Saving for the Family Vacation

Family vacations are times when we create those special memories that we look back on years later with fondness. Unfortunately, these days it seems as though family vacations are a thing of the past. Between hectic work schedules and difficult financial situations, people often feel as though they don’t have the time or the money to take a family vacation. However, with creativity and some planning, it is possible for your family to experience as a wonderful vacation.

The first thing you will need to do is decide where you want to go and how long you want to be there. Do you want to stay near your home? Do you want to travel out of the state? Whichever you choose, you will need to know your budget. Do you want to take a quick 4-day weekend getaway or does a week or more seem more appealing? All of these factors will play into how much money you will need to save and how much vacation time you will need to request from work.

If both you and your significant other work, being able to synchronize your vacation time may prove tricky. However, one way to increase your chances of getting time off is to schedule your vacation during the off season when not many people go on vacation. Not only will you be more likely to have your request approved, but you will be able to save money on your vacation expenses since many vacation spots (as well as airlines and hotels) offer off-season discounts. Also be sure to look into package deals that will allow you to save even more money on things such as transportation and lodging.

Once you have figured out where you want to go and how long you want to be there, you will need to figure out how much it will cost you to make that happen. Once you do that you can figure out how much money you will need to save each week to go towards your family’s vacation expenses. Also consider your current budget. Are there any expenditures that you could sacrifice in order to save money? Perhaps your family could eat out less or you could skip your daily coffee. Cutting out little splurges can add up quickly. Another way to get the money together is to sell things at a yard sale.

If you worry about being tempted to spend the money, perhaps you should consider setting up a separate account such as a savings account. Sometimes the mere fact that you have to go an extra step to access the money is enough of a deterrent to spend it frivolously. Another option would be to use a prepaid debit card and add money to it weekly and put it somewhere safe that is not always accessed. Take these actions and before long you and your family will be off on vacation, making memories that will last a lifetime.

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Kids After School Activities: Family Movie Time

Coming up with fun activities for your family does not have to be a complex or expensive thing. Often, it is the simple things in life that bring us the most joy. One simple activity that your family can share is watching a movie together.

With all of the technology available that makes it easy for you to watch movies anywhere, at anytime, coming together as a family to sit down and watch a movie has become akin to sitting down at the dining room table to eat dinner together. It’s all about taking the time to do something enjoyable together, enjoying each other’s company for a few hours.

Add in some popcorn or other snacks, and you are all set. If you have ever seen Gilmore Girls, you know how sitting down to watch a movie can bring a family together. Watching different genres of movies can also open up discussions, invite playful banter, and expose your children to certain historical events. In short, it can be both fun and educational. Can we say ‘jackpot”?

In addition to all of this, your options for movies are pretty much limitless. You can never run out of movies to watch with all of the options there are out there. Watching movies together can also be character building. By watching movies with inspiring characters and messages, you are helping to instill in them a vision of what types of qualities are desirable. Movies with themes such as honor, adventure, integrity, and friendship can have an impact on what your child views as important in life.

I know that we are all busy. But setting aside one night each week to settle down in front of the TV for a movie will keep your family close and create a tradition that you and your family recall with fondness for years to come.

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Fun Family Time Activities

These days it seems as though family time is not as prevalent. I’m here to help you change that. All it requires is for you to dedicate one night each week to being with your family. Why not start a tradition of having Family Time once a week? Need some ideas? Keep reading!

Play board games. This is guaranteed to be a fun (and funny) activity. Break out the Scrabble or Monopoly and let the good times roll! You could even play games like Charades that don’t require anything but your imagination. Heck, you could even create a board game with your family. Why not?

Go to the park and fly a kite. Matter of fact, bring some food and turn it into a picnic.

Rainy out? Build a fort indoors.

Camp out in the back yard. Build a fire and roast hot dogs and marshmallows while you take turns telling stories and singing silly songs.

Sporty family? Grab the basketball and head to the court for a rousing game of HORSE. Play a game of Frisbee. Go for a family bike ride. Go hiking on a nature trail. or head outside for a game of Frisbee. You could even do outdoor activities such as bike-riding, skating, or hiking.

Like cooking? Bake cookies and decorate them together.

Love arts and crafts? Why not do some scrapbooking? It’s both an activity and a chance to reminisce about good times you have shared.

Whatever activity you choose to do, it will be sure to bring your family closer together and create memories that you and your children will carry inside your hearts for years to come. The traditions that you set will be something that everyone comes to expect and cherish.

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A Family Vacation Might Be Just What Everyone Needs

Sometimes we just need to get away for a little while. Even just traveling to another city can refresh your mind and your attitude, providing your family with the chance to relax, spend time together, and have fun. Perhaps a bit of a vacation is just what your family needs.

This is especially true during the winter months when we are often stuck indoors for the majority of the day. During the winter months, a change of environment (such as a warmer climate) may be just what you need to rejuvenate your family. In addition, it also provides you and your family with the opportunity to try new things, explore a new place, and meet new people.

Feel that a vacation from work where you stay at home is good enough? Actually, staying at home during your vacation time can be counterproductive. How many times have you gotten some free time and decided that it was the perfect time to do some spring cleaning or reorganize your home. Suddenly your vacation time has turned into yet another job. That defeats the purpose of having a vacation.

If you are a working mom or have small children, chances are after winter, things may be (as some people say) “tap dancing on your last nerve”. You may be easily irritated and stressed out. Let’s face it – you NEED a break. Your entire family does. So, to keep your family sane and happy, the best thing for you to do is take a family vacation. Go somewhere where you no longer have to plan out and prepare meals or run endless errands.

Imagine – you and your significant other, relaxing on the beach. You gaze out across the water as your children run around chasing each other or building a sandcastle. Breakfast is delivered to your room every morning and dinner is eaten at family-friendly restaurants. You get fresh air through a plethora of outdoor activities guided by professionals. You meet new people and engage in a new culture. That, my friend, is a vacation.

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