Planning a trip can be a wonderfully educational experience for kids. There are plenty of ways to involve kids of various ages in the trip planning process. So put those little ones to work! Here are some suggestions on how to go about it.
Ask your kids to research places to visit on your trip. Give your kids a general list of websites or books about your destination and ask them to find information about interesting spots to visit on your trip. Have them share their findings during a family trip-planning meeting and decide which sites you will see. Older kids could do extensive research and serve as “tour guides” the day you visit their choices on the trip.
Have your help you book travel reservations. Kids can learn a lot by researching transportation, accommodations, restaurants and prices. Sit with them and walk them through the booking process. Discuss the pros and cons of getting travel insurance, what a “non-refundable” reservation means, etc.
Ask your kids to plan one day of the trip. This activity is especially fun for older kids. When you ask them to plan an entire day of the trip, it helps them develop a personal investment in the experience and enhanced appreciation for the overall experience. When planning the day, your child can be partially responsible for all of the transportation, meals, sightseeing activities, etc. This also provides an opportunity for kids to share their particular interests with the whole family.
Have your kids help plan the trip budget. Budget planning is a life skill, and what better way to learn how to do it than in the context of a trip. Teach your kids how to use a budgeting app, spreadsheet or other tool, and have them come up with a trip budget that includes travel, food, shopping and sightseeing costs.
Have your kids help preserve and share trip memories. There are so many ways to record trip memories; journaling, scrap books, photo sharing sites, postcards, blogs, apps, social media, etc. Ask one of your kids to come up with a plan for preserving and sharing trip memories. For example, if one of your kids has an interest in photography, make him or her the “official” trip photographer.
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