Kids and Traveling Do Mix!

10 Tips for traveling with your kids.

Traveling with your kids should be one of the best experiences you have as a family. You expose your children to new learning opportunities through visiting historical landmarks, eating new foods, hearing different languages, and so much more.

We want to help you make this experience as easy as a walk in the park. Check out our top 10 tips for traveling with children below:

1. Take it Slow and Leave Plenty of Time

Keep your schedule loose and leave plenty of room for adjustment. A flexible schedule will create less stress for you and your family and lead to a happier trip overall.

2. Don’t Over pack

The less you bring, the easier it is to pack, the less you have to carry, and the more room you have for souvenirs.

3. Explain the Trip

Once your children understand what’s going on, they are less likely to ask questions while you’re trying to take care of travel logistics. They will be happier, more comfortable, and excited about what’s coming next.

4. Snacks, Snacks, Snacks

Having a few small and easily transportable snacks with you at all times can keep everyone happy until you can refuel.

5. Ask for Child Discounts

You never know unless you ask. We’ve found that businesses are often willing to give us a discount for our kids. If we hadn’t raised the question, we never would have known. It pains me to think of how much extra I’ve spent on trips when I didn’t think to ask for discounts for the kids.

6. Give Kids Your Contact Information

If a child gets lost despite your best efforts, you’ll want them to have your contact information.

Your contact information should include the following items for all of the adults on your trip so you have multiple opportunities for help locating your child.

  • Name
  • Phone number
  • Email address
  • Local address

7. Travel with Basic Medicines

It’s always a good idea to take a few over-the-counter medications your family might need while traveling. Over-the-counter medications may include:

  • Headache medicines
  • Allergy medicines
  • Medicine for upset stomachs
  • Motion sickness prevention medication
  • Other medication that might apply to your family or the specific trip

8. Identification Documentation

Having the proper paperwork is especially crucial if you’re traveling without your child’s other parent or if you’re traveling with children who are not your own. In either of these cases, some countries may require that you have documentation to prove you have permission to travel with the child.

Required documentation may include:

  • Birth certificates
  • Copies of birth certificates
  • Notes from the child’s non-present parents
  • Other items

9. Give Kids a Camera

Having a camera and trying to get the best photos will help your child focus more on the things they’re seeing all around them. It will help them see the beauty in the landscape, the amazing features in the architecture, and the details of the crowds and bustle of the city.

The photos they take will be great for showing friends and relatives when they get back home and for helping them remember the trip for years to come.

10. Be Flexible

Be flexible, go with the flow, and have a great trip with your family.

SAE Global: Looking for a way to experience different cultures without leaving home? Hosting an international exchange student is the perfect way to have your children experience a new culture from the comforts of home. You’ll learn the student’s language, customs, and traditions, amongst other learning opportunities. Meet our current students needing a host family here:

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Dear Future Host Family…

Dear Future Host Family,

I am Mateo from Burgos, Spain. My home country is beautiful and known for its Gothic Cathedrals. I live with my parents and little sister, Alma. As a family, we enjoy hiking and visiting museums.

I am anxious and excited to meet you. Becoming a foreign exchange student wasn’t an easy choice. I was torn between leaving the comforts of home and traveling the world. However, I know these new experiences are a once in a life time opportunity for me.

Mateo and Alma exploring the city

Because of your family, I get the opportunity to learn a new culture and expand my education. In turn, I will teach you about my culture. Have you ever tried lazos de san guillermo? It’s my favorite dessert! I will make it for your family.

I am grateful for you choosing me as an exchange student. As we say in my home country sincero gracias meaning thank you.

Te veo pronto (See you soon),


About Student Ambassador Exchange:

At Student Ambassador Exchange, we impact the lives of students like Mateo every day! Join our global mission today by becoming a host family. Applying is easy at Have a question about the program? Call to speak with a Program Coordinator at (512) 323 – 9595.

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Happy Father’s Day!

