Tips and TricksTravelling with Kids

Your next family road trip – how to involve the kids?

It’s true – parents lead busy lives. Between work, school and keeping the household running, getting away from it all can seem like a distant fantasy.  We all want to make time for holidays, but how?

If the idea of planning, scheduling and paying for a trip away fills you with dread, read on. The humble family road trip is here to save the day!

Take a family road trip

family sitting on top of ute with caravan attached

(Image by @tripinavan – Shared with permission)

A family road trip is the more affordable, flexible alternative to an overseas jaunt. You can holiday on a timeline that suits you – it can last two days or two weeks. Go wherever you like and travel at your own pace.

Perhaps most importantly, a family road trip is the perfect opportunity to get the kids involved.

When organising a getaway, it can be tempting to wait until after the kids are in bed and do it all yourself.  However, you may be missing out on the opportunity to make the holiday magic last even longer for your family.

Planning a trip together can be an amazing opportunity to bond with your kids and teach them about budgeting and planning. Here are five practical ways you can get everyone involved in your next family road trip.

Tip One: Research together

Family lounging outside camper van over looking the ocean

(Image by @tripinavan – Shared with permission)

There’s nothing quite like looking forward to a trip away. For most of us, researching and planning your ideal holiday is half the fun!

By involving the kids at the research stage you can help build a sense of excitement for the whole family. Even if you’ve already selected your destination, let the kids find potential activities along the way.

Direct your child to age-appropriate blogs or videos about road trips. By seeing the fun and adventures other families have, their excitement and involvement will naturally grow. Your kids may even have ideas and suggestions you hadn’t previously considered!

Tip Two: Let the kids lock it in

3 kids over looking forest mountain views from above

(Image by @tripinavan – Shared with permission)

Why not involve your kids in the actual booking process? This is a great way for children to feel like they are part of the holiday planning experience and builds anticipation.

You don’t need to let children make any final decisions to involve them in booking (unless you want to). For example, when you’re locking in a holiday park booking, let your child click the final ‘book’ button.

This process should be supervised, and we don’t recommend providing access to your credit card. However, done well your kids will get a little thrill out of being the ones to lock in a booking – we promise.

Tip Three: Turn road trip planning into a budget lesson

young boy sitting on a chair in the desert writing in a notebook

(Image by @tripinavan – Shared with permission)

Learning about the costs involved in a family holiday can teach kids about budgeting, as well as enhance their appreciation of the trip.

Financial literacy is important for all kids. A family road trip is a perfect opportunity to show them how a real-life budget works.

You could explain the process of saving up for a big treat by showing the kids how much money you need to put away each week. If you want to take this to the next level, your kids could even contribute to a holiday fund or particular activity from their piggy bank.

However, there are other ways to get the kids involved. If they are old enough, you could share your actual budget and explain how it is allocated to accommodation, fuel and food. You could also explain the cost of a favourite activity relative to how much time it takes to earn money to pay for it.

If you have a particularly savvy tot, you could even let them create a draft holiday budget for you. You never know – you may have a mini-travel agent on your hands!

Tip Four: Explore your own backyard

Map of Australia with a trip plan drawn on it

(Image by @4boysandacaravan – Shared with permission)

While overseas trips are favoured by many, a family road trip is the perfect way to showcase your own beautiful backyard. Depending on where your journey takes you, you can explore incredible native flora, fauna and landscapes.

Plus, a local family holiday provides a unique environment where children can learn practical skills and better understand the world around them.

Tip Five: Start a family road trip count-down

4 boys jumping into a pool

(Image by @4boysandacaravan – Shared with permission)

A classic way to build anticipation for a family road trip is a count-down. Simple tools such as a whiteboard or calendar can be most satisfying. Let your kids cross each day off the calendar, or update the days remaining as they get closer to the big event.

You can gain so much from involving the kids in your holiday plans, so what are you waiting for?

Planning an epic family road trip? We can help you find holiday parks along the way here. You can also download our android / itunes app. Follow us on FacebookInstagram, or join our group – Everything Holiday Parks! Australia for travel inspiration.