Oh, the places they’ll go. . .*

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?


  1. Are we still going to Austria? Have passports; will travel!

  2. AnnetteK says

    This is completely awesome! We're going on our first REAL vacation in April to the Grand Canyon. It's not tied to a business trip or visiting family and I can't wait! I'm hoping Josh learns to love to travel and I might just have to steal this idea of having him plan one of our next trips. He just needs to learn a little more geography first. 🙂

  3. Fabulous idea.

    Alaska. I really want to visit.

  4. Actually I think it was MY idea. Unless the whole thing goes to crap…then it was Christina's idea.

  5. What a cool idea! For now our big budget family trips need to involve visits back to the States, but maybe we'll implement this on a smaller in-country (or maybe in-Europe) scale :).

  6. What do you mean no Disney? IT'S THE HAPPIEST PLACE ON EARTH! Seriously though, I love this idea. My kids are working on this right now but only hypothetically! They have a million dollar budget…they have to save some, give some to charity, buy 10 things and plan a vacation. Cole is planning an RV tour of the US. Paige keeps going back and forth. First she wanted to go to Genovea because it was in the Princess Diary movie until she found out it was a fake place. Then she thought Hawaii and now I think its Paris. There's a Disneyland in Paris.

  7. such a great idea, can't wait to find out in a couple of years where you go!

  8. Tracey - Just Another Mommy Blog says

    Very cool idea! Hope it's lots of fun!

  9. That is SUCH and awesome idea!

    But no following Justin Beiber? Meanie.

  10. What is this $5 savings plan? The link doesn’t seem to work, and I am very intrigued. Please help me? 😉
    Thanks, Pauline

    • Christina says

      Sorry about the broken link—it’s from my Blogger-to-Wordpress conversion. It should be fixed by now. . .

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