of the mountain, climb up by riding a horse – especially useful for older kids too heavy to be carried, but not yet big enough for the complete hike.
  • Eat bakso, a delicious meatball noodle soup that your kids will love too!

7. Zoom to the sand dunes of Dubai!

travelling with kids

From mountains and volcanoes, we now head to the dry and sandy terrain of Dubai!

It may seem like a huge amount of sand, but deserts and sand dunes can actually teach your little one a lot about geographical phenomena. When your little ones are running through the sand dunes, ask them if they know how deserts are formed.

Tell them that the extreme difference in the day and night temperatures is what leads to the desert’s formation, because it makes the rocks weak and causes them to break into tiny pieces – and voila, you have sand!

You don’t have to worry about the temperature too much because you can explore the desert from the comfort of a jeep and even spend the night in modern Bedouin campsites.

Just avoid too much outdoor activity between April and September because of the extreme heat.

While you are here:

  • Dubai is a marvellously cosmopolitan city. We recommend that you stay downtown so you can get some shopping done too!
  • Check out Dubai Mall with the kids for its super fun Kidzania, ice rink, aquarium and child friendly eateries.
  • Eat al machboos, which is a rice and meat dish made piquant with lemon.

Final leg: Sensitise your kids to aspects of Culture at these fascinating places

You now know how Geography and History can be made ‘real’ through travel. Now, it’s time to throw some Culture into the mix. The best way to teach kids to be accepting of new and different cultural practices is by letting them see and experience these beliefs in real life!

8. Rotorua, New Zealand, for rhythm and dance!

travelling with kids

Kids love music and dance and they’ll be thrilled to learn that these two fun things are actually important components of a country’s culture.

In Rotorua, they’ll experience first-hand how the traditional owners of the land, the Māori, showcase their splendid culture through rhythm, movement and art.

Your little ones can also see traditional performances like the kapa haka group performance where stories are told through music and movement.

While you are here:

  • Stay at the super kid-friendly Holiday Inn® Rotorua.
  • Head to the Rotorua Museum to learn more about New Zealand’s culture, stopping to take we-fies in the gorgeous English Garden.
  • Eat food cooked in a hangi, a traditional Māori way of cooking food using very hot rocks buried under ground in a pit oven.

9. Last stop: Vigan City, the Philippines, for culture and food!

travelling with kids

One often overlooked part of culture is its influence on architecture. Teach your little one how to recognise the different architectural influences from Native Philippine and Oriental styles versus traditional Spanish architecture as you wander along Vigan City’s cobblestone streets.

The best part about cultural discovery? The food, of course! Vigan City is known for its amazing street food and electric atmosphere that are part-and-parcel of the complete cultural experience your kids will have here.

Also, introducing kids to foods from different cultures is a learning experience in itself, as it melds together new flavours with hints of historical significance.

While you are here:

  • Stay in the bustling, vibrant city centre for maximum cultural exposure.
  • Go on the heritage river cruise in Mestizo River for more cultural learning.
  • Eat Vigan Longganisa sausages, famous for their garlicky flavour.

Are you and your kids feeling motivated enough now to start planning your next holiday based on these awesome destinations? We bet you are! Just don’t forget to record your memories as your travel together, from one incredible destination to the next on a learning adventure of a lifetime!

To download our full infographic with fun facts about each destination, please click here. Don’t forget to print it out and give it to your child to hang up in their room!

This article was brought to you by Holiday Inn®. Plan your next family adventure with travel tips at www.LittleBigTravellers.com. At 1,200 Holiday Inn® Hotels and Holiday Inn Resorts®, kids 12 and under stay and eat for free. Discover the Joy of Travel with Holiday Inn® today