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Experience Travel with All 5 Senses

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We use our five senses every day. Consciously thinking about using them, especially in a new place, can help you develop a deeper appreciation and understanding of a destination. It’s a good way to engage your children and fun to see how they use their five senses in contrast to other family members.

This is also a great time filler to use with the kids as you can turn it into a game by asking them to describe the moods and settings around them using only one sense or have them create a story about the trip that incorporates all five senses.


This is by far the easiest. Just take in the surroundings. See the landmarks. Yes, check them off your tourist list, but also become aware of the details. What does the architecture look like? Are the plants vibrant and blooming? Notice the colors and textures of everything around you, from the sky to the street. One of the best ways to look at things around you in a new way is by getting creative with photography. Let the kids take their own pictures and selfies to see how they look at things.

Read more>> Vacation Photo Tips

Kauai Sunset

Take in the textures of your surroundings from the sky to the earth.


Listen carefully to the sounds. Is the atmosphere quiet and serene or lively and chaotic? What does the language being spoken around you sound like, even if it’s your native language? Do you hear sounds from transportation such as cars or trains? As you focus on the sounds around you, you might even be drawn to something you wouldn’t have otherwise noticed.

Read more>> 7 Tips for Learning the Basics of a Foreign Language


This can be one of the most adventurous senses to use as a traveler and also one of the most challenging for some kids — and even adults! Get wild and crazy trying new things like my family did when visiting the Audubon Insectarium in New Orleans, or keep it simple trying some more widely accepted local cuisine.

Read more>> Picky Eaters? Tips to Help Kids Eat Foreign Food

Experience the colors and tastes of the local cuisine where ever you travel!

Experience the tastes and colors of the local cuisine where ever you travel!


Using your sense of smell in a new place is definitely a mixed bag. However, smells — good or bad — can trigger some of the strongest memories. The soaps you use at your hotel, the bakery down the street, and even the scents of the subway are all part of how you experience a vacation.

Read more>> Tips for Navigating Public Transportation with Kids


Kids especially love to touch things! This is an important way for them to explore and understand the things around them. So, we might as well discover through touch along with them. Point out different textures or have them find things that are “opposites” such as a hard stone and soft sand. You can also turn this around and discover what’s touching them: an ocean breeze, shade from a tall building, or mom’s hand in a crowded area.

We use our senses every day, but it’s fun to really think about how we are using them. Doing this when in a new place can help deepen memories and be a fun activity. So, here’s to hearing, smelling, seeing, tasting, and feeling on your next vacation!

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Robyn fell in love with travel before kids and has found it even more wonderful since her kids have joined the family. She is married to an amazing…

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