Gone are the days of the Sears Wish Book, when kids carefully inspected every page, preparing their holiday lists.
Now, most families spend their free time on one kind of device or another. Odds are those devices also are on many children’s wish lists — smartphones, tablets, gaming, 3D, VR and so on. Just about all of these items also add to the “screen time” phenomenon.
However, there is a new trend in holiday giving: parents now want to provide the gift of family time, bonding and memories. One way to do that is to give the gift of family vacations.
I went to my girls when they were just 7 and 9 years old and said, “Mommy has an idea for Christmas this year. What if, instead of all the presents you get to open on Christmas Morning, you get only a few small things and we take a cruise as a big family gift?”
A bit to my surprise, they were all in — they didn’t need any convincing at all. I was particularly worried about my 7-year-old; I thought it would be a lot to ask her to give up dozens of presents, but she instinctively saw the value of spending uninterrupted family time, seeing the ocean for the first time, and experiencing the kids clubs. These were things she had wanted but never asked for, so while I thought I was asking a lot of her, I actually was giving a lot to her.
If you are thinking about giving the gift of a family vacation, here are some tips for you.
Do you want to make it extra special?
Invite the grandparents or maybe your siblings and their kids. This kind of vacation will rejuvenate the whole family. Plus, the parents get a chance at having a “date night” while all the cousins play and the grandparents take care of things. Believe me, they don’t mind — as a matter of fact, they get to relive the glory days, now through the eyes of their grandchildren.
Where to Go?
Consider giving the gift of a magical vacation to one of the many Disney destinations available. Options include Walt Disney World in Florida, Disney Cruise Line (which includes a stop at its private island, Castaway Cay), Disneyland in California, Aulani Resort and Spa in Ko Olina, Hawaii, or one of the many countries offered by Adventures by Disney.
There’s also a great big, beautiful world outside of Disney, with options like cruising, all-inclusives, Universal Studios, SeaWorld, Legoland and so much more.
Tricia Scott os the owner of Visit Mickey Vacations, the exclusive travel partner of Northeast Ohio Parent. For more information, including special offers for Northeast Ohio Parent readers, go to visitmickey.com/