Tips for Involving Your Children in Travel Plans

Tips for Involving Your Children in Travel Plans

Ideas for involving your children in travel plans

Photo Credit: hira3 via Compfight cc

I am so excited to bring you this guest post today. Kendra Thornton is a renown travel expert and the former Director of Corporate Communications at, one of the nation’s largest travel agencies. Today she is sharing ideas on involving your children in travel plans and making the trip memorable for the whole family.

Kendra Thornton: Travel advocate, TV spokesperson, PR businesswoman, proud wife and mama of 3. I am a long time travel expert who has been packing my bags and traveling the world since I was 3 months old! I’ve found my utmost desire in life is right here in my own home. I have taken my excitement for travel and brought it to you with some of my favorite travel tips and tricks. Enjoy!

Creating a Memorable Vacation Starts with Involving Your Children

If you want your children to truly treasure your upcoming family vacation, get them involved in the planning process.  By giving your children a role in planning their trip, they’ll not only feel excited about your upcoming vacation but gain exposure to the decision making process as well.  You’ll be able to enjoy quality time together as a family if your children are truly engaged with your travel plans.

1. Ask for Destination Input

Start involving your children in your upcoming vacation by asking them to write their own list of awesome vacation attractions.  Although some destinations, such as Antarctica, will not be feasible for your family, you should get some interesting responses that will help shape the trip.  Pay attention to the common themes in the suggestions.  For example, if your son lists several national parks, try to include outdoor recreation in your itinerary.  Work together to make the final decision on your destination.

Further, make sure your destination is kid friendly.  It can be a struggle to find a location that is fun for the kids and for mom and dad.  If you find yourself in this situation, try exploring family friendly resorts.  Resorts geared toward families are located all over and cater to a variety of interests, from skiing to swimming and even horseback riding.  When my husband and I decided to take our three to Hawaii, we chose a family friendly resort that was still ranked amongst Honolulu’s top hotels.  Including your kids in the decision process and keeping all of your interests in mind when booking accommodations will make for your best vacation to date.

2. Decide How to Remember Your Trip

Souvenirs are a great way to remember vacation but choosing the right kind of vacation token is key.  There are a variety of crafts and interactive entertainment that will provide your whole family with a lifetime of memories in addition to your memento.  Look into taking a pottery class while at the beach or designing a 2013 Smith Family Extravaganza t-shirt.  These souvenirs will not only last longer but hold more meaning if you are all working together.

3. Plan Your Transport Entertainment

So you’ve decided to take a road trip.  To avoid the inevitable “Are We There Yet’s” try making the ride part of your vacation.  Get the kids involved before you leave and have them map out a couple places along your route they’d like to explore.  In our era of GPS technology, just folding a map is a foreign concept let alone reading one.  Use this opportunity as a chance to teach your kids the basics of travel and give them some say over where you go.  This will get them excited for the ride and the end destination.  Your options can vary from a quick picnic lunch near a beautiful lake to South Carolina’s infamous South of the Border Highway Oasis.

4. Turn History Into An Adventure

Museums are a hard sell with kids.  But there are some cities like D.C., Philadelphia or Boston that you really can’t neglect the history. If you decide to visit a historically rich city, such as Williamsburg VA, your children might get bored while you visit the city’s historic attractions.  To add some fun to these educational destinations, plan a scavenger hunt with your children.  Urban Adventure Quest allows you to download an interactive scavenger hunt that turns your bland tour into an adventure using your smart phone. Spanning over 20 cities, this hand held guide will expose you to all of your destination’s historical landmarks with clues and hints to make the experience engaging for a large range of ages. Each time your children discover a clue, reward them with a treat or small prize.

5. Start a Vacation Blog

Setting up a vacation blog before you leave is a great way to let your children share their vacation experiences.  Give each child their own profile on the blog so that they share their own voice.  Work with your children to plan their entries before you leave. While on your vacation, help your children upload videos and pictures after each day of the trip.  This is a great project for kids traveling during the school year who may miss a few days and also an excellent way to share their adventure with extended family.  After the trip is over, you and your family will treasure the blog as a digital scrapbook.

Thanks for sharing these fantastic ideas, Kendra!

Ideas for involving your children in travel plans

Photo Credit: hira3 via Compfight cc

About Janice

I am so glad you stopped by. Kick your shoes off and hang with me a while. I am an Arizona native, wife to a hard-working hubby, mom of two, and daughter of the King. I love sharing recipes, crafts, and family activities that any mom can do. Life is complicated enough, right? When I am not up to my ears in laundry, dishes, and creating for Celebrating Family, you will also find me at East Valley Mom Guide. Come follow me on Google +, Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, and Twitter.


  1. Arnold D. says

    It’s sooo much easier to plan when it’s just one kid.

  2. Rachel Ralston says

    Great tips! Also remember some safety tips..take pictures of what your child is wearing that day in case they get lost, dress them in bright colors (or dress the same as your child) so they will be spotted easily if lost, and make sure your name and information is on them at all times (ex. make a dog tag necklace.)

  3. Mommy Pamela says

    These are great ideas. When we go on trips my step-son usually refuses to go if it is out of the state, any ideas on how we an interest him in out of state vacations?

  4. Debra Wagner says

    I agree. It is very important to include the kids in the plans…it is their trip too.

  5. Debra Wagner says

    You have such great stories…love it!!

  6. Darlene Ysaguirre says

    I think when you include the kids in the trip planing they feel so much more excited for the trip

  7. johanna guerra says

    very good advice, it is essential to involve our children in our travel plans, they also have the right to choose and we parents do not always seem to me exelentes advice.
    on every trip we do, we keep very good memories, with photos, items typical of the country to visit, clothes and Videos

  8. Debra Wagner says

    this will make the child feel more invloved and part of everything!

  9. Kristina L says

    We always include our kids in Travel plans, and usy many of the tips above. I keep a Journal of our road trips and always ask my boys to give me a sentence of what they liked or did not like and write it down. And believe it or not they actually love to comments when asked.

  10. Audrey Krippendorf says

    I always include my children in our planning. It makes it easier to be able to figure out what everyone plans to accomplish with the trip. We took a trip to Washington, DC and it was phenomenal because each of them got to see all of the things on their list. Planning months in advance allowed us to be able to make special requests that we would not have been able to do on a spur of the moment trip.

  11. Sandy Cain says

    Great tips! I always remember from my own childhood, how important I felt when I was included in the family travel planning. It didn’t happen often – usually us kids were just herded into the car – but when WE had a say in the planning, everyone had a much better time, all around. (Less whining from us kids!)

  12. alejandra castro says

    Such great tips! We went to the beach last month and did not know how to entertain our little one! we are going again this month and these tips will be so helpful.

  13. love your tips! Transport Entertainment was very important 🙂

  14. Richard Hicks says

    Great tips and I think it is so important to get them involved with the planning aspect of a trip

  15. Sweta Sonulkar says

    I would love to plan this type with my next vacation trip and surely include your points

  16. Great idea!It is a very important one!

  17. katrina c. says

    We love letting our 10 year old “plan” with us. He’s always excited just to go on a trip! great tips!! 🙂

  18. Ali Gilbert says

    I love these ideas! We are always having to plan vacations to see family and now that we have a one year old- planning is a little harder. We were just planning our summer vacations this morning, actually:) Thanks for the tips!

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