If your kids could go anywhere in the world, where would they go? In a couple of years, we will find out.
When my oldest was about five, my husband and I had an idea that we thought could tie into their homeschooling education: At the age of 13, each child will be given a budget, some guidelines, and then given free reign to plan our family vacation for that year.
Planning will include picking the country or area of the world, researching things to do, learning about local customs, and even comparing transportation costs. Oh, and learning a bit of the language so we can ask “Where is the public bathroom?” wherever we are.
We picked the age of thirteen because it means that my oldest will be 17 and still home when our youngest son is planning his trip.
Are we crazy? I’m actually really looking forward to this, especially since we are now–gulp–only two years away from my oldest hitting thirteen.
She is excited too and has talked about this for years. If she had to pick right now, she’d choose an island (hey, it’s cold in New England right now), though other years, she has brought up France, Italy and even South Dakota to visit Laura Ingalls’ homestead.
Now, just to clear up: We are not rolling in extra money, nor do we plan to mortgage the house to do this. But, if the comments I read to my “five-dollar savings plan” post are true, I believe that almost anyone can save a significant amount of money with some planning and discipline.
And there are plenty of ways to do this on a smaller scale, which is something we may have to consider if, for instance, my husband’s work situation changes. We could tell the kids they have to pick a place in the contiguous U.S., for instance. Or, nothing that requires an airline flight or a passport. Or just give them a budget to plan a few day-trips during a regular family vacation.
And, not to be a snob, but I do have some rules: No Disney or theme park trips, no cruises or all-inclusive resorts where you don’t go anywhere, and no city-to-city-following-Justin-Bieber’s-concert-tour.
My husband and I will also be in charge of all credit-card reservations and have the right to review and change any plans if we deem necessary. And if our kids want to go to a country that is in the midst of political upheaval, we’ll tell them to make another choice.
But, whatever they pick, I can’t wait to see where we go. Yes, that is one more rule: They have to bring their parents.
*Happy Birthday to Dr. Seuss!
If you could go anywhere in the world, where would you go?