Whenever we talk to friends with kids about their travel plans, we always hear that they either visit Japan, Singapore or Thailand. Indeed, these are definitely very entertaining places for both adults and kids. With all the amusement parks and shopping, it will definitely keep both the kids and parents entertained. However, I always ask kids after their visit to these dynamic cities, what was his/her most memorable experience during the visit, he/she always end up saying that it was all the same: “ I bought…”, “I ate…,” and “I played…”. The following year, your child’s previous travelling memories get replaced by new ones. These memories make a mark, but they fade quickly once new ones step in.
Both Kelvin and I agreed from the first day when we make our travel plans that we are not just trying to entertain ourselves through travelling, we want to make life long memories through these travel experience. Most of the time, it is not the destination that shapes these experiences, it is the way we plan our trips that to ensure that our child would be able to recall these moments t make life long marks in his memory.
We enjoy shopping at times as well, and we definitely plan time into the schedule to ensure that we make runs for souvenirs for our family and friends. At the same time, we also plan out our travel itinerary to include enough time to understand the culture and heritage of the country. When we visited Croatia, Kelvin planned out time for us to stroll on the city streets to buy different things, but he also made sure that we had time to stop by some non-touristy towns which are full of history and local custom. When we went to Japan, we made sure that we had the chance to visit the local monasteries, museums and aquariums.
I am proud to say that up until date, my son remembers that he was once kissed by a deer, a beluga photo bombed his picture and saw an “angel” dog. In fact, it is not about your destination, but how you plan your vacations. Remember it is not the destination, but the experience that counts!