When you have a family, you are busy. You know this! I think we often get caught up in the busyness of our lives that we forget how quickly time passes. Our jobs start taking priority over family time because goodness knows, kids aren’t cheap! But you have earned that vacation time! Your job literally pays you to not come in! In 2018, 236 million vacation days were forfeited completely meaning that $65.5 billion dollars of benefits went unused. That’s just wrong. I’m here to help you remember that family should come first, and I’ve got some suggestions on how your kids can help you plan your next family trip.
National #PlanForVacation Day
You were a kid once, right? Did you love every trip your family took for vacation? When I was growing up, I loved most of them, but there was one trip that I wasn’t crazy about. Sure, there were some fun parts, but if I’d have had a say in it, there’s no way we would have gone to Wisconsin!
The 2020 National Plan for Vacation Day is Tuesday, January 28. Alamo and I want you to get your kids involved and make planning fun for all. Here are some tips to get your family started.
Get the kids involved in choosing the destination
Now while we’ve got to stay within a budget, there’s no reason your kids can’t help plan your next family vacation. If they’re old enough, you can even give them your budget and tell them to get on the computer to do some research. Tell them to come up with a list of places your family could realistically travel to.
Staying within a budget while vacation planning is a valuable life skill. Teenage kids can even calculate the cost of gas or figure out the total cost of plane tickets for the family including luggage and tax. Who says math can’t be fun?
Once they’ve come up with a few places, get the younger kids involved. Use this Mad Libs type game called Trav-Libs. Download Alamo’s Trav-Libs Planning Game here. Yes, it is silly (and fun) just like Mad Libs, but for at least the place, you can tell them that they can choose from the list you’ve come up with your teens or alone.
Let the kids plan the trip’s “foodie” portion
Kids. They’ve got strong opinions about food, don’t they? Well, letting the kids choose a few of the places you’ll eat on vacation will go a long way toward making all of them happy.
Once you’ve chosen your destination, get on a site like Google Maps and explore the area virtually. What restaurants are in the area? Maybe you want to take a picnic lunch on one of your adventures or you know you’ll need to stock up on snacks for the hotel. Are there any grocery stores nearby? What’ll go on your shopping list? These are all things that will make your kids feel like they’re having an input in the trip planning.
Choosing the activities
Kids and teens have definite opinions when it comes to what they like to do. If your kids are close in age, chances are that at least some of their favorite activities will overlap. Swimming, mini-golf, and aquarium visits are almost always things that kids (and parents) will all enjoy!
The most important part of taking family vacations is making memories with your kids. Alamo has a fun fill-in-the-memory vacation journal page that you can print for your kids. When you get home, print out some of the pictures you’ve taken that correspond with their favorite memories. They can put the page and pictures in a journal they’ve already got or in a binder. The important thing is that you’ll all have these memories to look back on for the rest of your lives. You can download and print Alamo’s Fill-in-the-Memory Journal here.
So, don’t waste those vacation days! Use National Plan for Vacation Day to motivate you and get planning!