In the spirit of making family vacations more engaging and memorable, we turned to five leaders and travel enthusiasts, to share their strategies. From assigning landmark research to kids to creating a family vacation vision board, discover how these experts involve their children in the vacation planning process.

  • Assign Landmark Research to Kids
  • Choose Activities Tailored To Their Interests
  • Kids Can Research Activities Online
  • Align Activities With Kids’ Current School Studies
  • Create a Family Vacation Vision Board

Assign Landmark Research to Kids

We’re taking a family road trip this summer and want to keep the kids engaged during the drive. We’ve asked each of our children to look at landmarks along the route we’re going to take. That will give them something to look forward to as we drive across I-70 and will make the trip more memorable since they had a part in the planning.

Logan Mallory, Vice President of Marketing, Motivosity

Choose Activities Tailored To Their Interests

One way to involve my kids in the planning process for family vacations is by allowing them to research and choose one activity or sightseeing spot that they are particularly interested in. For instance, during our trip to New York City, I gave each of my children the task of finding a lesser-known destination or attraction that they would like to visit. My stepdaughter, who is passionate about astronomy, discovered an observatory located on a rooftop garden that offered stargazing sessions.

This not only allowed my child to actively engage in the vacation planning but also made them feel valued and excited about contributing their own unique interest to our itinerary. It added an element of surprise and novelty to our trip while ensuring that everyone’s preferences were taken into consideration. By involving my kids in this way, I not only fostered their curiosity and independent thinking but also created memorable experiences tailored to their individual interests.

Carly Hill, Operations Manager, Virtual Holiday Party

Kids Can Research Activities Online

When planning a vacation, I Google the name of the city we’re visiting and let the kids explore the different things to do there. We’ll look at websites, photos, and Facebook pages together to see what our options are and how we want to spend our time. Each kid gets to pick one or two activities, depending on the cost of the activity and the length of our trip. Giving them some control helps them feel excited about our trip.

Alli Hill, Founder and Director, Fleurish Freelance

Align Activities With Kids’ Current School Studies

No family vacation is ever the same as the last one. Certainly, one key reason is that our kids continue to grow, expanding their interests, redefining their food choices, and increasing their level of energy. Also, we feel comfortable offering them greater input when reasonable choices are available. We love to include our children in the planning process for family vacations, as it really helps them feel they had an impact on the overall trip. We often give our two little boys one small aspect of the trip, like one evening or one afternoon, to make the ‘important’ choices. Even if you just give them some options, like ‘Italian’ or ‘Mexican,’ your kids will feel invested in the trip, and it usually results in better behavior and happier little ones.

Another angle that has proven to be a winner is to find activities that complement their current school studies, sports, or hobbies. We have found that when they are showing a new interest in oceans or fish, for example, then we readily suggest a visit to the aquarium. We also let our kids get excited by making ‘decorations’ for the trip — maybe it’s a sign that says ‘Happy Birthday’ or something small, but it can have a big impact on your children feeling seen and put an imprint on the trip, hanging the sign in the hotel for all to see.

Ashley Kenny, Co-Founder, Heirloom Video Books

Create a Family Vacation Vision Board

Children’s participation in planning family trips gives them an opportunity to realize their power and creates a dose of anticipation as they wait for the upcoming trip. My kids don’t like to plan travel; here is one interesting and fun way I’ve involved them in the planning: we made a ‘Vacation Vision Board’ together.

The process starts with a family meeting where we sit down and consider destinations for the upcoming vacation. Every member of the family gets a chance to lay out their preferences and must-haves for the trip. This discussion ensures that whatever type of activity one is interested in, whether it be enjoying a beach adventure or engaging in a mountain retreat, no person will be left out.

We then collect magazines, travel brochures, and downloaded versions of possible destinations. Equipped with scissors, glue, and poster boards, we begin our journey towards the creation of our Vacation Vision Board. The children excitedly sift through magazines, cut out pictures of areas, activities, and even certain attractions they would like to see.

The Vision Board can then function as a symbolic embodiment of our common expectations for our holidays. It is a dynamic mosaic that brings out enthusiasm and curiosity for the new, fascinating journey. Cutting out the images and pasting them, however simple, brings about a hands-on element in the planning process that helps cultivate the kids’ decision-making abilities.

Our Vision Board is prominently displayed in the largest part of our home as a daily reminder of the approaching beach escape. It is not only exciting but also helps the children develop a feeling of responsibility for their vacation plans.

Notably, this strategy ensures that the planning process does not only involve the children but also transforms it into a fun and creative family activity. It is a stepping stone to collective enthusiasm and long-lasting memories that are created for the vacation even before we start our journey.

Manish Shrestha, Founder, BiheBazaar Pvt Ltd

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