Art workshop helps kids meet locals on vacation.

Participating in local activities on vacation gives kids perspective into a new area.
Photo credit: Shannon Entin / Homeschool TravelingMom

Daniel asks TravelingMom: “I’m hoping I can get your two cents about planning an immersive tour – staying for 5-10 days in one location? What kind of experience you would want the kids to have? Or perhaps how to gauge the level of interest your children will have for any one place for more than a day or two?”

TravelingMoms love the idea of an immersive vacation. My family spent two months in Lake Tahoe, Calif., and we made memories that will last forever. We became “locals” at the nearby ski resort, attended art workshops with neighborhood kids, tried new foods, and made new friends at the town park. We spent a good amount of time doing “normal” things in addition to “vacation” things, so the issue of interest and boredom never really came up.

“This is a great way to let your kids have experiences that they’ll remember and that will change their outlook,” says Scotty Reiss, Driving TravelingMom. “Let your kids plan some of the activities and only plan one or two per day, with ‘vacation’ time every day–pool, parks, games, movies. It’s also a great way to travel through living history and to absorb all that they see.”

Dia Adams, Travel Hack TravelingMom says, “I’m a huge fan of playing house for a while. Trips to playgrounds, grocery stores, etc. are all different from what the kids are used to. Even boredom can be a gift – some of my best memories involve the kids running in circles!”

GoodNCrazy TravelingMom Carissa Rogers combined history and life skills with a trip to Washington D.C. “We made the trip much more than a visit to the White House. Each kid designed their own trip. They determined which monuments they most wanted to see, which museums were most interesting for them and then they also had to map out the best route to get to each destination. The catch? They could only use public transportation to get around while in D.C.! With parent supervision of course.”

Letting the kids help plan is a fantastic way to have an immersive experience, according to Diana Rowe, Traveling Grandmom. She asked a handful of our TravelingMoms to weigh in on their family vacation planning dynamics, and all agree that inviting their kids to participate in the planning creates a happy family vacation.

So go for it, Daniel – pick a location, get the kids involved, and live like a local on your next vacation!