How to Spread the Travel Bug
Posted on December 19, 2013
One of my favorite things I’ve ever been fortunate enough to do is to take a few people on their first plane ride. The latest experience was extra special because it was my 14 year old cousin, Kaylah. Not only was it her first time on an airplane, but it was to Spain! Here are 3 things I learned about getting someone to fall in love with traveling on their first trip:
1. Be patient. At first I was annoyed with Kaylah because I told her to sleep on the plane on the way there so it was easier to adjust to the time change. Instead, she watched every movie and played every game she could on her personal TV. How can I be annoyed 2 days later when she’s still sleeping until noon because she was just enjoying her first plane ride ever?
2. Let them take the lead. Have them read the map, figure out transportation, etc. The more comfortable you make them feel the more likely they are to travel on their own down the road. Thus, the better you have transplanted the travel bug in them
3. Exploit something that makes them nervous. Depending on the fear, this may be cruel, so proceed with caution. But in my cousin’s case, she was scared of getting lost. My mom and her ended up turning a 20 minute walk a 2+ hour affair because they couldn’t find our hotel one night.
When they finally made it home safely, Kayalah was beaming from ear to ear! She was so excited to tell me about some of the things they saw on their detour. After that, we made a conscious effort not to take the same route twice. (This also helped strengthen her map reading abilities). Once they see their fear was exaggerated, it will build their confidence to be able to travel on their own in the future.
Have any other tips to get rookie travelers hooked?