Talking to Young Children About Going on Holiday Abroad for the First Time

taking kids on holiday for first time

If you’re making plans for your summer holidays and have decided to take your young child abroad for the first time, you’re in for some exciting and memorable times wherever you choose to go. Kids can learn so much from travelling to other countries and seeing how they are different from home – and what is the same – and it will be a positive experience that will hopefully give them a love of travel that will last a lifetime and lead to all kinds of great adventures.

Travelling with kids can be really easy and rewarding too, and you can find some great child friendly holidays at

Of course, the first time abroad will probably mean a lot of ‘firsts’ for your child, and it is a good idea to talk to them about some of the things they can expect and answer any questions they have in the run up to the holiday. Depending on how old they are, they may already have some ideas about what the country you are going to is like based on people they know who have been, but these may not always be entirely accurate! Here are some points you may want to talk to them about:


Children who are already confident in speaking and listening may need to be prepared for visiting a country where people will be speaking a different language. Whether they are already aware that people in other countries do speak differently or not, the concept may not really make sense to them until they actually hear people around them all going about their normal lives speaking in another tongue! Explaining that this may mean other children they might try and chat to won’t be able to understand them can also be helpful, so they don’t feel frustrated or rejected if they are the kind of child who likes to talk to everyone! If you want, you can even teach them a few words in a language like French or Spanish and have fun preparing to say them to people on holiday!


If you are flying to your holiday destination and it is the first time your child has been on a plane, they are sure to have some questions about the whole process, from what happens at the airport to what being on a plane is like. Some kids will be extremely excited about getting to go on a plane, others may be nervous, but make sure you always talk about it as a positive thing that allows you to go anywhere in the world you want (even if you hate flying yourself), and that the people who work at the airport and on the plane are there to make sure you are safe and happy so everyone (including grown ups) has to do what they say.

Other Differences

Get your child excited about some of the things they might get to try, see or do on holiday, so they can build up a picture in their mind of what it will be like. Explain what the weather will probably be like, some of the foods they can eat, and about things like the beach.

Kids tend to be less stressed when they have an idea of what to expect, and so thinking about things they can relate to positively already like sunshine and ice cream can help them look forward to the holiday even if they have no point of reference yet for some aspects of it.

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