For many people, planning and anticipating a vacation is half the fun. Who doesn’t love counting down the days and looking forward to all the exciting things you’re going to do in your new surroundings? Our Top 5 Family Activities For Planning Vacation Home Stays below offers ideas for activities families can do together at home to build anticipation and prepare for their upcoming vacations.
1. Share the News
Parents can surprise the kids with a fun announcement about their upcoming vacation home stay. One way to do this is by preparing and sharing a meal of delicious dishes typically served at your destination. To make the reveal more festive, decorate the table to reflect the area you will be visiting.
Another option is to give a gift that hints at the trip. It could be something you ordered from your branded vacation home rental, such as the gift shop at Encore Resort, or from local attractions. For those coming to Orlando, there are many themes to choose from with the top-rated beaches, world-class theme parks and renowned Reunion golf courses. A present also could include items the kids will use on their vacation, such as a new swimsuit, beach towel or guidebook.
2. Get Creative
Once the trip has been unveiled, it’s time to get the kids involved in planning. Start by creating a countdown calendar so everyone will have a visual reminder of the family’s departure. This can be as simple as printing photos of your destination and blank calendars and asking younger kids to create a big collage. Teens might enjoy making a calendar digitally on a photo website and then having it professionally printed. Encore Resort has a gallery of photos to choose from, and resort Instagram accounts also are good sources of photos for personal use.
Another fun project is making a customized vacation journal. Kids can either design the pages or find free printables online. Use heavy cardstock and a mix of empty sheets for writing, fill-in-the-blank answers and places to attach photos to help each family member remember their special memories. You might also make a pocket page for little keepsakes, such as a napkin from Finns or a wristband from the Water Park. Then take the pages to an office supply store and have them bound for a completed journal. Finally, if you are vacationing in a place where you will be collecting autographs, you can create your own autograph books using the above steps.
3. Start Saving for Souvenirs
Everyone can help with this project. Many families find it fun — and challenging — to see how much change they can collect before they hit the road. First, find and decorate a container. If you have bottled water delivered or you buy distilled jugs, these containers can be recycled for this project. They are large enough for the whole family to share for a joint fund. If each individual would like his or her own container, try a mason jar or small cookie jar. Of course, you also can buy premade jars that even have digital counters in the lids so you know at all times how much you have saved. You might want to write your goal on the jar, such as “Spa Service at Encore” or “T-shirts from Disney World.”
Next, decide how the change will be accumulated. Maybe start with a scavenger hunt in the house or car and see who can find the most lost change. Afterward, kids might have the opportunity to earn extra change for certain chores or good behavior. Parents might decide to forgo fancy coffees or other small expenses and save the money instead. Let each person suggest how they think they can contribute.
4. Make a Detailed Packing List
Creating a packing list for your vacation is both practical and exciting. It cements your family’s plans and helps decrease the likelihood that you will forget items you need and want to take with you. Look for sample packing lists online and remember that going to a vacation home might require different supplies than you would bring to a hotel. For example, if you are staying at Encore Resort, you might want to pack toys for your private pool or laundry detergent for your in-house washer and dryer. Don’t forget that if you buy new shoes, you should break them in before arriving at your destination. This is especially important for locations where you will spend a lot of time on your feet sight-seeing or having fun in theme parks like Walt Disney World, Universal Orlando, and SeaWorld Orlando.
5. Have Family Movie Nights
Look for movies or television shows about the area you are visiting or that were filmed in your vacation destination that the whole family can watch together. Quite a few television shows have been set at Walt Disney World through the years. It’s cool to be in those places yourself after seeing them on the screen. If you are planning a visit to Universal Orlando or Walt Disney World when you stay at Encore Resort, be sure to watch the movies that their hugely popular lands are built upon – the Harry Potter and Star Wars franchises. You will appreciate all the amazing details in these immersive experiences much more if you know the background stories. Also, Encore Resort has its own YouTube channel of videos that families can watch to see all the cool things to do on their vacations.
What are you waiting for? Reserve a luxury vacation home at Encore Resort at Reunion and start planning with your family! You’ll make memories at your home and ours.