How do you get older kids excited about and involved in the vacation planning process? There are a lot of ways of course, but today I want to share the one I went with this week. I threw an impromptu Friday night “party” in my office with sandwiches, treats, and a few festive choices.
As the girls enjoyed their treats, I went over the planning that we have so far, asked them questions, and asked for their opinions on some options as well. It brought an element of fun into this, as well as being a great way to lure the girls into hanging out during their Friday evening.
Here are some suggestions:
- Pick a time when everyone is available- and not in a rush
- Make it welcoming and low pressure
- Have your topics/starting points ready
- Be organized before you call the kids into the room
- Make it fun!
I got 30-40 minutes out of these two lovelies as we ate, plotted, and set up what still needs to be done for the trip. Not only does it give me someone to bounce my ideas off, but it gets them involved and taking an active part and ownership in our family vacation. There are things (river cruise, climbing Eiffel tower, etc) I would have assumed they wanted to do that they do NOT have any interest in. So I’ve saved money, let them have a say, and focused on the things we really do want to spend our precious days in Europe on.
Just to share a bit of our process and what we worked on this meeting:
- Confirming what we have so far
- Assigning a museum to each of us for research
- Listing the phrases we want to know in Spanish, French, and Italian
- Going over a few logistical choices, and making decisions
- Making a date (next Friday) to go over our findings and report back
I try to do more regular and smaller sessions, and to be honest the girls ask frequently in the car or on our walks to tell them what I’ve got so far, or what is new with the planning. But a bigger and “fun” meet up like this just really helps and adds a fun factor to the count down!
My instinct when I thought up doing a dinner/planner party with beloved treats was to make it very elaborate, custom make some decorations and bake, and so on. The reality? I had about 15 minutes to run through the grocery store on the way to pick up one kiddo from track practice before heading back home to work. So, quick and easy it was! Just because you don’t have time to DIY and hand craft stuff doesn’t mean you can’t still have fun! I picked up treats that are their favorites – anything from burgers to deli sandwiches and chips – or whatever your teens are into will work. A waffle bar/breakfast would work equally well!
Focus on the fun, and enjoy getting excited for and planning out your next trip!