Sunday, April 2, 2017

How to Involve Children in Planning Family Overseas Trip

When we travel with our children, our focus is always on experiential learning as a family. When the children were younger, we would carefully plan the itinerary so as to expose them to different experience. Of course, we would still "play safe" by asking them first. Pointing at the pictures of the place of interest on a book or website, I would ask them, "Do you want to visit this place?"

Now they are primary school students, and have their own opinion in defining what an enjoyable trip would be, so we would involve them in the planning of family overseas trips.

How do we involve our children in planning our family overseas trips?

Reading and Watching Videos about the Country / Place
Reading and watching videos help the children to have a better understanding about the country / place that they are going to visit.

Before our trip to Okinawa (Japan) in June 2016, we got some books to introduce Japan to the children. They learnt about the Japanese culture and language through reading.




In addition, the children watch Japan Hour on Channel News Asia with me on Saturday evening. They can now speak a few basic Japanese sentences!


Shortlisting the Places to Visit
We borrowed some travel books from the library, and asked the children to choose the places that they want to visit. 

For our upcoming trip to Kyushu (Japan) in June 2017 (Yes, we are going to visit Japan again), I couldn't find many English travel books, but I could find some in traditional Chinese published in Taiwan or Hong Kong, so I asked the children to choose where they would like to visit by looking at the pictures! They happily tagged many pages with sticky notes!



Researching Online on the Shortlisted Places
After shortlisting some places, we asked the children to search the internet for more information about those places - the entrance fee, opening hours, activities, and so on.

For example, for the upcoming trip to Kyushu (Japan), our children had shortlisted African Safari from the travel book, so I asked them to read the official website, and did calculation on the admission fee for the family. They also checked what the animals that they can see there.



Calculating Budget
As usual, we would prepare a spreadsheet to estimate the budget for the trip. The children learnt that the trip would not be possible if we do not save money. When we told them about the air fare, they were surprised by the amount!


Packing
The children have to learn to make decision on what to bring, based on the weather, number of days that we are staying, and the type of activities.



How would you involve your children in planning the family overseas trip?

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2 comments :

  1. This is a great post! Do you have any recommendations for books about Singapore or Malaysia for a 4 year old? We are taking our son with us on a trip from the United states later this year.

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    1. There is a series of books on Singapore called Timmy & Tammy series, not sure whether you can get these books in US. You may check out our Singapore travelogue with your child:
      http://www.peipeihaohao.com/p/fun-activities-for-children.html

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