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Make Kids Part of Trip Planning

by Barbara Rogers

Oct 30, 2023

© Pojoslaw | Dreamstime.com

Travel Tips

Getting kids engaged in family travel begins long before you begin your trip. Building up the anticipation and getting kids interested in where you’re going is important, but making them part of the planning gives them a sense of ownership in the adventures to come.


A good beginning is to introduce them to the destination with books or movies set there. Even young children can get a feel for a place from stories and pictures. Heidi is a good background for a trip to Switzerland, or for young children, Madeline gives them images of Paris.


For domestic travels, a quick search will turn up choices like Blueberries for Sal (set in Maine) and the Little House on the Prairie series for the Midwest. Or the entire family can watch movies such as Roman Holiday or Letters to Juliette before a trip to Italy.


When planning what to do in a destination, suggest that older kids do some of the research, using websites listing top attractions. Add places that spark their interest to your family wish list and make them part of the decision process.


Set your limits, such as only one theme park or zoo, or only one half-day of shopping, but make room for their interests even though those might not be at the top of your own list. If kids are too young to do the research themselves, identify some places they might like and let them choose.


Offering the kids some choices makes them part of the whole adventure, not just spectators on a trip someone else has planned.


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