WonderDad of the Week – Nils Dahlgren, The Dad Life of a Single Father With 3 Boys
June 4, 2019
An annual Dad-Kids trip is truly one of the best ways to bond with your children. If you’re asking yourself why, the answer is because life is just too busy. With consuming work schedules, never ending school drop-offs and pickups, kid’s sporting events and activities plus all the other exhausting daily routines. Let’s face it, there’s always something competing for your time. By creating an annual Dad-Kids trip and getting away with one of your kids or all of them, you’ll remove any distractions which turns the trip into 100% quality time together. Not to mention you’ll be building traditions and creating memories plus the added benefit of the special knowledge you’ll share in looking forward to the experience together.
The only hard part about this, ironically, is not choosing the destination but picking the dates for the trip. The best way to get started is by taking 10 minutes to look at your calendar and block off a specific couple of days or weekend. You can even make it the same days every year so you don’t have to worry about figuring out the perfect days every time around. You can even think of these dates just as important as a holiday. You wouldn’t plan a trip with the guys over Thanksgiving break, just as you wouldn’t plan anything else during your specific Dad-Kids date other than your annual trip. Having these set days every year will help build excitement and create natural conversations about ideas for trip destinations and experiences. How great would it be if this continues when they go to college and become adults? You’ll always have time for one another.
Now that you’ve set your dates it’s time to come up with your destination. To be honest, the destination you choose is not very important. What is important is making the trip an annual tradition, something they get excited about doing with their Dads every year. So, if you’re not sure about where you want to go, here are some pointers to help spark an idea:
New Locations: Make it a tradition that every year, you and your kid visit a new major city or state. You can get a wall map and, together, map out a plan to visit a new state or capital city every year, putting pins in the ones you have been to together (and even pinning up memorabilia from each trip).
Theme: Create an annual tradition to visit a location that represents a hobby, sport, or interest you and your kid share. For example, if you and your kids are huge baseball fans, create an annual trip to visit a new major league baseball stadium. Or if you and your kid are music lovers, figure out where your favorite artist is playing and plan the trip around the concert.
Activity: What better way to create create an annual trip for you and your kids than to do something active together. For example, each year you could visit a popular surfing destination or play a new famous golf course.
Tradition of Same Location: Sometimes, what can make an annual trip special is visiting the same location each year. For example, find a favorite camping spot and make it a tradition to visit there each year for outdoor fun with fishing and campfires.
You can even take your kids on one of your business trips. This may sound crazy, but if you happen to have a trip with not too many meetings this could be a great opportunity to not only show your kids more of what you do when you’re away, but it will make the trip even more fun for you. You’ll get to see the trip through their eyes. Ever been to an arcade on a business trip? Or had your child help tie your tie before a meeting? These types of moments are priceless, but don’t need to be expensive either. You and your kids can do something as simple as camping at a state park, road trip to the next city or state over, or taking the trip with another Dad and his kid. Another great idea is staying with family, such as grandma and grandpas, who live within driving distance away and plans fun activities to do their. Nothing better than a free place to stay and hopefully a few home cooked meals.
No matter what you and your kids end up planning for your Annual Dad-Kids trip the thing that matters is the simple act of getting away together to create a unique environment that strengthens your bond, builds traditions and creates lasting memories. Take 10 minutes and start now.