Have you ever played some kind of make-believe game with a young child and spent more time planning the game than actually playing the game? Sometimes the planning is as much fun as the actual game. The same is true with planning a trip, even if you never leave your house.
We’re planning a trip to Disneyland; actually we’ve been planning it for over a year. We’ve researched the costs from several different angles. We’ve cleaned out toys, clothes and other household items to garage sale to earn money for our trip. We’ve read up on the rides that we want to go on while at the park. When I told the kids how my family made a tradition to go to the Blue Bayou restaurant by the Pirates of the Caribbean ride every time we went to Disneyland (all three times), we all decided to save some extra money eat lunch there one day.
It doesn’t matter if the destination is Disneyland, a family reunion or even a camping trip; including your children in the planning process builds more memories into your trip, and makes it more meaningful to your children because they have ownership in some aspects of the trip. It shows them their opinions matter and they are a vital part of your functioning family!
Even if these hard times have you avoiding tourist hot spots, you don’t have to miss out on all the fun. Spend a day planning a dream trip. Where would your family go? How would you travel? Where would you stay? As part of my Driver’s Ed class in high school, I had to plan a trip between my home town and Pocatello, Idaho. I figured out the route I’d travel, where I’d eat and where I’d stay. I even had to figure out a budget. It was one of my favorite school projects, probably because my mom got into it too. It was a great conversation starter and gave us a common day dream.
Whether you are packing your bags or have your head in the clouds, trip planning has the power to connect with your children on a deeper level than the destination! So, where are you headed?