Getting Kids Excited About Traveling
Most kids are excited to go on trips, but not all. I have friends whose kids actually dreaded going on family vacations. How could this be? Some kids fear being outside of their normal routine. Others may associate trips with having to do a lot of things that only mom and dad enjoy. Others may not like the car or plane ride. When you break it down there are many aspects of travel that even adults don’t adore, but as adults we know that it will be worth it. So what can we do to get kids more excited about an upcoming journey?
Plant the Seed
Kids don’t need to know that the plane ride and hotel are already booked months in advance. Just start casually mentioning Italy or wherever it is you plan to go.
Read and Watch Together
Read books and watch movies or shows showing off the place you’re planning to visit. For example, the movie Luca! I also write a book series if your kids are between the ages 4 and 9 called Little James’ Big Adventures. In each book, Little James travels to a different country. If your kids are older, National Geographic Kids has some great books.
Take your children on mini-trips around town or nearby attractions while you pack their suitcase for the big trip. This will help lessen the anxiety of packing for the first time and give them a sense of anticipation before they leave home.
Let them Plan
Let them in on the planning. Let kids in on the itinerary. Pick a few kids-friendly places and ask which ones they would like to check out. This way, they don’t get their hearts set on something that is out of the way, too expensive, or something that is not right for the season.
Taste the Waters
Yes, TASTE! Whether it's homemade Mickey mouse pancakes to hype up a trip to Disney, going out for Italian, or making individual pizzas at home, food is a great way to get kids in a positive mindset for any upcoming adventure.
Make a countdown as it gets close! Get a board and have kids participate in creating a countdown calendar. This is great to get their creative juices flowing as they can decorate the board as they wish. It is also a fun family activity that doesn’t involve any screens.
NEW Activities for the Road/Plane!
As parents, we know that the luster and novelty of kids' toys sadly wane pretty quickly. This being the case, when I desperately need my littlest one to behave I buy something new and hide it until the time it's needed. When they have something new, the interest and focus is real! Buy fun, quiet toys (yep, that's important for your sanity and all those traveling with you) and bust them out at the most crucial times.
Share any other great ideas you may have to get kids extra excited about a future trip!