You can plan out all the fun and excitement you want for your spring or summer road trip, but if the kids aren’t cool with the planning it can all go off the rails in a heartbeat.

So involve them in the research. Your kids know how to Google up their favorite YouTube videos, they can poke around websites and photos and online videos about the locations you’re going to. So prep them in advance. Show them videos of places you think they might like and ask their opinion – and then get them to make a list.

My boys love lists. On Spring Break, as my wife was getting ready to head to Banff with the boys for a night, she kept asking them what they wanted to do. She was thinking shopping and a swim, but is that what they would want to do?

So Charlie put pen to paper and started thinking of his favorite things to do in Banff and new things he wanted to try. This is the list he started to come up with:

charlie list

And then this is the checked off list:

Charlie Checklist

The items weren’t crazy. They were simple, achievable things like “have yummy food” and “have fun,” and they allowed for bucket list checks to be made throughout the trip. Charlie would dictate what still needed to happen, what they had already accomplished, and it made him involved in the vacation planning process.

The boys slept well, ate yummy food, had some treats, visited some friends who were staying at another hotel, and accomplished the list!

banff collage

Whether you’re planning a family reunion or a big road trip this summer, get your kids to make a fun list of things they’ll need to do on the road. This will keep them out of their iPads for a bit trying to get that “spot wildlife” check box, and it will make them feel like the vacation is as much their idea as it is yours!

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