In January 2018, we did set our travel objectives for the year. You can read them all in our blogpost
Travel objective 2 on the list was described as:
Do ONE city break vacation in 2018 with my son. Last year I heard from another dad that he took his teenager on a few days trip to another country. Get to know his child better was the main reason. Well..I thought that was a great idea which I want to do in 2018 with my son.
This past weekend we have taken action towards our 2018 travel objective. Read here about our decisions so far.
Destination and Time
My son has chosen the city London as the location to do our weekend city trip. The main reason for London according to my son is the fact that this city has many locations for the Harry Potter movies. My son is a movie fan and he loves the Harry Potter movies.
During the trip my son did want to visit the Warner Bros Studios where the Harry Potter film sets are and where you can experience the Harry Potter movie making. Unfortunately the tickets for the weekend we have planned to go, are already sold out. Wow !
We booked our train trip with the Eurostar. At the end of the school day, I will pick him up at school and we drive to the train station of Lille where we will take the Eurostar train and arrive at a decent evening hour in London. Sunday evening we will take the train back and arrive home at a normal hour. Friday evening – Sunday evening weekend in April is set in stone.
After booking our train tickets, I asked my son to start the search for a hotel. The first hotels he looked at, were all very high end and expensive hotels popping up first in the search results in Google. Did you check the location I asked him ? No, he did not…and the hotel he did like, was a hotel 20 minutes outside London and 150 euro per night. Out of our budget..I gave him 10 more minutes to search until he got a little bored.
I asked him to start his search at Trivago and enter the filter City Center. By using the map visualization, we were able to locate quickly the affordable hotels by price and location. The main concerns of my son were the availability of WIFI and the room comfort. The price did fall within the budget and the distance to tourist locations was within walking distance reach.
So we booked the train tickets and the hotel. Now we can start planning our trip.
One objective I gave my son within this trip, is to manage his budget. I have set a FIXED budget of 500 Euro for his trip including train ticket, 50% of hotel spend, food, drinks and his tickets to museums or tourist attractions. Last year the kids received a financial education class Budg€t Fun.
I want him to manage his expenses and see how he plans out his spending behavior for our trip. Now we can start plan out our visits based on his interests and review how we can save money during our trip.
As we are all taking part in the rat race of work and social life obligations, little time is sometimes left to spend time with the people we love and cherish. Therefor I have carved out this weekend to spend quality time with my son. During the upcoming trip I want to encourage him to open up and build that daily conversation with his dad.
Conversations build connection. When children feel connected to their parent, they are more likely to feel well and be cooperative. When we pause and listen, we can really get to know so much about our children. Sometimes our children don’t readily open up and share about their day.
Most parents really do want to know about their child’s thoughts, dreams and concerns.To raise resilient, happy children, it’s important to listen to our children often. The more our children feel they can talk to us about the little things, the more likely they will be to open up about the bigger issues later on.
During the London city break my son will be able to spend quality time with his dad alone. And I will have the opportunity to discover his thinking and character, support his actions and build that connection !
I already downloaded the 40 questions that get your kids talking from the website Positive Parenting Connection. We will see how these questions can be integrated in our trip.
Thanks for reading this blogpost. As always we end with a quote.