The Learning Secret to Planning the Perfect Family Vacations Events

Involve Children in Planning Family Vacations

Integrated Learning Strategies (ILS) is a learning and academic center. As a reminder, ILS is not a health care provider and none of our materials or services provide a diagnosis or treatment of a specific condition or learning challenge you may see in your child or student. If you seek a diagnosis or treatment for your child or student, please contact a trained professional who can provide an evaluation of the child.

What will you do this summer with your children? Will they visit any distant family? Will out-of-state family come to visit you? What will you do for holidays? When do you have work holidays? When does your spouse have work holidays? Whatever shall you do with all your “free time?”

Why Vacation Planning Should Include Your Kids

Our children ask these questions also. When they return to school in the fall, “What did you do on your summer vacation?” becomes a common theme. School assignments sometimes focus on the completed summer vacation. Conversations over lunch or recess also focus on the summer. What if you don’t know what you want to do? Discuss it with your child. Let your child help you plan.

Summer vacation planning that includes your kids

Children like to have control over their time, plans, and future just like adults. Allowing our children to help us plan family outings and vacations can teach valuable skills and create a lot of fun. Consider everything you did the last time you planned a family vacation. You needed to decide

  • When to go
  • Where to go
  • What to take
    • Food
    • Clothes
      • Swimming suit
      • Hiking boots
      • Hats
      • Night clothes
    • Activities for travel and down time
    • Medicines
      • Sunscreen
  • What to do once you’re at your destination
  • What to do en route to your destination

Oh the Places You’ll Go

What can your child help you plan? Children as young as 2 or 3 like to choose their own clothes. Maybe your child can help you pack his or her clothes. Make sure you have enough clothing for food or toileting accidents, but don’t worry about packing for every possible problem. Let your child design his or her wardrobe for the trip. Ask your child what he or she will need. “Will we go swimming? What do you need to go swimming?”

Learning Benefits of Involving Your Children in Vacation Planning

Older children can help choose the destination. Will we go camping? Will we stay in a motel or a hotel? Will we stay overnight anywhere? What do we need to take with us? What will be provided for us? Do we need sunscreen? Do we need coats? Let your child think of things to take. Let your child ask questions. Planning a family outing or a family vacation teaches many skills. Older children can even help budget for the trip including how much money each person has for food, souvenirs, and so forth.

After planning the trip, assign everyone specific jobs during the trip. For example, who will be the family photographer? Who will track the money spent? Who will be in charge of meals for the day? Who will document the journey? Will everyone have a turn doing the different jobs?

The Best Ways for your Kids and Family to Vacation

As your kids become teenagers, they can plan everything from finding the destination, planning the route, setting the budget, and creating back-up plans when things don’t do the way you planned them. Rarely do vacations go exactly the way we plan them, so remember to help your children be flexible and plan for problems along the way. You can’t plan for everything. Be sure you plan for fun. Be sure you plan to throw out the plan sometimes and be spontaneous (sounds funny to plan to be spontaneous, doesn’t it). Just remember, vacations are meant to be fun. Planning also can be fun. Also, when your child sees a plan that he or she created come true, your child will be excited to do more planning. This teaches valuable life skills and takes some of the stress off of the parents.

Integrated Learning Strategies is a Utah-based center dedicated to helping mainstream children and children with learning challenges achieve academic success. Our services provide kids with non-traditional tutoring programs within the Davis County, Kaysville, Layton, Syracuse, Farmington, and Centerville areas. Areas to find Integrated Learning Strategies include: Reading tutors in Kaysville, Math tutors in Kaysville, Common Core Tutors in Kaysville, Tutors in Utah, Utah Tutoring Programs


  1. I appreciate all these ideas! We involve our kids in all of our travel plans and they have definitely added unique experiences to our itinerary over the years!

  2. Great ideas…we are planning ours now.

  3. My kids love our planning sessions. They ask so many questions about where we are going and then they start remembering past vacations. I love it.

  4. We are not really traveling much this summer. We are doing lots of local activities.

  5. This makes me so excited to start planning a vacation soon with my family. We aren’t going anywhere this summer since I have a 5 month old but next summer I can’t wait to get my older two involved in thinking through a trip we can take together as a family. Thanks for sharing these tips!

  6. Lots of things to consider. I think it’s important to plan decompression time, even if it’s just visiting the playground for a hour. It’s so stressful to be on the go for the entire trip.

  7. I’m a planner by nature, so when I hit the teenage years, my parents handed over the planning of vacations to me. I so enjoyed researching the places we were going to be going, finding the best deals on lodging, the coolest attractions to visit, etc.
    Involving our kids in the process is definitely a great way to get them excited!

  8. This is a great article, it’s super important to get kids excited about things. It makes your job as parent/educator, etc a lot easier.

  9. Well, I guess the secret is out by now! What great secrets reveals and looks like you always plan the perfect family vacations away!

  10. This is so fun! Thank you for sharing!

  11. I don’t know if I agree with having the older children help pay for the vacation, but I loved the rest of these tips!

    • No problem. I completely understand! Every family is different and I don’t think kids should have to help pay unless maybe parents want to help their kids learn more about budgeting and math. Then they can always give it back or put it in a savings account. 😉

  12. I love the idea of letting the kids make more of their own choices. Thanks!

  13. So many good vacation posts lately! I really want to go on vacation now

  14. What a great idea to let the teenagers plan! I think I might try this for next year.

  15. planning a sensory schedule with sensory activities so kids don’t go into over-load when on a trip is also useful.

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