In celebration of Father’s day, we want to celebrate all our wonderful SAE host dads! What makes our host dads so special is the bond they create with our exchange students, the effort they go to be there and the love they have for them.

Host dad, James from Arizona shares with us what an unforgettable experience he and his family had hosting Ben, an exchange student from China.

Ben has been an amazing addition to my family and friends. When he arrived in August he was a somewhat shy and reserved kid. Typical, right? But soon after, he opened up and became fully engaged with his exchange experience.

We had great times together attending sporting events (mostly NFL Games) and Ben embraced our local teams and got into all the excitement, being a “true fan”. We also took him on trips to show him different places and landmarks in the U.S., including Salt Lake City and San Diego.

We learned from the beginning that he was self-motivated and loved to contribute at home. He even enjoyed grocery shopping! He was also open to trying new things like cooking some egg drop soup! I have to say, it was delightful! 

My friends think he is such a great young man and ask about him every day.

When I think back to our year together and all the memories we made, the moment he made me most proud, always stands out. That moment was when he decided to join the school soccer team. Ben never played organized soccer in China, but decided to give it a go. Lots of other kids dropped out for various reasons but he persevered and was chosen to be on the team. Initially, because of his inexperience he only played in the last few minutes of a game when they were well ahead. However, as the season progressed and his skills improved, he started the last 4 games of the season (as a defender) and played in 2 playoff games! The school finished third in their division. That’s really remarkable for someone new to the game and our country to step-up and stay with something new and different! 

Ben is a terrific kid and he will go far in life. He has goals in place for his future that I know he will accomplish!

Happy Father’s Day James and all our SAE host dads!

Interested in becoming a host dad and creating unforgettable memories with an exchange student? Check out how to host this fall on our website!

Post originally by AYA blog

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A Letter from a Host Family…

A letter from a Host Family:

My family had always thought hosting a high school exchange student would be a fun experience. We wanted to create a welcoming home and share our family’s traditions. We stumbled upon Student Ambassador Exchange last summer and applied!

I can only imagine how anxious the student must have been because we were very anxious for his arrival. We were worried about how the student would adjust to our home and lifestyle. So many questions arouse. Would we be able to communicate easily? How should we set up ground rules? Should we give the student space? Our Program Coordinator with SAE Global helped ease our anxiety by answering our questions thoroughly. They explained that both our family and the student would receive an orientation about expectations. SAE Global also ensured us the students in the program must have good grades and discipline to become a part of the program.

SAE Global allowed us to view student profiles and select a student based on our preferences. We selected Adrian based on common interests, age, and gender. Adrian arrived September 3rd, 2018 and quickly found a place in our hearts. He was exceptional in school and sought help when needed. We have enjoyed introducing him to our favorite spots like the local ice cream shop and hiking trails. Adrian was open to sharing his home country’s traditions and customs too. We learned about Spanish holidays, sayings, food, and so much more. It was interesting to see the similarities and differences between the two countries. As host parents, we embraced the challenges and felt accomplished by the success of the year!

Although it is sad to see Adrian leave to go home. We have built a bond that will last a lifetime. We are looking forward to visiting him and his family in Spain next year. We encourage anyone considering an International Exchange Program to take the leap. It is an enriching cultural experience for all members of the family!

The Miller Family

About Student Ambassador Exchange:

At Student Ambassador Exchange, we build lasting relationships like the Miller Family and Adrian every day! Join our global mission today by becoming a host family. Applying is easy at Have a question about the program? Call to speak with a Program Coordinator at (512) 323 – 9595.

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Saying Goodbye To Your Host Family

It probably seems as though you just arrived. As the school year is coming to a close, you need to begin preparing now for
your departure.

You will find that saying “Good-bye For Now” has practical steps as well as emotional ones. Below you will find a checklist that covers most of the practical aspects of preparing for departure. However, many students and host families find it difficult to prepare emotionally. They are surprised when they experience intense feelings of sadness, loss, anxiety, and sometimes anger as the date of departure comes closer. Most people believe that if they don’t talk about the feeling, the feelings will go away. Remember that they won’t. The emotions almost always emerge, one way or another.

