There is truly something wonderful about traveling with your family, and despite any headaches and hassles you may encounter along the way, these are the memories that stick. It is these stories that you will look back on fondly when your children are older, remembering the funny times, the crazy times, and yes, even the frustrating times.
More and more people are moving away from the idea of giving stuff as gifts, exchanging material things for experiences - places and events that you can do together as a family, rather than the favorite toy of the week that will be discarded moments after it's opened. There are special ways that you can make these experiences even more memorable, to ensure that these times really do last a lifetime. Here are 10 ways you can make memories while traveling with family.
10 Let Your Kids Be The Photographers
Kids love having important jobs, and giving them the job of photographing your travel experiences will be a highlight of their trip. Give them a disposable camera or an old cell phone, and let them capture the moments that they find special and exciting along your travels.
Not only will you score some great pictures, you will get to see how your child experienced the trip, and there is something magical about seeing your vacation through your child's eyes. What did they find most exciting? What did they want to capture in a photo? It will be these photos that you look back on fondly when they are older, and they will treasure the photos they captured as well.
9 Keep A Journal, And Have Your Kids Keep One Too
Everyone experiences trips differently, and it is the little minute details of a trip that you often forget once time passes. But those little details are often the funny things that you will treasure when you read through your journal years later. Try to get in the habit of spending 10 minutes at the end of each day writing about what you did that day, what was special and memorable, what was funny, etc.
If your children are old enough, have them keep a journal too, and have them join you during those 10 minutes each evening, writing about their own experiences of the day. They will look back on these journals years later and treasure the little things they decided to capture and write about. It is also great practice for them to work on their writing, which never hurts either!
8 Create A Souvenir Display
Even if you're not an overly crafty person, there are tons of simple ways to display your souvenirs and treasures from a recent trip. This way, the little items don't get lost in a drawer and forgotten about, but rather you have a lovely display that will remind you of your special time together as a family.
There are great shadow box displays that you can purchase at any craft store; fill them up with your favorite things from your trip, and display it in your home. Have your kids help too, perhaps everyone can choose one or two special items that they want included in the frame. There are also mason jar displays that work the same way, they hold all the treasures from the trip for you to display. There are lots of ideas on the internet to get your creative juices flowing!
7 Mail Postcards To Your Home From Your Trip
This is such a fun way to make memories when you are traveling with your family, and the bonus is that when you are coming home from your trip (likely feeling a tad disappointed that the trip is over) you will arrive home to a bunch of postcards from your destination. These will surely put a smile on your face, as you recall where you were when you wrote them and mailed them, and they make a lovely collection to keep afterward.
Get your kids to write themselves some postcards too. They will enjoy reading what they wrote, and every kid enjoys getting mail! They will have some exciting mail waiting for them when they return home.
6 Buy A Specific Ornament From Every Place You Visit
This is a lovely tradition that many people have started doing. Choose a favorite ornament to buy, and buy the same type of ornament at every place you visit. Some people choose to buy a special Christmas tree ornament at every place they visit; that way, when it comes time to decorate their tree each year, they get to reminisce about all the wonderful places they visited.
Perhaps it's a wind chime, or a special mug, or a fridge magnet. Whatever it is you choose, try to make a point of collecting the same thing from every place you visit. Have your children take part in this as well, selecting what item they want to bring home.
5 Create A Photo Book Online
This goes along with letting your child be the photographer during your trip, have them help you create a photo book once you are home from your travels. Choose your favorite photos, and them put them together in a lovely photo book to cherish for years to come. Kids are so tech-savvy these days, that they can help to design and arrange the photos in the book.
There are countless online services available that you can use to make your book, and many of them offer discounts and sales throughout the year. These photo books would also make a lovely gift for grandparents, too!
4 Map It!
One way to display where you have traveled as a family, is to buy a large map and hang it somewhere in your home. Every time you travel to a new place, put a pin or a little flag on the map, showing where you traveled. Have your children help with this task as well, as it makes a great geography lesson too!
Over time, your kids will look back at the map and recall all the adventures they went on together. It's a wonderful way to track where you've been and how many different countries or cities you've been to. You could even plot from your home to the destination using a piece of string tied to each end of a pin.
3 Do A Favorite Tradition At Every Place You Visit
Perhaps there is something that you all enjoy doing as a family that you could do at each place you visit. Maybe it's going for High Tea somewhere, like my daughter and I love to do. Perhaps it's sampling a certain type of food at each place - maybe trying a local favorite dessert at each place you visit, to see what it's like. Or, maybe it is more athletically-inclined, perhaps watching a sports game at each destination.
Choose a favorite tradition that you enjoy doing as a family, and try to do that on every trip you take. It will become something that you all look forward to each time.
2 Learn About The Destination Beforehand And Make Plans Together
Your children will be much more engaged in the trip if they've learned about it ahead of time. Let them know where you're traveling to, read about the destination, and learn about significant places that you could visit when you're there. Make plans together about places you want to see and things you want to do on your trip.
Looking at pictures of the place you're traveling to will help your children to visualize where they are going, which will enhance their excitement about the trip. Have everyone choose one thing that they really want to do during the trip, and make a list of the things you will do once you're there.
1 Create A Memory Book Together After Your Trip
Create a memory book once you are home from your trip, adding in special items that you've collected from your travels. These could include brochures from places you visited, luggage tags, plane tickets, photos, maps, and any other paraphernalia you gathered along the way.
Again, this is a great activity to do as a family, as you'll have a great time remembering all the things you did on the trip. By doing it as a family, you will also select the most special items to include in the memory book, which will really enhance everyone's memory of the trip. This memory book will be treasured for years to come, and it is a great way to recall all those wonderful memories you created as a family.