As you prepare for a family vacation, getting ready for the trip offers you a great opportunity to teach your children a valuable life lesson about organization. Staying organized and understanding the process of organization will help them throughout their lives. They need organization skills in school, at home, and on the job. What could be more fun than learning what might not be the most exciting of lessons by helping the family to get organized for an upcoming vacation!? Teaching kids about organizing through travel is a great way to get more out of your vacation!
Teaching Kids About List Making
No matter the age of your child, begin your organization process by making lists together. Include all the things you need to do or need to pack before your vacation begins. Show them how to organize a list into categories, such as clothing, toiletries, paperwork, making reservations, and home preparation (such as arranging for pet care and mail pickup).
Limit younger children to a specific area, such as packing their clothing or a carry-on bag for entertainment on the plane or in the car. Older children, however, can help cover a larger range of the details of planning the trip. They can help pack, do laundry, research attractions, and other items. Explain how each of these things plays a role in ensuring that your vacation goes smoothly.
“Making a list and checking it twice” isn’t just for Santa. Teach your children to double check their lists and make sure that everything is completed. This attention to detail will help you to avoid unexpected surprises – and trips to the local mall for socks and underwear – once you arrive at your destination.
Compiling Travel Details
As you begin to work through your travel planning list, let your children assist in making the plans and gathering together the details you’ll need along the way. Look online for a travel planner that will help you to organize all of your travel details, such as hotel reservation numbers, ticket info, flight times and numbers, and rental car details. Show your children how to fill out these forms, print them, and where to store them for easy access.
Older and younger children alike can help as you’re making the final plans for your trip, as well. Show them hotel and attraction options and help them to make “pros and cons” lists to organize your options. Then, sit down as a family and make the final decisions on your travel plans together. Everyone becomes more excited and engaged in a trip that when they help in planning.
Teaching Kids About Organizing Luggage
When it comes time to pack, ask leading questions as you’re putting items into your luggage. Talk about what is best to put in a carry-on bag (i.e. a change of clothes and pajamas for everyone, travel documents, medications, and other must-have items) and explain that part of organization is preparing for the unexpected. If you’ve got everything you need for an overnight in, you’re ready if there’s a delay in receiving your luggage.
If your vacation includes a long drive, show them simple organizational hacks. For example, pack a single bag for each overnight stop with everyone’s clothing and toiletries together. This helps avoid unpacking and repacking the car for only a one night stay on the road.
Organizing your trip together is not only a great lesson for your kids, but it also lets the family bonding that you experience as you travel begin even earlier!