Family Fun Activities to Countdown to Vacation

Taking time to plan your vacations creates excitement and quality family time before you even leave your house. I love to plan family fun activities to countdown to vacation. We do countdown to vacation calendars, research our destinations together, and create special activities for our trip. We countdown to Disney vacations, beach vacations, and even little weekend getaways. Spending time counting down to vacation creates family time and excitement for the trip and brings us closer as a family.

What’s Inside: 4 of our favorite family activities to countdown to vacation. Includes how to make your own countdown calendar and fun ways to involve the entire family in the vacation planning process. 

4 Family Fun Activities to Countdown to Vacation

#1 Make Vacation Countdown Calendars

I love making countdown calendars. There is something that is so fun and magical about counting down to your vacation. It creates anticipation and my kids really like it.  We have been doing countdown calendars for years. At least every year we create one for our trip.

famliy fun activities to countdown to vacation
This is an older picture but I love how each kid made it their own.

Depending on what kind of trip you are doing you will need different supplies.  We went to Walt Disney World last year and I used Disney stickers and decorations.  For our beach vacation we decorated with beach themed stickers.

At your local craft store pick up poster board and fun scrapbook paper and stickers. Then get creative! Let the kids take over and don’t worry about it looking perfect.  They will have so much fun decorating and counting down the days.

Here are a few of my favorite vacation countdown calendars we have made:

Florida Vacation: 

countdown to vacation

Family Fun Activities to Countdown to Vacation

LEGOLAND Vacation Countdown:

Family Fun Activities to Countdown to Vacation

#2 Research with Maps & Brochures

To help me prepare I look at maps of the theme parks or cities we are visiting.  I plan out a flexible itinerary and pick out what we want to do.  I love to include the kids in this.  Not only do they learn about new places they also feel like they are part of the planning. Sign up for my email list and receive a printable vacation planning worksheet.

Working on the vacation countdown calendars together makes them feel special and that their opinion matters.  I also get to spend time with them and we talk about all the fun stuff we will do on vacation. You can pick up maps and brochures at your local travel store or call the visitors bureau of where you are going.  You can also visit their website and usually print maps at home. Family Fun Activities to Countdown to Vacation

#2 Learn More at Your Local Library

We are regulars at our local library.  I love books and thankfully my family loves to read as much as I do.  Whenever we are planning a new trip we visit our local library.  We take out books about the destination we are visiting.  The great part about this is they usually have books in the children’s section and the adult section.  We can all have our own books to look through.  I love to research online but it is really nice to have a book to look at and plan from.

Family Fun Activities to Countdown to Vacation

You don’t have to look specifically for travel books.  If you are visiting a city or National park find a non-fiction book about the place and check it out.  You might discover new places to add to your itinerary.  Often places that are not the biggest tourist place can be really fun too!

#4 Make Something Special for Your Trip

On our last few trips I have made travel packets for my kids.  I use them on road trips and I like to include license plate bingo, coloring sheets about our destination, and other fun activities.  This year I am excited for the kids to use their new Olly & Hue Travel Tale journals.  They are full of exciting ways to document our trip.

Family Fun Activities to Countdown to Vacation

Last year we made our own autograph books for our visit to Walt Disney World.  On our first visit we purchased a book for each kid and had the characters sign it.  First of all, having 3 books when you meet characters is annoying to other guests and it takes away from the magic of the moment with each character.  Secondly, I was tired of pulling out all three books and finding the pages for them to sign.  When we got home the books got put in a memory box and never seen again.

This visit we decided to make our own autograph book for the family. I purchased Disney themed scrapbook paper and a sketch pad notebook. We picked a spiral bound book that had a harder cover and also had room on the pages to put a 5×7 picture. When we returned we added the picture of the character next to the autograph. This was so easy and a perfect souvenir for our trip.  It also helped me organize our pictures when we returned.

Family Fun Activities to Countdown to Vacation

Family Fun Activities to Countdown to Vacation

Our next vacation will be here soon and the kids wake up excited to color in the next date.  We have been reading our books and brochures and looking forward to some quality family time. Do you have fun family activities to countdown to vacation? Share them in the comments.

More Family Vacation Tips You May Like:

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Family Vacation Countdown




  1. Hannah Schroeder | 17th Nov 17

    I really like that you check out books from the library about the places you’re visiting on vacation. My husband and I have planned a road trip for our family next month, and my two kids are so excited that they’re having difficulties concentrating at school. Maybe we can do some activities like reading about where we’re going to visit so they can get excited and still concentrate on their homework.

    • Leah | 19th Nov 17

      The excitement of vacation is so big for our kids sometimes!! I think incorporating the vacation into their school routine is a great idea! Thanks for reading!

  2. Amy Crooks | 19th Feb 17

    Really great ideas! We loved having the Disney characters sign our son’s autograph book when he was little! So fun! 🙂

  3. Jasmine Hewitt | 20th Jan 17

    I never would have thought about sing the library! I just google everything lol

    • Leah | 24th Jan 17

      Ha…yeah it can be forgotten when the internet is so easy. I love having a book to look through.

  4. Midori | 19th Jan 17

    Love the ideas! Don’t have kids, but could do anyway with my boyfriend! Love the idea of getting t the library and find info together!

    • Leah | 19th Jan 17

      Thanks for reading!! My husband and I did this stuff too before kids. It just fun to make it part of the planning!

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