You'll create lifelong memories with your kids on a Galapagos Family Trip; hiking volcanoes, exploring black sand beaches and coming snout-to-snout with some of the world's most amazing and exotic animals. Traveling with kids can be tricky though - here are 5 ways to prepare your kids for a great trip to the Galapagos.
1. Get your kids excited for what they will see
You and your kids will be seeing some amazing animals for the first time in the Galapagos - how much better will it be in real life if their interest is already peaked? A great way to get them interested is to watch a documentary (The Galapagos with David Attenborough) or read a book to get them excited for what they will see. We also send a handy laminated wildlife guide, so your kids can familiarize themselves with the animals they will be seeing. Make it a game to see how fast they can identify the various critters in real life!
These age appropriate books will help their imaginations run wild and they can also help the flights and travel time go by a lot quicker:
2. Teach your kids to snorkel
There will be daily opportunities to explore the sea and snorkeling opens up a whole new underwater world of playful sea lions, penguins and colorful fish. There will be ample time to learn for first-time snorkelers but if your kids already know how to snorkel they will feel more confident and be able to spend even more time exploring. it's also important that everyone in your family is a good swimmer, or at the very least, feels comfortable out at sea.
3. Talk about boundaries and expectations
Make sure that your trip is 100% wonder and 0% disappointment by explaining to your children what to expect from the vacation, both the good and the bad. The Galapagos are all about the wildlife and there's not much else in terms of entertainment; most accommodations offer Wi-Fi but it's not always the most dependable and since most of your days will be exploring outside, packing expensive electronic devices is not a great idea. Many families limit screen time to evenings or even turn off all of their devices for the whole trip and find it to be a much more relaxing vacation.
It's also a good idea to talk with your kids about listening well to their guides who will share safety guidelines and restrictions as needed. Most importantly, while you can get closer to the animals than anywhere else on earth, they are still wild animals and you definitely can't touch them. Explaining these things ahead of time will save you a lot of headaches!
4. Learn some Spanish
Your guides and most people working around the Galapagos will know English, but it might help your kids to feel more confident and adventurous if they learn some Spanish basics before arrival. Numbers, please, thank you and introductions are a great place to start, but you could also get clued up on some of the animals you're likely to spot, and the experiences you're likely to have. For example:
Playa – beach, Lancha – boat, Isla – island, Lobo del mar – sea lion, Pingüino – penguin, Tortuga – turtle, Piquero de pata azules – blue-footed booby, Tiburón – shark, Ballena – whale
5. Choose adventures that are designed for families with kids
Lastly, make sure the trip you choose is designed specifically for families! Not only will the activities and guides be appropriate, yachts or camps with other families will offer opportunities for your kids to make friends, which can bring a whole new dimension to their travel experience.
All of our designated Galapagos family adventures include special activities and amenities that keep kids happy and peak their interest throughout the trip. Most importantly, our Galapagos naturalist guides are specially chosen for their entertaining, outgoing personalities and their natural ability to demonstrate concepts of evolution and adaptation through unforgettable illustrations you witness and photograph in the field every day. See our family trips: Galapagos Family Research Adventure or Galapagos Family Adventure.
To learn more about family travel to the Galapagos read my blog (Why the whole family will love the Galapagos) or give me a call at 800-345-4453.
Special thanks to Galapagos Safari Camp for the blog resources!