Some kids love the idea of traveling right off the bat, while other kids are more nervous about the prospect of flying or abandoning their usual routine.
If you have one such child, and you want them to enjoy traveling just as much as you do, you will be pleased to know that there are lots of simple things you can do to get kids excited about traveling, including the following:
Put some effort into the announcement
If you feel like your kids might be less than enthused about an upcoming vacation, start by finding an exciting way to break the news to them. For example, if you’re planning a trip to Disneyland, you could send them a letter from their favorite Disney princess telling them how excited they are to meet them, and it will immediately put them in the right frame of mind for the trip.
Look it up on a map
Looking up your chosen travel destination on a map so your kids can see how far away it is, and then checking it out in an atlas or online to find out the most interesting facts about the place, from the local wildlife to the national dish, is another good way to get the kids excited about visiting. The more cool stuff they learn about the place, the more they will want to experience it all for themselves and you will have a much easier job of getting them in the mood for travel.
Let them plan the itinerary
Okay, so you probably don’t want to hand the reins over to your kids completely when you are planning what you will do on vacation, but you should let them get involved in the process. As a minimum, everyone who is google on the vacation, no matter how old or young, should be able to choose one attraction they want to visit. After all, it would be hard for anyone to get excited about a vacation where they were not getting to do anything fun for them, right?
Give each child a sheet of paper and give them a list of all the things they can do on vacation from surf camps to art galleries to theme parks. And let them make a list of what they would like to do in order of how much they would like to do it. Let them know they might not be able to do everything on the list, but that their top X choices will be included in your itinerary, and they are sure to have a lot of fun picking their top attractions out, and thinking about how great a time they will have when they get there.
Cook the local cuisine
If you have the kind of child who loved helping you in the kitchen or the kind of child who is pretty adventurous with the foods they will eat, then one thing you can try to get them excited about their upcoming vacation is to cook the local cuisine of the place you will be visiting.
Food and culture and inexplicably entwined, so they will learn a lot about the place they will be visiting vis the spices they use, and the dishes they prepare, and if they like the way it tastes, well trying the real thing is just one more thing for them to get excited about at the end of the day.
Learn the language
Okay, so it is unlikely that your child is going to become fluent in French in the month before you head off to Paris or that they are going to master Portuguese before you jet off to Brazil, but you can absolutely use flash cards and apps to help them, and yourself, learn a few key words like please and thank you, and doing so will not only make them more excited for the trip they are about to take, but it will also help them to better engage when on vacation. If you learn them important phrases like asking for help, then it could also help to keep them safe when you are on your next trip too, so it is really never a bad thing to do.
Reading books that are set in the location you plan to travel to is a really nice way to teach your kids more about the place in a way that they will find fun and engaging. If they get into that story, they will not be able to wait until they are walking the same streets that their favorite character has walked and they will not be able to try the same foods and visit the same attractions as the characters in the book either. To children, books are a real presence in their world, and by linking the fictional world with the real one, you can add some real magic to their vacations.
Start a scrapbook
You may think that is more traditional to start a vacation scrapbook after you have visited the location, taken lots of photos, and bought some souvenirs, and that is probably true, but there is nothing stopping you from starting a scrapbook with your kids before you go.
Buy glossy magazines or download images of your vacation destination, and have the kids cut out and stick the images that most resonate with them, they can use it kind of like a vision board to show you what they would lie to do on vacation, while also finding out more about the place, and helping to whet their appetites for their trip.
Once the vacation is over, they can add their memories of the trip to their scrapbook and keep it as a reminder of all the fun they had and all the things they learned on their vacation. It’s the kind o thing you will all treasure when your kids are older and you’re looking back on the good times you had.
Show them your old vacation snaps
Showing your kids photos of the vacations you have taken in the past so they can see how much fun you were having and how beautiful the places you visited were is a great way to not only get them excited for their trip, but also to bond with them over your life experiences and the experiences they are going to embark on in the near future. They will love seeing mom and dad out of their usual home and work settings and they will feel like going on vacation is truly something special.
Start a countdown
We have advent calendars that count us down to Christmas, and as you will probably know, they are very effective at ramping up the excitement in children of many ages, and more than a few adults too! So, why not start your own countdown to your next vacation? Buy a calendar and mark off the days every morning with the kids and they are sure to start feeling the excitement ramp up whether they have been particularly excited in the past or not.
Travel is so good for children. It teaches them more about the world around them, different cultures, and new ways of being and living in the world; it broadens their horizons more than you can imagine, so the sooner you can get them excited about travel, the richer their, and your, lives will be, and the easier it will be to plan family vacations that every single one of you is onboard with.
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