When we went to Denmark last year, E brought along a DIY travel itinerary with him. It was a booklet made of A5-size papers detailing our plans throughout the trip with a map, photos of places as well as the cultural icons of the country printed all over them. It proved to be a success with the kids, having known what to expect and where they would be going next.
I found it really useful too, especially for Ewan who prefers to be kept informed of the events ahead. They were very cooperative and contented throughout the whole trip – with minimal whining and complaining – making that holiday a very fun and memorable one…even when the itinerary comprised some grown-up, not-so-fun attractions (museums, cathedrals, monuments, and more buildings).
In preparation for our upcoming trip to the Southwest part of UK in a couple of weeks’ time, I have made yet another travel picture itinerary for the kids. Because we will be “unschooling” (also known as ponteng sekolah) both of them for a week and do not want E to go around telling his classmates that he’s skipping school for Peppa Pig World – at least not so soon until we have informed his teacher – they have not been told about this holiday yet. All they knew about this picture itinerary was, it might be a dream-come-true holiday one day! 😀
“Mummy is just daydreaming and making a story about what we can do during a family vacation,” I explained.
So here’s a quick guide on how to make a kids-approved travel itinerary:
STEP 1: Think of all the things that you would like to include in the booklet. I went to Google Images and downloaded the country’s maps, flag, traditional food, iconic item (coin, notes, flower, building etc.), famous people as well as photos of our accommodations and places we will be visiting. Gather them in a folder.
STEP 2: You may use whichever software you are more familiar with as your canvas. I chose Microsoft Powerpoint as it’s more flexible and easier to insert and drag images around. Decide the size of your booklet. I went with A5 as it’s easier for little hands to hold and flip, and more compact to be kept into our hand-carry bag without crumpling it. For the storyline, I placed the title and map on the booklet cover, followed by day-by-day plans. Depending on the age of your child, you may want to include more visuals and keep the words simple and minimal. Add in arrows as well as fun and happy smiling pictures to pump up the excitement.
STEP 3: Print them out in colour, cut them into sizes, staple the papers together and tape the edge for more durability. You can also laminate them if you want. Don’t forget to save your template; you can always use it for your next vacation.
To allow time for discussion about what to look out for in the country and suggestions on other things that the kids may want to include, I usually “release” the itinerary booklet to the kids 3-4 weeks prior to the vacation. Make sure you bring along the booklet for your holiday and have your kids safeguard it throughout so they can always refer to them.
BENEFITS OF HAVING A PICTURE TRAVEL ITINERARY FOR KIDS
- Minimise complaints and whining from kids during the trip due to boredom and not knowing where and what they will be doing next
- Encourage curiosity of different cultures and instill a passion for travel, raising a citizen of the world
- Display the importance of planning in advance and advantages of being organised
- Build up the excitement to a wonderful getaway (I’m already so looking forward to it!)
It’s easy to collate, even more fun to talk and experience it with your husband and kids. Try it for your next family holiday!