Encourage your children to be a part of the planning/selection process. Select a few trips that meet your family's requirements, engage children in learning about each trip, then let them choose the family vacation this year.
Once your vacation is selected, ask your children what questions they have about the trip or location. Encourage them to come up with questions that the parents can ask an REI travel expert or have your child participate in the call!
Use a map/globe to help children learn how far they are going and what the flight route will be, etc. This helps establish an early connection to the destination.
Search online for small towns your itinerary will pass through – learn about the history, animals plants and people that live in these places. Find something your family wants to learn more about or see while you visit.
Pack with your child – use the gear list and have them think about what they already have that fits the need and what they will need to get.
Get your child a journal and help them write in it each day about what happened on their trip - encourage them to draw pictures. Be sure to record the senses you used along the way to hear different sounds, smells, tastes and sights you experienced in each place.
Make sure your children get to use your camera, or have their own so they can take photos. An instant digital Polaroid camera is a fun thing to take along when visiting developing countries. It's a great gift to share on the spot with new friends you make along the way and a quick way to add photos to the journal when the children recaps their day.
Look for postcards to send to family, friends and even to your own home so your children have a memento from their trip awaiting them upon your return home. Make sure you use colorful local stamps – great keepsakes and addition to journals.
Travel with other families with children. Both families will appreciate the company of other playmates, and adults.
If your child is in school, have them create a presentation for the class to "show and tell" about their trip and/or summer vacation with their family.
Some of the very best childhood memories grow out of the time that families share traveling and adventuring together. These tips for traveling with kids are designed to help you make the most of your time.
REI Adventures also offers a wide variety of active family vacations to the world's most exotic and exciting destinations with carefully selected routes, pacing and activities for each adventure.
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