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Making the trip to Auschwitz with your kids can be an incredibly informative and memorable experience. However, it can also be overwhelming and stressful if you’re not prepared. You can help organize a fantastic trip to Auschwitz that your whole family will enjoy by following these tips!
Educate Yourself and Your Kids in Advance
You and your kids must do some research on Auschwitz before visiting so that you have a basic understanding of what took place there, which will help make the visit more meaningful and respectful for all involved. There is no shortage of information available online, in books, and even in movies. Be sure to discuss with your kids what they learned so that you can get their perspectives as well.
Auschwitz was the largest Nazi concentration camp, with over a million people dying there. It would be best to visit this somber place with respect and understanding for the atrocities.
Know How to Get There
Auschwitz is located in southern Poland, about two hours outside Krakow, which has Poland’s largest population and tourist attractions. You can either take a train or rent a car to get there from major cities such as Warsaw and Wroclaw but do not forget your passport! If you need help planning your trip to Auschwitz, the tourist board of Poland offers a very comprehensive website with all the information you need.
Traveling with kids around this place can be difficult and stressful, but it doesn’t have to be. If you are staying in Krakow, you can book Auschwitz day trips from Krakow that offer a more in-depth experience without wasting a lot of time. The package includes a guided tour from an experienced tour guide done in English, transportation to and from Auschwitz, which is affordable. You can also opt for a guided tour or a printed guide at your pace, whichever will work with your schedule.
Know What to Bring With You on the Trip
You will want to bring a few things with you on your trip to Auschwitz. Sunscreen, hats, and a pair of comfortable shoes are a must during the summer months as they can be pretty hot, especially when you’re walking around.
Make sure to bring plenty of water and snacks with you, as the walk between the main entrance and Birkenau can be distant, and there are few places to buy food or drinks once you’re inside. There is nothing worse than a child complaining of being hungry or thirsty on your trip.
Know What is the Cost
Auschwitz is free for all visitors, but donations are always appreciated. If you’re traveling with a child, they will receive free admission. However, there are a few optional and suggested activities that you can do once inside. These include taking pictures with actors dressed as prisoners or guards for a few dollars.
Book for a Place To Spend The Night
When kids visit Auschwitz, they often get homesick or scared because of seeing so much death and destruction around them. While you must experience this place with your children, try not to stay overnight. Instead, stay in Krakow for the night and visit museums during the day.
Bring a Camera!
Auschwitz is a photographer’s dream, with many opportunities for unique shots. Make sure to bring your camera and encourage your kids to take photos of everything they see. However, be sure to ask for permission before taking pictures of anyone working at the museum or memorial. Some areas are not allowed to be photographed.
Photos will help them remember their trip better and visualize when they are older and want to learn more about what happened at Auschwitz.
Know What is Not Allowed
You cannot do a few things when visiting Auschwitz, including touching or walking on the memorials, climbing on the fences, and bringing in large backpacks or suitcases. There is also no eating or drinking inside the museum, so make sure your kids are prepared for this.
This trip will be very emotional and intense for both you and your children, but it is a meaningful experience that everyone should witness at some point in their lives.
Prepare For the Weather Ahead.
The weather in Poland can vary significantly from one season to another. Be sure to check the forecast for Krakow before you leave and pack accordingly, with rain gear if necessary, which is especially important if you don’t want any surprises.
Register Your Kids Beforehand and Prepare Their Passports
Doing this will make your trip much easier, as it will be one less thing to worry about once inside Auschwitz. You can register up to three children at a time on the museum’s website. Once completed, you will receive a printable certificate for each child that can serve as proof of their age. It is also essential to bring your children’s passports with you, which should have been registered beforehand as well.
Arrive Early To Avoid The Crowds
If possible, try to arrive at Auschwitz as early in the morning as you can, which will give you plenty of time to explore without worrying about being rushed and avoid crowds of people.
Download The Museum’s App
The museum has an excellent app that provides information on all exhibits, including photos and videos, which is a perfect way for your kids to learn about the exhibits and have fun at the same time. This app will also give you a chance to know what exhibits your kids want to see and how much time you’ll need for each one.
Pack Appropriate Clothing
Auschwitz is a very solemn place, and visitors must dress appropriately. That means no shorts, tank tops, or revealing clothing. It’s best to dress lightly as it can get quite warm in the summer sun.
Many people lost their lives, and people must treat this place with respect. That means no running or shouting, and keeping your voice down when speaking in groups, so educate your kids on this before the trip. It will make the experience much more meaningful for everyone involved.
These tips will help you organize a fantastic trip to Auschwitz with your kids. Make sure to do some research in advance to have a basic understanding of what happened there, and be prepared for the weather conditions in Poland.