Your Young Host Brothers and Sisters

If you have young brothers and/or sisters in your host family, it is very important to talk with them about their feelings. Children often form very strong attachments to their international “brother” or “sister.” When they realize that you will be leaving, children may begin to withdraw, misbehave, or push you away to help deal with the “pain” of departure. This may be the first time that a child experiences loss of someone special or “someone leaving” for a long time. Don’t underestimate the powerful feelings of young children. Reassure them that you will always be in their life, just not in the same house. A
special card or gift especially for them will help them say good-bye while still keeping a part of you with them.

Readjusting to “Normal”

As an exchange student in the United States, you enjoyed a “special” status. You were a “special” person in your host family and also at your school. You were “different” from everyone else, and you had to work at “fitting in.” While “fitting in” was sometimes difficult, it was a part of your special experience being an exchange student.

Now you will return home to a “normal” environment. Many exchange students become sad and depressed when they return home because they are no longer “special.” They have this “extraordinary person inside who has had an incredible experience,” but everyone treats them like a “normal” person. Just as you had an adjustment stage to go through when you first arrived in your host family, you will also have an adjustment stage when you return home. It is often called: “Reverse
Culture Shock.”

Some Thoughts That May be Going Through Your Mind

  • Will my natural family and friends understand that I’ve changed?
  • Will my friends still like me and still be my friends?
  • Will people in my home country appreciate my experience?
  • Will I be able to adjust to life in my home country again?

Suggestions to Help You with The Last Few Weeks

  • Try to Understand and Share Your Feeling: Conflicting emotions are common in exchange students at the end of an exchange. You may be sad about leaving, happy about going home, nervous, and relieved all at once. Pre-departure anxiety shows up in many ways.
  • Accept Your Feelings: You will feel sad as you leave your host family and friends, so share those feelings. On the other hand, you may be happy to be return home, but feel sad because your host family will miss you. Accept and share your feelings. They are a normal part of leaving.
  • Prepare to Return Home: Discuss your departure plans now with your host family, and make your flight reservation now. You will need their help for many of the practical steps. In addition, discuss your future plans with your host family. Share with them what you will miss about them and your American life. Plan how you will stay in contact.
  • Memories … : Spend time with your host family talking about your exchange and things you have experienced. Discuss the good times and the bad times and what you learned from them and how you have changed.
  • Prepare for “Reverse Culture Shock”: Think about how you felt when you first arrived in the United States and in your host family. You experienced “Culture Shock”! When you arrive home, you will experience “Reverse Culture Shock,” and it may take awhile to get used to living in your country, with your family, and speaking your native language. Try to prepare yourself for this ahead of time, so it will be a smooth transition.
  • Plan Your Departure: Don’t say “good-bye.” Instead, say: “Good-bye for now”! Give yourself plenty of time to pack, send boxes home, and shop. Don’t wait until the last week to do everything. Your departure day should be spent with your host family. Many students leave a letter or a gift for their host family to find when they return home from the airport. This is a wonderful way to express your gratitude and appreciation to them for opening their home and sharing their heart with you.
  • When You Arrive Home: In the beginning, some students may experience difficulty in readjusting to their native culture and experience “reverse culture shock.” At first, you may feel excited and relieved about being with your family and friends again. You may find that some things have changed while you were gone, and this may make you feel out of place. You may be faced with different ideas and situations. It’s important to realize that your family and friends have also changed in your absence. While you may be excited to tell about your experience, take some time to listen to the experiences of your
  • parents and friends. Important things have also happened to them while you were away.

This year or semester will always be special. Many exchange students describe it as “the best year of my life!” You have learned to open your mind to different cultures and ways of living. You speak English much better now than when you arrived. You have had an experience of a lifetime that will always be a part of who you are.

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