You can make a game out of planning a packing list, with each person taking turns trying to add something that is necessary and appropriate for your trip, until you have a complete list.
Planning your family vacation offers a natural vehicle for your children to have fun while learning. What would otherwise simply be an English assignment is disguised as letter writing. A geography lesson materializes as you learn about locations, make maps and study the area. Your children learn about science as they research the area's climate. The vacation as an educational tool concept, can be expanded to include the history of the area, favorite regional foods (that you can prepare ahead of time), and budget planning for your trip.
With a little creativity, vacation planning can be a fun, exciting, and yes, an educational way to spend some family time together. What brighter way to spend the dark winter months ahead?