Kids are easy to please with travel. They will be excited to go anywhere you take them but yes, they also ask to go to Lego Land (or Disney or Harry Potter). I will eventually take my kids to the theme parks and I am sure it will be fun, but here are some things I have learned about what kids like about traveling to any destination. Not every trip with your children needs to be about a cartoon character.
Time With Family
In a video that made the internet rounds a few years ago, adults were asked if they could have dinner with anyone in the world who would they choose. The adults answered famous people, politicians, freedom fighters, musicians and the like. Then the video cuts to the adults watching their children get asked the same question. All the kids answered their family. Tears ensued. I took it as a great reminder that children know something that we forget as adults, being with loved ones is a gift to be cherished. Your children will love where ever you take them because they get to be with you. Ok, teenagers may have some different opinions, but even though they don't want to admit it they need time with their families too. So, do not worry about whether the kids will like a destination, as long as you are excited they will be happy to go with you.
Attention from Parents
Life is hectic. I cannot speak with authority about everyone's life but mine and the people I know seem to be moving at mach 1 with lots of turbulence. Even if you make concerted efforts to focus on the kids and give them your full attention (before they misbehave) everyday, they will always want more (the little stinkers really do love their parents). I carry some mom-guilt over not playing with them as much as they ask me to, and don't look forward to when they stop asking. Vacations often provide opportunities to spend more of that fun time with your kids. You can take cards and games to play at night. You will spend less time on phones and computers (no work on a real vacation). And you can pick activities that are fun for everyone. They do need your positive attention and vacations are a time when it is easier for you to want to give it to them.
Think about your own childhood and what fun stories you have. Kids love stories and they especially like to tell stories of the fun things they have done. You have 18 summers with your children to write the story of their childhood. This story will shape the person they grow up to be. The time and attention from you but also the experiences of seeing new and different people and places. Even a shy kid will enjoy the attention of getting to tell the story of a tour through Croatia during their summer break. So, now and for the rest of their lives they will cherish these stories, maybe there can even be one to Lego Land.
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