10 Ways to Get Kids Excited About Travel
Kids love adventure, but often they may not be excited about travel. Children are rarely asked to participate in the travel planning process. Therefore, they don’t understand what the travel is for and why they are doing it. The trick to creating a family holiday experience everyone will love is to involve your children in the preparation for the trip. Ask them for their suggestions, involve them in the planning, and get them excited about the destination.
Here are ten easy ways you can help prepare your kids for travel:
1. Watch a Movie
When watching movies with your kids, spend a few minutes talking about the setting of the movie. Show them real life pictures of where in the world that location is. They’ll imagine themselves having the same thrilling adventures their favourite characters have had and will be begging you to take them to visit. Kalyra now has Madagascar and London on her travel bucket list and loves to watch the Disneyland promo videos over and over again.
2. Read a Book
What child does not want to visit Hogwarts school in England? Well, now they can in Disneyworld. Pass me the Butter Beer! One of my most treasured travel moments was when I visited The Beach in Thailand. I had dreamt about the piece of paradise since reading the book on my campervan trip around Europe. I LOVED finally being part of that world that aligned my imagination with reality. Incorporate the world of books into your travels to get your children excited.
3. Research on Websites Together
Many attractions will have fun facts and trivia games attached to help your children learn about the destination. There may be colouring sheets and craft activities you can download. Tourist boards will also have web pages showing age appropriate activities. Encourage your children to help you create the itinerary from your research as well as plan for costs, travel times, and weather. It’s a great education in itself.
4. Play Games
Put your hand up if you can remember Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego? I spent almost every lunch time in high school playing that game in the computer room. It felt like I was just having fun tracking down criminals, but it was teaching me so much about the world and inspiring me to live a life that involved discovering more of it. There are apps on top of apps that your children can play to learn and get excited to become a more active part in the world. Where are you going on holiday? Investigate what games your children can play to learn more about that area.
5. Talk About the Type of Activities They Can Do
Talk with your child about the type of things they like to do on holidays. Do they want to sleep in (and why do they think this might not be so great when on holidays?)? Is it surfing they most want to do? Chasing kangaroos through the field? Or eating gelatos all day long? Help your children to own a part of the holiday and they’ll be so excited to go.
6. Flip Through Magazines, Newspapers and Brochures
Who said travel agents did not serve a purpose anymore? I often feel guilty when I walk in and ask for a mountain of brochures and booklets, knowing that I will never be booking anything, I’ll just be using them to help my family get excited.
7. Make a Vision Board Together
My daughter and I love to scour through the brochures and magazines and create dream holiday vision boards with the pictures. Kalyra shouts, “I want to go there.” So we cut it out and paste it on the vision board. We then hang it where we can see it often. Creating the board creates a great opportunity to talk about why she wants to go and what she thinks she could do there.
8. Help Your Children Save for Their Dream Holiday
Kalyra has several hundred dollars saved already for Disneyland. She collects the spare coins from all her family members. This exercise teaches your children the value of saving money and making sacrifices to create their dreams. They can also track their progress and feel that sense of accomplishment.
9. Watch a Preview
Get to know the place you’ll be visiting by watching any promo videos or webcams. A great place to start is the destination’s website or YouTube.
10. Answer the Travel Mysteries
Children will have lots of questions about travel and how things work. Helping them to discover the answers to this will get them excited about travel. Use websites such as How Stuff Works and Brain Pop to find out things like how airplanes fly, how time zones work, and how highways are numbered and named.