10 Creative Ways to Surprise Your Kids with a Trip

Telling your kids they’re going on a trip can often be as excit­ing as leav­ing for the trip itself, espe­cially if you have some fun with deliv­er­ing the news. I’ve col­lected some pretty cre­ative ideas with some help of friends and fam­ily who wanted to sur­prise their kids with a trip. Here are some of my favorites.

 

1) Don’t tell them until it’s time for depar­ture. Although it might be hard to keep your trip secret and get all the pack­ing and prepar­ing done with­out your kids know­ing, this can be really fun.  I have fam­ily mem­bers who drove their fam­ily halfway to their cruise’s board­ing loca­tion. Their kids were under the impres­sion it was a quick road trip to visit some friends. Then when they stopped for lunch they revealed they were really headed for a week­long cruise. They kids were super excited and very sur­prised. You can also have your kids released early from school to leave for the trip but tell them they’re get­ting picked up early for the den­tist. Imag­ine their sur­prise when they find out the real reason!

 

2) Have a puz­zle cre­ated! You can have a puz­zle made with a pic­ture of your des­ti­na­tion, (you can even super-impose your fam­ily into it with Pho­to­shop) or  a mes­sage, such as “We’re going to Paris!” Have the kids put it together and wait for their reac­tion when they dis­cover the hid­den message.

 

3) Design a Scav­enger Hunt! This is a neat, inter­ac­tive way to tell your kids about an upcom­ing trip. Start with a lit­tle clue, such as some­thing they might pack, along with a mes­sage where to find the next clue. Fin­ish the hunt with your final mes­sage, such as “Pack all your clues into your lug­gage! We’re headed for London!”.

 

4) Many kids love get­ting pack­ages deliv­ered. Pack a big box full of helium bal­loons with the mes­sage tied to the strings  and place it on your porch. Tell them they have a deliv­ery and get the get the video cam­era rolling. (Make sure you bring it inside so the bal­loons don’t escape with your news!) When the kids open the box, they’ll get a col­or­ful, happy sur­prise! It may take a moment to find the mes­sage but this excit­ing deliv­ery will be hard to forget.

 

5) Make a video! When the kids expect their favorite movie, instead, load in a video you’ve made your­self explain­ing you’re all about the leave for Alaska! You can include pho­tos of your des­ti­na­tion and details to get them excited.

 

6) If it’s near a birth­day or gift-giving hol­i­day, try giv­ing them a themed gift  — some­thing that your child would take on the trip or some­thing that rep­re­sents the des­ti­na­tion. Wrap up a cool under water cam­era with a mes­sage – “Now You Can Take Great Pic­tures on Our Trip to Hawaii! We leave in 3 weeks!”

 

7) Crack open the news with a cus­tom made for­tune cookie. You can order a spe­cial for­tune cookie with a cus­tom mes­sage, such as “A spe­cial boy named Brian is des­tined for an amaz­ing week in Costa Rica!” Imag­ine his sur­prise when he real­izes it’s one cookie mes­sage that will come true!

 

 

8) Buy you kids a Scratch Map. Have fun with this cool map scratch­ing off the places you’ve already trav­eled (a mul­ti­col­ored map is under­neath the sil­ver coat­ing). Then explain there’ll soon be one more place to scratch off!  Share the news by point­ing to your new destination!

 

 

9) If your fam­ily is into geo­caching, this can be a great oppor­tu­nity to com­bine some­thing. You already love with excit­ing news of your next trip! All you have to do is plan ahead and plant the mes­sage at your final geo­caching loca­tion and have your cam­era ready to cap­ture their reaction.

 

10) Give them a travel jour­nal and a photo of your des­ti­na­tion inside. If your kids love to write about their trav­els try giv­ing them a travel jour­nal and include a post­card or pic­ture of your next des­ti­na­tion. It s a fun way to let them know they’re head­ing some­where new and a great way to record their mem­o­ries of the trip.

 

–Lau­rie Flan­nery for the Lux­ury Travel Mavens

Fea­ture photo by Shan­non Graham

What’s your favorite way to sur­prise your kids with a trip? Share you com­ment below!

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