Put the Kids in Charge of Planning Your Next Family Vacation

As the year winds to its conclusion, I reflect on our adventures that included first visits to Albuquerque, New Mexico; San Francisco, California; and a spectacular family Disney Cruise of Norway – the most impressive landscape on Earth.  Now’s the time to begin planning next year’s adventures, and I offer this tip – put the kids in charge of planning your next family vacation.  Don’t believe me, it’s worked many times for our family.  Here’s what we do…

The Wizarding World of Harry Potter

It can get challenging balancing the demands of many diverse opinions in our family.  A few years ago, we hit upon the idea of putting the kids in charge of the family vacation.  Mom and I selected the destination with some input from the kids, and decided upon a week in theme park central, Orlando.  We “gave” each of our daughters an entire day of their own during the week to plan our activities, meals, etc.  Evie, our youngest wanted to head to Universal’s Islands of Adventure to check out the Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Hogsmeade, drink Butterbeer, purchase a wand, and have dinner in Three Broomsticks.  Our oldest daughter, Maggie, was going through her “horse phase,” and we were able to arrange a “Performer for a Day” experience at the Arabian Nights dinner show in Kissimmee.

Arabian Nights

Putting the kids in charge of a day of the family vacation took the pressure off Dad (the travel planner of the family).  The girls were assured of at least one day entirely devoted to whatever it was they wanted to do, right down to what attraction they wanted to ride next.  It also stopped any sibling rivalry and bickering that sometimes happens during the trip.  We could respond to any complaints with, “this is HER day, and she gets to decide; you’ll have your day to make all the decisions on…” It worked like a charm.  In fact, it worked so well, we always let each family member plan one day of the family vacation ever since.  I love having the help with the travel planning, the kids get even more excited for their chosen activities, and it’s really fun to see what the kids plan to do.

Kid Planning Hack

Speaking of travel, are you struggling for a last minute holiday present?  Why not give the gift of travel?  You can find gift cards that can be redeemed for many airlines and hotel chains.  Our family loves Embassy Suites by Hilton for their large, two-room suites and cook to order breakfasts.  You can purchase a Hilton HHonors gift card that can be used at any Hilton branded hotel such as: Hilton Garden Inn, Doubletree by Hilton, and, our favorite, Embassy Suites.

DISCLOSURE: This is a sponsored post written by me in support of a paid campaign by Embassy Suites.  However, all opinions expressed are my own.  For more family travel news, reviews, and trip reports, be sure to follow Adventures by Daddy on Twitter and “like” our Facebook page, too.

About Dave Parfitt

Married, father of two girls, and living in the heart of the Finger Lakes. I'm a runner with a PhD in neuroscience and a passion for travel.