≡ Menu

It’s Kids Travel with Daddy Time!

Mom & DaughterDear Friend,

It’s time for another kids travel with daddy trip.

I have four kids.  Some years back I started a tradition with my first.  Each child gets to go on a big, exotic trip with their dad.  The child chooses the destination and activities.  And they get between one to two weeks of totally focused quality time with their dad.  No distractions.  No doing work while we are supposed to be having fun.  It’s all about them – and us.

I took my oldest to Costa Rica at age seven.  Today, he’s going on thirteen and he still hasn’t stopped talking about that trip. I think it created a bond between us that has never been broken.

My oldest daughter wanted a much more feminine experience.  She chose Disney in Florida.  So we went there and she had a Disney Princess makeover.  Plus we visited the park, water parks, and topped it all off with a quick cruise to the Bahamas and back.  She’s over her princess stage, but I know that she’ll never forget that experience either.

Now it is my younger son’s turn.

He’s actually eight, soon to be nine.  I had delayed his trip because times are financially tight.  I thought that we could just wait a bit until cash flow improved.  But I realized that if I chose to wait any longer, I’d find myself watching him graduate from college, and that once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to bond with and truly discover my son would be lost.

He asked to go to Panama.  I have no idea why he chose Panama.  Maybe he picked it off of a map.  I’m not sure he knows why.  Anyway, I considered a couple of options, and settled on a cruise to Panama and back.  The ship is only two years old, so this ought to be a great experience.  We will also stop in Mexico, some Caribbean islands, and in Costa Rica and Colombia, South America.

Of course he is very excited to go.  So am I!  What I find amazing about these kids travel trips, though, is that what the kids really seem most excited about is all the special “daddy time” they will get.  Focused attention.  No competition from the other kids or from daddy’s many distractions.  That seems to be what matters most to them.

I’m flattered.  But I also understand that this is about them being seen.  For once in a big family, they get to be the “only child.”

I spoil them on these kids travel trips.  Not with things, but with experiences.  And they understand that the experience is temporary, so we have to make the most of it while we can.

We’ll be casting off in about a week.  I’ll make sure I check in sometime and let you know how things went.

How about you?  I know that a trip like I am describing can be very expensive.  But as I said, for your child, this is really about focused, special time with you.  Do you take the time, even rarely, to make a big deal out of each of your kids – separately?  This is what I believe they really love.  And it creates a bond that never goes away.

Give it a try.  Better yet, do what we did and make a tradition out of it.  That way, you can’t wiggle out of it when it doesn’t seem convenient to take a break from your regular life.  It works for me! 🙂

I’d love to hear about any “special times” that you have created with your individual children!  Leave a comment here or drop me a line!

All the best,


{ 6 comments… add one }
  • Lynn Davison April 5, 2011, 8:47 pm

    Starting in first grade, I’ve had lunch with my kids once a week at their school cafeteria. We pick a day of the week and I eat cafeteria food (which is surprisingly good.)

    Once the get to the middle school, the come out to the parkIng lot and we have a picnic supplied by me which is usually sething I’ve made but on special occasions I bring their
    Favorite fast food that they love.

    My fourth child is going to high school next year so we’ll see if she has time next year. I know I’ll mss the chats we’ve had the past eight years with her (it has been fourteen years since I started this tradition.)

  • Jimdavishicks April 5, 2011, 10:35 pm

    it’s so hard to make the time, take the time and actually do it but so worth it and your right, it’s the individual focus, we all want it don’t we?

  • Hugh April 6, 2011, 8:05 am

    Awesome Lynn! 🙂

  • Hugh April 6, 2011, 8:08 am

    And they don’t seem to need to monopolize our time – they just need a bit of our undivided attention. Like all living things, children shine when they are noticed and acknowledged. Thanks for the great comment! 🙂

  • TariqnShaheera May 2, 2011, 6:59 am

    Hi Hugh!

    What a very inspiring & interesting idea you share with us here. Good on your kids to have a father like you! You are now my idol as a parent!

    Me & my girlfriend always believe that the time which is quality & meaningful only matters in growing our kids successfully. We don’t have our own kids but we do have nephews & niece who are so closed to us that we love to see them being loved & being pampered rightly. But sadly to say, they don’t actually get that from their own parents who, like you’ve mentioned in your other article, have the greatest influence on them! The parents kind of ignorant of the need of their children. They hardly have time to spend with my nephews and niece yet that small amount of time has not been spent rightly and with quality for the kids but only for both of them. I feel so disappointed with the parents.

    They have been so strict in planning their travel or even an outing. They think their kids don’t know anything about satisfaction and happiness and they also think only they know everything good for their kids.

    Your story and effort are very meaningful & inspiring to us and we will definitely share this with other parents we know out there. Thank you for sharing with us. Keep up good job!


    Tariq & Shaheera

  • pauldman4 August 31, 2015, 8:12 pm

    I take each of my kids on a one on one camping trip each summer starting when they are 5 years old. I’m not quite the camper I once was, but it is something they look forward to and talk about long after. Love the idea of a once in a life time 1 on 1 trip. I have had something like that in my mind to do when each of them turn 12 as a “welcome to adolescence” event. Curious why you choose 8 as the perfect age.

Leave a Comment

%d bloggers like this: