Family travel is always fun. But when you’re travelling with kids, you need to choose destinations that appeal to their young, curious minds as well as your yearning for adventure. And no vacation combines the two better than a polar adventure.
From frozen wonders to wildlife, these are the top 5 reasons to take your kids on an Antarctic expedition.
An Antarctic expedition is more than just a vacation; it’s an adventure and an educational opportunity, too. Leopard seals, killer whales, and penguins call this polar region home. Not to mention 61 other bird species. Yes, penguins count as birds!
Your kids will learn about Antarctic wildlife, many of which they are currently unfamiliar with. Many people aren’t aware that there are, in fact, no polar bears in Antarctica! Despite the ice, snow, and cold temperatures, the Antarctic environment is not quite the right habitat for them.
However, these magnificent beasts do exist in the Arctic. Polar bears are native to the Arctic and have never set foot in Antarctica. So, if your children love polar bears (and who doesn’t?), then add an Arctic trip to your family travel bucket list.,
A trip to Antarctica also opens up possibilities for teaching your kids some valuable life skills.
First, there’s the packing. Kids will pack all the unnecessary things if you let them. But a trip to the Antarctic requires warm gloves, beanies and scarves, weather-resistant jackets, and more. Even teens need help with their packing.
Once the large icebreaker ship has transported you to the Antarctic region, you’ll all be transported ashore on Zodiac boats. They can get a lot closer than large ships do and allow you to view otherwise inaccessible sites up close.
This is the perfect time to talk to your children about boating safety. Once ashore, you’ll be expected to leave as small a carbon footprint as possible, to protect the wildlife and terrain. Once again, you’ll have the opportunity to teach the kids about our responsibility to conserve the natural spaces of the world.
Theirs is the generation we are entrusting with righting the wrongs we have committed against the planet. A trip to Antarctica is the ideal chance for some education that’s all; so enjoyable. It gives them an up-close glimpse into what they’ll be tasked with saving.
Wildlife isn’t the only natural wonder your kids will love. You’ve heard of the Aurora Borealis, otherwise known as the Northern Lights? Well, you can’t see the Aurora Borealis in Antarctica, but you can see the Aurora Australis.
What’s the difference? The Aurora Borealis is what you’ll see at the North Pole. At the South Pole, in Antarctica, the Aurora Australis – known as the Southern Lights – steals the show. Best of all, this southern natural light show is always there, all day and night, year-round.
It’s much easier to see it at night, and in the winter it’s perpetual night in Antarctica. But it’s not the best time to plan a family vacation. The temperatures can plummet to negative 120° F. Rather plan your trip with the kids for March when the weather is not as inhospitable.
When vacation time is over and the kids return to school, they’ll all be trading stories about their adventures. Your kids will likely be the only ones in the school that spent their vacation time at the South Pole.
Allow them the bragging rights of having gone to the South Pole. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime experience that few people ever have. So, don’t forget to take some pictures too. Include the younger members of the family, and let them take some snaps with one of these kids’ action cameras.
But an Antarctic expedition will give them so much more than the right to boast. They’ll have learned many things that they can pass on to their classmates. They may even be asked to talk about their experiences in the class or base an essay on what they learned there.
If you haven’t had a family vacation together in a while, set some boundaries before you go on vacation. No taking work with you. That includes spending time on mobile devices with colleagues. Be an example to the kids, and make it clear that this is family time.
As a travelling family, we’ve discovered how good it is for family bonding. Any sibling rivalries and teenage angst fall by the wayside when faced with the breathtaking landscapes of Antarctica. Trekking through ice and snow, kayaking through the icy waters, and other adrenaline rushes requires focus and teamwork.
When faced with the enormous icebergs of the South Polar Region, any family squabbles are quickly forgotten. All they’ll experience is the sense of sheer awe at Nature’s beauty.
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