If you haven’t planned any vacations this summer, perhaps you should think again. A new Harris Interactive survey found that adults remember childhood vacations more vividly than birthdays or school events, meaning even a quick weekend away together can create lasting memories.
We recently drove to a lake in the Adirondack Mountains and had a wonderful vacation (despite cloudy weather). My kids will remember driving on the boat in the lake, going tubing for the first time, visiting the local ice cream shop and playing at the town beach. I grew up with these memories and am glad to create them for my own kids.
How can you make a summer trip that will build memories to last a lifetime for your children.
1. Let your children make some big decisions. Build a vacation itinerary that incorporates activities (or even a specific day) dedicated just to your children, whether it means visiting a water park, taking an arts and crafts class together or spending the day at a hands-on children’s museum.
2. Learn a new activity, together. The activity doesn’t need to be off-the-charts; but it should be something different and something you can’t do at home. My six-year-old hadn’t tried tubing until our recent vacation. Vman and his dad climbed into the tube together. They both had permagrins the entire time!
3. Be local in a new locale. Rent a vacation home or stay in a local hotel. Visit local eateries, encourage your children to try new foods, check out the local town history and experience local parks, farmer’s markets and festivals. This is the perfect opportunity to bring the entire family. We’re lucky enough to live near Chicago so we can grab the train downtown for the day. It’s like a mini vacation without spending the money on an overnighter. Where can you go for a full day to explore and feel like you snuck in a mini-vacation?
4. Divide and conquer. Dad wants to play golf and you want to spend the day at the spa? Why not try a father-daughter golf lesson or a mother-son yoga class.
Ultimately, it doesn’t matter where you stay or go. What matters is that you do something. It can be as easy as camping out in the backyard or as elaborate as a last-minute car trip to a nearby destination. Now go out there and create some lasting memories for your kids and for you.