6 Ways to Get Your Kids Excited For Your Next Vacation
Let's be honest, what's NOT to love about vacations?
Unless they are poorly planned... but that's another subject for another time.
However, young kids (and even teens) can have a hard time understanding the excitement of some destinations, or are not that 'gung-ho' about going. Which can be upsetting, because as a parent you are putting a lot of time & money into those vacation plans.
When we first told my daughter that we would be going on a cruise next Spring, her eyes immediately shot open and a smile erupted on her face, right before she began jumping up and down while squeeling for joy. (Do your kids do that? Or is it just mine?)
So while she didn't really need help in the excitement department, what she was unsure of is what we would be doing, which then lead to her being a little less excited.
SHOCKING FACT: Sometimes kids don't want to do what their parents want to do.
She's not exactly interested in the restaurants. She wants to know when she'll see Mickey.
She's not worried about 'snorkeling'. She just wants to watch the poolside movies at night.
So how can we get our kids excited & keep them excited for our family vacations?
How can we make it special, so that we all enjoy it? Before AND during.
Well grab your coffee cup buttercup and discover a few ways that work for both young AND older kids.
#1: Grab a map, atlas or globe and show them where in the world you are traveling to. My daughter has the Usborne Lift-the-Flap Picture Atlas, and we love finding our destination in there because it also gives facts and info about the area with cool flip tabs.
#2: Allow them to have some part in the planning. This gives them ownership, which in turn makes them feel involved! What is the one thing they most want to see? What is the one ride or attraction that is a must for them? What is one type of food they want to eat? Let them pick one of the activities or where you'll go for dinner. Decide beforehand what you are willing to let them choose, and then give them that choice. From your 4 year old to your 16 year old, this one is always great.
#3: Find a picture book about the destination or someone famous from that destination! If your kids are a little older and they enjoy reading, it might be a chapter book about a historical figure. If your going to France, why not a story about Marie Antoinette? Base this on your child's age and interest. The possibilities are endless!
#4: Have a movie marathon with movies about the place/area/culture. I mean, if you're going to Disney World then you kind have an endless supply of movies. But think outside the box for this one. Scotland? Brave or even Braveheart (for the older ones). London? Harry Potter of course ;)
#5: Create a countdown that they can update everyday. (I normally suggest this as a short 30-60 day option for really young kids) This builds the excitement for EVERYONE as your vacation gets closer!
#6: Let them pick out a new outfit for the trip. Whether it's a new swimsuit or comfy sweatpants for the flight, this allows your kids to have another piece of 'ownership' for themselves during your vacation and gives them yet another reason to get excited!
What is one thing your family does to build excitement for your vacations? Be sure to join the conversation in the comments!