Writer’s Workshop: No Fuss Vacationing

A cool winter day

A cool winter day in Japan on our last vacation


Going on vacations is something which I love to do. It is a great opportunity to explore new countries and soak in their language and culture. Getting away from city life here in Singapore and visiting the countryside is a great way of De-stressing and taking time off to relax and have fun. The best if that the holiday itinerary has been planned in advance and I need to do minimal to prepare for it (including the packing).

The kids and I are blessed as we are able to travel to many different places a year. Sometimes if time and finances permit we even  go to several different places a year.

I embrace changes and new experiences and try to give my kids  a chance to experience many different experiences. These experiences  create memories and knowledge which they will carry through their live time.

Going on a vacation is much more then having fun and enjoying oneself. It is an opportunity that you give yourself and your child to deal with ad-hoc situations and tap on his/her ingenuity given the limited resources on hand while bonding with them.

Bring the kids overseas on vacation gives me a chance to let them experience first hand how different or similar their current lifestyle is as compared to kids living in that particular country we are visiting. It is also a chance for them to practice patience, understanding and learn more about themselves and other family members.

Before our trip to Japan last December, the boys and I borrowed a couple of books on Japan.  We also surfed the internet to preview the places that we were visiting and planned our itinerary together.

I feel that it is absolutely important for the kids to be in-cooperated into the trip planning, execution and debriefing.  It is a good opportunity for them to pick up different skills and learn more about teamwork.

I’m sure that every trip that you bring the kids along there is certainly a lot of planning to be done. This time around nearly 90% of the planning was done by the boys themselves while we adults only supervised them and gave minimal help along the way.

As we were traveling with the extended family the activities which the boys chose had to be suitable for the whole family. This itself posed quite a challenge for them.

They were given the following tasks to complete

1) Plan the day activities at the theme parks we were visiting.

They were to choose  which ride to go on and which part of the theme park the  most time effective way of going about so that we could cover the most ground and rides given the limited time we had. There had to be rides which everyone in the family can go on to or if we were going on different rides due to height or age restrictions alternative activities had to be planned for the party which had to sit out on the rides.  The boys had to come up with a wet weather alternative plan too in anticipation of  changes in weather.

(Skills covered- Time management, planning ahead, reasoning, map reading)

2) Pack their own bags

Each boy was given his own suitcase to bring along and they themselves were responsible for what they wanted or should bring along. A checklist was issued so that they could tick off the items while packing.

(skills learned- planning ahead, folding and packing, setting priorities)

3) Documenting our trip

Each boy was given his own camera and journal to record down  his daily reflections while on holidays. He had to write down what he enjoyed/ disliked about the day’s activities with pictures that were taken.  What had worked and what failed was noted so we could be better prepared for future trips.

(skills learned- composition writing,  self-assessment, analysing)

Are your vacations “No-Fuss” also?

How do you make it a learning experience for your kids?



Jenny Matlock Mama’s Losin’ It

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