Geek Travel

Where are We Going?: The Fun (or Chore) of Choosing Where to Go on Vacation

Before the kids can say “Are we there yet?”, comes “Where are we going?”.

Whether a family is planning a road trip, a flight to a new locale, or a staycation, the first thing before any plans can be made is to decide where to go. I find every year when it is time to decide where we should go, we all have differing thoughts on where we should go. My daughter usually wants to visit some place close to relatives. My husband wants to go somewhere new and exciting. I want to go someplace that the kids will learn something all while having fun. Then the youngest wants to stay at home, as staycations are more his thing. I know we aren’t the only family that finds deciding on a vacation spot to be a bit less fun than it should be. So how does a family find their way from several different ideas to a final location?


Family vacation discussions are usually the “go-to” way to whittle down the options. Discussions during car rides back and forth to school, over the dinner table, or any other time the family is together and has a few minutes to chat are great for gaining more insight about why certain family members want to go particular places. Knowing why certain places are of interest can be incredibly useful in determining a location. If a family can find a place that offers a little bit of what each person is looking for, that’s a win-win for everyone.

Now as great as family discussions can be, sometimes in the everyday hustle and bustle we forget what each other says or conversations start and stop often. To help keep the topic fresh in everyone’s mind and assist in narrowing in on a location, here are a few suggestions that you may or may not have thought about or used before.


List of Top 3 (or 5) Reasons Why this Location is your Choice

Give each family member a piece of paper to write no more than five reasons that their spot is the perfect vacation spot. Then post the papers on the fridge or someplace that the family can all look at when they have a chance. After being posted for a day or two, then discuss where to go. Knowing ahead of time each other’s reasons may help find common ground in the decision making process.

Challenge Each Member to Research Their Location with the Likes of Others in Mind

Persuading someone to your location is easier when you show him or her activities that are of interest to him or her. With GOOGLE or SIRI at most kids fingertips, asking family members to do research saves parents time, gets kids more involved, and helps them think of more than themselves. Once everyone has researched their locations, have them present to the family over dinner or a long car ride and then discuss options afterwards.

Vote on Location Choices once Others have Presented Their Location’s Highlights

Having a secret vote after everyone presents why their location is best, could help some members choose a location without feeling the pressure of a stare down from a sibling. Though it may also have everyone voting for their site; so could be helpful one time and then not so helpful the next. Worth a try when trying to keep family peace.

Choose a Vacation Theme and Decide which Location Best Fits that Year’s Theme

If one wants to mix things up a bit, put a few vacation theme ideas into a bowl and choose one. Whichever location offers the most options to fit the theme is the winner. Themes can range from:

  • Water – would include things like aquariums, water sports, or hiking to waterfalls
  • Geek – would include outings to museums, themed attractions, or planetariums
  • Art – would include places like sculpture gardens, art galleries, or DIY art workshops
  • Tours – could tour historical locations, factories, or natural wonders

A vacation theme could be anything you want. Being creative with a theme could really add to the vacation’s level of fun.


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