Most kids are excited when they learn that they’re going on vacation, but when you look at the time and money being spent on a family vacation you want them to be ecstatic! For our family looking forward to the trip is part of the fun of a family vacation. I know many families like to surprise kids with a vacation, but for us, it’s been all about the excitement in the countdown.
Here are some fun ideas to get your kids more excited for your vacation and help you all draw out the suspense and excitement of the trip. And hey, these tips can even work for kids who perhaps are worried or not looking forward to their vacation, because I’ve heard of that before too.
This family travel tip really is beneficial for leading up to the trip and during the vacation itself. Talk to your kid(s) about your family vacation and let them have input in the choices. If you’re just starting to plan a trip, consider asking them where they’d like to go for your family vacation. If you already have a destination planned, give them a chance to plan a day of your trip. That day they get to pick what attraction you visit, even where you eat for the day.
This can also be a bit of a lesson in travel planning and internet research. You can sit with them while they search on pinterest or a destination’s visitor website to find ideas for what they want to do. Knowing that they helped plan part of the trip is going to make kids very excited for the vacation day to arrive.
BOOKS & MOVIES
Do a little research on amazon or your library to find books about your destination and buy or borrow them. Kids will enjoy reading about special spots they’ll see and learning about the history or culture of the location. If you don’t have an avid reader, consider looking for audio books or finding a movie set in your destination.
SCAVENGER HUNT LIST
While your kids are doing this research online or with books about your destination, encourage them to start a scavenger hunt list for during the trip. Help them list special attractions or sights that they’ll see and make a list that you can later turn into a printed sheet for them to bring along on your vacation. You can also turn it into a photo scavenger hunt by arming them with an affordable digital camera and letting them snap shots of the items from their scavenger hunt list. Check out my printable photo scavenger hunt for kids.
For years and years kids have made those paper chains to countdown for Christmas, so why not countdown for your vacation? Pinterest has a huge set of vacation countdown ideas to inspire your creativity. But, it can also be something as simple as making a paper countdown chain. I’ve also seen people using a photo frame and dry erase marker to erase and countdown the number of days on the glass with a fun printed page behind it.
For youngsters consider getting a special travel stuffie friend to join along on the trip. This can be a special stuffed animal that is set with the little one’s suitcase or bag to be ready for vacation. If your little one already has a favorite stuffed animal friend, consider getting a toy luggage set (amazon affiliate) for their buddy to use. Just remember to consider packing space when purchasing!
SHOW AND TELL
Talk to your child’s teacher to see if it’s possible for them to create a presentation either before or after their trip about where they are going or what they did on vacation. Not every kid enjoys sharing in front of the class, but if your child loves show and tell time, there’s a good chance that they’ll have fun sharing about their trip with their friends.
Some kids will have a lot of fun deciding on what outfits to wear and what toys/activities they want to bring on their trip. You can use my tips for how to teach your kid to pack which includes some a fun printable packing list for kids. My girls have always loved choosing their outfits for vacation, and sometimes we’ve purchased special books for the trip that get saved until vacation.
Planning a family vacation can take a lot of time and money, so use these tips to help get the whole family excited for more than just during the trip. When you’re all looking forward to what you’ll do, where you’ll eat, what you’ll see, you’ll be invested together in the experience and it can help build some family bonding time before your trip. We already know that travel is good for families, so get excited together and go explore!