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Planning a family trip



A few tips for traveling safely

  • Learn about the destination: entry and exit requirements, vaccinations, laws and customs of the country visited.
  • Gather travel documents: passport, plane tickets, visa, medical documents, identification cards, permits, medical documents.
  • Bring photocopies of your important documents to keep separate from the originals.
  • Leave useful documents with your loved ones in the event of a problem: travel itinerary, copy of the identification page of your passport and your travel insurance, how to communicate with you in the event of an emergency.
  • Make sure your child always has identifying information with them in case you become separated.
  • Bring a letter of consent from the absent parent and a copy of the legal documents regarding custody of the child.
  • Check, if you have group insurance at work, if it includes travel insurance.
  • Check with your credit card issuer, some cards also offer protection.
  • Check to see if your home insurance contains a liability clause that covers your holiday activities.
  • Check to see if your auto insurance has an endorsement to insure a rental vehicle in North America.
  • Check to see if your car insurance includes roadside assistance if you plan to travel by car.
  • Get some foreign currency.
  • Check if the ATMs in the destination country accept your debit or credit card.

How can I include my child in planning a family trip?

Before the trip

  • Find activity ideas 

Have a brainstorming session where each family member suggests an activity. 


By involving your child in the planning process, you teach your child not only to take responsibility, but also to manage the wait between expressing a desire and its fulfilment. 


Travel planning is a long-term project, and it's important to learn how to manage the time leading up to the departure date. If your child has difficulty understanding the concept or seems unmotivated, using a calendar to count the number of sleeps until departure may be a good strategy. 


  • Compile suggestions and come to a consensus 

Weigh the pros and cons of each activity chosen. It is best to plan for more than one activity and have your child participate in the final decision. 


At this age, your child is able to express and explain preferences to the family while taking into account the trip plan and the preferences of others. Your child is also learning to compromise and re-examine certain preferences. 


During the trip

  • Discuss the itinerary and time management 

Organization is essential when travelling, but it's equally important to reserve blocks of time where nothing is planned. Over the course of the trip, everyone must be able to express their needs and wants. Set aside some time for a break, a nap or an unplanned activity. 


At each stage, you can include your child in decisions or give him or her responsibilities. As a parent, you know your child's strengths and how to showcase them. Why not use this opportunity to work on or develop new skills? 


  • Ask everyone to contribute 

Each family member can set aside a certain amount of money for a special activity or as pocket money during the trip. Set a realistic financial goal for each person. 


By doing this, you will teach your child responsibility. If you do not already give your child a weekly allowance, you can start doing so (e.g., $1 per week), so your child has something to put aside for the trip. 


If it looks like your child will not meet the savings goal he or she set, you can set up other financing solutions. This way, your child will develop self-esteem, pride and self-reliance. 


After the trip


Discuss the outcome, the satisfaction and the money spent during the trip. Examples of questions to ask: 

  • Did we plan the activities well? The schedule? The transportation? The money saved? 

  • Did we stick with the budget? 

  • Did you have a good time? 

  • Were most of the family's wants and needs met? 

  • Did you spend all your pocket money? 

  • Are you happy with the decisions you made about your personal spending? 

  • Did you have enough money? How much more would you have liked? 

  • How much money do you have left? 

  • If you could do things over again, would you make different choices? Why?