Involve your children with planning your vacation to help them feel more excited about the trip, to let them know that their ideas are important and to be sure that their interests are taken into account. Of course, how much they can do depends on their ages and abilities.
So here are some way to include kids, from toddlers through teenagers, in planning family vacations:
Toddler Vacation Planning Help
- Use kid friendly websites specifically for your destination. There you can find photos, coloring pages, and other activities that provide information and fun.
- Use a countdown calendar or countdown chain (where each day you pull off a chain) for your trip.
- Have lots of brochures on hand including the one for the hotel and local activities. Set up time to look over them with your child. You can help them cut out photos and glue them into a collage.
- Give your toddler their own small suitcase. A week before your trip, work with your child to choose one special item per day to pack.
Elementary Age Children Trip Planning
- Map out your travel to and from your destination with your child. Then include any side trips.
- Have your child help with pre-vacation chores such as packing some toys or special items, gathering up each family member’s summer hats, or write up the family’s packing list.
- Provide a limited number of choices for activities or restaurants and let her choose two or three for your week-long family vacation, or one for your weekend trip.
- Help him save up money to spend during your trip. Give him extra chores, or reward him for finding a discount on a restaurant for example.
Tweens and Teens Vacation Planning
- Discuss a limited number of destinations. Talk about the family’s interests and the type of vacation you’re looking forward to taking.
- Provide your tween or teen access to your trip planning site. Let them look at everything from flights to hotels to rental cars. Ask them to get some prices and suggestions for the most convenient flights and specific types of hotels your family likes and can afford. Of course, don’t give them your credit card!
- Include them in the daily planning of your trip. They can assist with creating an itinerary.
- Let them help to decide the route of the trip if driving. Perhaps your family wants to take the scenic route instead of the fastest.
- Allow them to plan one day of a weeklong trip or part of the day of a weekend trip.
- Provide opportunities for them to save extra money to use during your vacation. The more assistance they provide with planning and with finding ways to save money on the trip, the more money they can earn.
You can make your family vacations even more exciting by including your children in the planning stages of your travel. Plus, they will learn valuable skills for when they are able to travel on their own later in life.
Connie Roberts is a professional blogger who makes it her mission to advocate for people with medical issues. Travel with a disability is not a struggle, but an opportunity to see the world and let others see that it’s possible and a lot of fun. Tweet with her @ConnieFoggles.