Traveling with your children opens the doors to so many different lessons that you can teach them. That’s right! Your family vacation isn’t just about the rest and relaxation you’ve all earned throughout the year, it also offers a plethora of valuable life skills and lessons that will serve your children well all through their lives. For example, traveling and the planning that goes along with it is a wonderful tool for teaching kids about money, budgeting, and more! Depending on their ages, involve them in planning various aspects of your next vacation and begin to impart some of these great lessons that will come in handy as they grow older.
Teaching Kids About Saving Money
With younger children, the simplest way to use travel for teaching kids about saving money is through an allowance. Talk with them about the things they might like to do or see while they are on vacation, such as paid attractions, time in the arcade, or souvenirs they might want to purchase. Make them responsible to save a certain portion of the money for their own “want” items or activities and help them understand how much of their weekly allowance they’ll need to set aside to make those things happen.
Involve your older children on a larger scale; not only saving money for their own purchases but also learning more about the family vacation fund. Talk with them about the overall costs of a vacation and what you can afford if you put away $200 a month versus $300 a month. Explain that in order to find the money for a larger vacation, they must make sacrifices throughout the year, such as fewer expensive outings to the movies or dinners out to pricey restaurants. They will quickly learn that waiting for a movie to come out on their favorite streaming service or having a burger off the grill at home means more fun when you take your family trip.
Teaching Kids About Creating a Budget
Once younger children have a little chunk of money of their own, they are often tempted to spend it right away. When teaching kids about money, explaining how a budget works is important to help stave off the disappointment they might feel at the end of their trip if they spend all of their funds the first day. Help them to figure out how much they can afford to spend at the arcade or how many times they can get ice cream as a treat and still have enough money for the stuffed animal that they want as a memento of their trip.
Involve older children directly in planning the family’s budget for the trip. Let them help you shop for hotels, flights, and theme park tickets and find the best prices for what you want. Show them restaurant menus and guide them through estimating how much meals will cost and make decisions together on where your family will eat. Don’t forget to remind them to set aside money in your budget for incidentals or emergencies. These lessons about money will translate to real life as they grow and become responsible for their own bills – and vacations!
Teaching kids about money through travel with these two simple lessons will give them important life skills that they will need as adults. When they see exactly what’s involved in making a vacation happen on the monetary side, they’ll have a greater appreciation for their trip and be more conscious of spending while you’re on vacation. It’s definitely a win-win situation for everyone!