Travel is an amazing experience, one that you want your children to enjoy as they grow older. But, sometimes, being informed that you’ll be going on a routine family holiday can seem more like a disruption to your children than a reward.
Teach your kids to enjoy traveling with your family by bringing them in on the travel planning process.
Bring the Kids in on the Planning
If they’re old enough, get your kids to help weigh in on the possibilities. Frame discussions by asking them to think about what they’ll experience on the holiday, and what they’d most like.
For example, do they like Greek or Spanish food enough to eat it every day? Would they prefer to try to cook on holiday if you get a self-service apartment, or wouldn’t it be nice for mummy and daddy to have a vacation from the kitchen as well? Help them understand what the difference is between independent and all-inclusive packages, and which one would be the best for the way your family likes to travel. Remind them that tour operators like First Choice can handle all of the details. All you have to do is show up for your flight on time and relax!
Also, if you’re going in a big family group, you can ask your kids to make a survey of the groups’ likes and dislikes while traveling. This can be a fun way to teach your children the value of being considerate and about decision-making.
Again, if your children are old enough, this might be a time to talk about budgeting. Understanding how your family manages money is a good lesson that will help your kids in the long run.
Ask for Votes
Once you’ve got a range of several places to go, and you’ve discussed the positives of each one, let your family members vote on which holiday destination they’d prefer. Making this into a game with your kids can be a fun way to show them the importance of handling decisions.
Focus on the Rewards
If your children are apprehensive about an upcoming trip, because they aren’t sure how you’ll spend your time, or because they think they’ll miss hanging out with their friends, spend some time helping them to see the rewards of the trip. For kids that are worried about being bored, get the family to draw up a few possible itineraries. Schedule in some treats, too—like a day that the children get to plan for the adults in the party, or an extra privilege the night before going on the trip.
Look at the Menu
Food can be a source of concern for children. Some kids think it’s “gross” to eat food that is unfamiliar. If you’ve got a household of picky eaters, try to introduce them to some of the foods from your destination country before you get there. With that said, don’t just introduce them to the stereotypical dishes—you don’t want them thinking that Turkish food only consists of kebabs or Italian is only about spag bol.
Also reassure them that they will be able to have some food that they recognize from home. This can be one of the benefits of an all-inclusive package, too—your children will be able to enjoy familiar food while you can try the local specialties.
With a bit of pre-planning and a lot of optimism and good humour on your part, your family will have a great holiday, and your children will learn to love traveling as much as their parents do.