Dad-ding is an advanced form of adult-ing and it is not easy. I appreciate this in my own dad and watch my husband be a great father to our kids. My dad taught me to climb, backpack, ski, love learning, work hard and the joy of a pithy rejoinder. Women do 90% of family vacation planning and they wouldn't mind some help. Guys you have awesomeness to share. Travel is a way to give your perspective and wisdom to the little hooligans. Hopefully, they will grow up with a balanced and open view of the world because of it. Men here is what you can do. It won't take long.
Ask yourself some questions.
- How has your world view been shaped by where you have been?
- What lessons do you want your kids to learn about the world?
- What are you good at?
- How do you like to interact with people and places you visit?
The answers to questions like these will give you ideas about the way you want to travel with your family. Maybe you want your kids to appreciate history more, interact with people who look and act differently or learn a new language, then you will know that a all-inclusive resort is not the vacation for you. Most families today want to raise responsible world citizens and that can be the direct result of taking your kids traveling. Sharing what you are passionate about with your children is a great way to bond as a family. If you love skiing, running, surfing, art, golf or anything then you can travel together and share that passion.
Decide on a Budget
Travel with your kids is an investment in their future. Like music lessons or sports camps, you are investing in the growing of their minds and bodies. Please, do not go into debt to travel but do make it a priority when you are deciding how to invest your resources. Not to stereotype too much, in my experience men are more often the money handler of their families. You can use that strength (if that is yours) to involve the kids in the vacation savings plan. See what happens when you tell the kids that they can spend on vacation all the money they make selling unwanted toys at a garage sale. When they ask for anything at the store you have a perfect "we are saving for an awesome trip" response. Remember that time is also a resource that needs to be budgeted.
Plan the Trip
Maybe my earlier statement was misleading. This part does take some time, if you want to do it yourself. Planning takes 20 hours on average. You are perfectly capable of planning an awesome vacation on your own but maybe you just don't want to or have the time. So if you can find 30 minutes to talk to a travel consultant and trade a couple emails, then you can hire out this part. Either way the questions above and the budget you have determined will make this process go pretty smoothly. Keep in mind that you have 18 summers with the kids to do several different kinds of trips. If you are just dipping your family's toes in the travel waters, do something easy like a cruise. You can work your way up to guided tour of New Zealand or self drive in Iceland. Crescendo in the teen years with hiking Machu Picchu or an African Safari.
Maybe you want to help more with this task or maybe you are a newly single dad who is taking on this task alone for the first time. Where ever you are in life, you dads have something important to share with your families. I hope this helps and encourages you to take the first step.
Ready to get started?
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