Earlier this year, a friend of mine hipped me to some family-friendly excursions from REI Adventures. I did some digging and it turns out the tour operator has a handful of trips specifically designed for families. These multi-day trips go to a handful of faraway places including South Africa & Botswana, Thailand, the Greek Islands, Machu Picchu, and the Great Smoky Mountains (to name a few).
Every kid on these trips also receives a custom REI Kids Adventure Pack.
I’m not going to write about the trips themselves—my kids are too young to experience them (with one exception, the minimum age starts around 8) and, quite frankly, you can learn plenty about them by clicking through the outfitter’s site.
After obtaining a sample Kids Adventure Pack, however, I am delighted to share more about the awesomeness of that.
First, of course, is the pack itself—an REI-branded Flash 18 minimalist daypack that turns inside-out to double as a stuff sack and has a safety whistle built-in to the sternum strap. Inside, my sample came with an REI kids active wear t-shirt, a travel journal, REI-branded postcards, and an achievement award that is presented to kids upon completion of their adventure.
My sample pack also had two kick-ass games: 1) Terra Darts, a Seattle Sports lawn darts game (you fill the darts with pebbles) that you can play just about anywhere, and 2) Pass the Pigs, a craps-like game in which the dice are tiny pigs (you get points based upon the positions in which the pigs end up after you toss them).
Apparently, games vary per pack, though I’m not sure any other games could possibly be cooler than the ones I received. I also really liked the pack itself; I used the sample as a daypack on a hike with L and R this week and it worked great. To be fair, however, I found the postcards to be pretty lame. Isn’t the whole idea of postcards to purchase cards from your faraway destinations and send them to folks back home as souvenirs?
Bottom line: The REI Kids Adventure Park kits are a win.
I admire REI Adventures for offering family-oriented excursions in the first place. Beyond that, equipping kids who take these trips with special backpacks designed to maximize fun is genius. I only wish my girls were old enough to take on one of these adventures. We’ll just have to wait until 2019.
What do you bring with your kids on trips to help maximize fun?