(BPT) - The past few months have brought changes to every family, including postponing or changing plans for fun vacations. Whether your vacation plans were put on hold or you enjoyed a scaled-down trip or staycation, now’s a great time to engage the whole family in exploring virtual vacations — and planning future adventures together. While at home, you can foster a “vacation state of mind” by reminiscing about past trips and sparking everyone's imagination about future travels.
Here are some ways to encourage your children to think beyond your four walls and prompt curiosity about new places.
1. Take a virtual trip
Ever wanted to wander through the Roman Colosseum, visit the galleries of the Louvre or see Stonehenge up close and personal? Now you can discover these and other places via Things to Do From Home from Expedia.
Using this site, you can experience exciting city tours, visit faraway museums or even travel to the space station! Love the outdoors? Take a virtual hike through Yellowstone or scuba dive in the tropics. How about a train journey to the Arctic Circle or a trip to Patagonia? And that’s just the beginning — other options include music concerts, archaeological sites, Broadway shows and international cooking classes.
Bonus: This is a great resource for school-aged kids working on school projects!
2. Make a scrapbook
Have fun with your family while reminiscing about past vacations. Collect postcards, photos or souvenirs you have from the trip to create a real-life or virtual scrapbook from your vacation. Spark creativity and jog memories by encouraging kids to write stories about the trip and draw pictures of what they remember. Then they can share the scrapbook virtually with their classroom or grandparents.
3. Interview family members
Next time you have a video chat with grandparents or other relatives, kids can ask them to describe their favorite adventures or memorable journeys. Children can then write their stories or record them, and ask if relatives have photos or souvenirs from those trips to help bring them to life. Tell your kids about favorite journeys from your own childhood, too.
4. Imagine future journeys
Use virtual tools like the Expedia.com site and tourism websites to help kids dream about future trips to places near and far, and imagine what they would do on those vacations. How will they get there? What will they do when they arrive?
Learn about this place through food, music and culture:
- Learn a little of the language spoken there, if it’s not your own
- Cook or order a popular dish from that region to taste
- Listen to music from that area
- Read a book or watch a movie set in that location
5. Use the free Expedia Explorers Journal
Download the Expedia Explorers Journal to help you do all the above activities and more! Print out the free journal online, and help your kids fill out the pages with memories of their favorite vacations, pictures of places they’ve been and want to visit, and many other fun activities.
They’ll also find prompts to seed curiosity, inspire conversations and encourage self-expression. Filling out the journal will spark lively discussions at the dinner table or when kids video chat with extended family.
The journal will help your kids:
- Reflect on and share past travel memories.
- Engage with other family members with a spirit of adventure.
- Learn about places around the world. Let kids imagine and dream about visiting faraway lands, perhaps to learn about their own cultural heritage, to bring school history lessons to life or to immerse themselves in another culture.
- Dream about future travels by imagining the possibilities. How far away is it? What are the different ways to get there? Where would you stay, and what kinds of adventures would you like to have there?
- Plan your next trip by looking at maps, taking virtual tours, researching campgrounds or hotels, and learning about transportation options.
Share what your young explorers create on social media, using the hashtag #ExpediaExplorers.