Culture shock can be something of a shocker. When you are traveling with your kids, it is important to buffer this shock as much as possible, because if they are comfortable, you will be too. While in many ways kids are more resilient than adults, they too can experience culture shock while traveling, especially when traveling to a foreign country, where they don’t speak the language.
Any major trip you are taking with your kids requires preparation. Help them get the most from their trip to Mexico by preparing them for what they will encounter there.
Learn the Language
When planning a trip to Mexico, expose your children to the Spanish language in preparation for their adventure. A traveler’s vocabulary and some key sentences will help your children greatly as they travel. You can find some very helpful websites online, such as 123teachme.com which helps you and your kids learn basic Spanish. You will see the benefits of an online Spanish tutor quickly as Spanish is one of the easiest languages to learn.
Read Books About Mexico
Before you leave on your trip, get a variety of books to read about Mexico. These will teach you about the customs, geography, history and culture of the area you will visit. Your children will be much more excited about their trip if they have an idea of what to expect. As you read, they will form opinions about what they want to see first and what they are looking forward to most.
Some excellent books to read together include:
- Mexico City: Picture Book from the Planet Collection (Kindle edition)
- Hispanic Books: Mexico for Kids (Kindle edition)
- Look What Came from Mexico
- Mexico – New True Books: Geography
- Off We Go to Mexico
- Mexico A to Z
Taste the Food
A big part of culture shock for many kids is the difference in food. Especially if you have a picky eater, this may be the hardest part of the trip. Acclimate your child to the different types of food to expect by teaching him or her about Mexican cuisine. Frequent the ethnic section of your grocery store and stock up on ingredients to make Mexican recipes you can easily find online. Eat out at local Mexican restaurants and order in Spanish, encouraging your kids to do the same.
Go online and show your kids exactly where you will be staying. Use Google Maps to give kids the bigger view of where they are going and how far it is from home. Let your children do their own online research, so they can discover what is different and exciting about the area they will be visiting. Let them plan out at least one of the activities you will do while there.
Above all, be positive and show your kids that you are excited too. Your enthusiasm will be catchy and they will look forward to all the adventures awaiting them on their trip to Mexico.