Summer is slowly coming to an end and many families are shifting focus from summer camps and swimming to back to school shopping and reading lists. But before you buckle down and cram your calendar with extracurricular activities, consider one last vacation.
As opposed to 2013, where we vacationed in May, my family took our vacation in late July this year and returned the weekend before school started. We thoroughly enjoyed the time away, visiting with family, and relaxing. My husband and I were even lucky enough to get a weekend without the kids. The biggest challenge for me was pushing the ‘To Do’ lists out of my mind. In fact, I allowed myself one day to make lists and then I put myself back into vacation mode.
Staycation or Vacation?
You’re thinking, vacations are stressful! I don’t want to find a place, pack, figure out who is going to watch the dog, clean the house, etc. So don’t. Stay home. Block off some time and plan some local activities. Try to put off the cleaning and shopping and every day activities. Enjoy some time lounging at the pool with the kids or reading a book in its entirety. Sometimes the day you spend doing nothing with your family makes for the best day.
Vacation options are endless. A country B&B for the weekend. An amusement park for the family. A road trip to visit family. Really anything and everything can make up a fun, final vacation before the school year starts. According to the Travel Channel, these are some of the most popular August vacation destinations:
- Family-Friendly Cruises to Mexico, Hawaii or the Caribbean
- National Parks like the Grand Canyon – check out this website (link to: https://store.usgs.gov/pass/military.html) for information on Annual Passes for military families to the US National Parks.
- Disney World – make sure you do some research on Shades of Green (link to: https://www.shadesofgreen.org/) for great deals on Disney World.
- Cities like Chicago or Memphis
Look at hotels that are offering vacation deals. I love looking at La Quinta for good military deals. If you’re flying, be flexible in your flight times. Go through your local installation’s ticket office to get discounted tickets to popular destinations. Double check each place or service to see if they offer any military discounts. Treasure the time you spend together and try not to focus on taking too many pictures or spending too much money. If you don’t have the financial means to take a vacation, then don’t. Stay home or take one night away instead of two.
Whatever you end up doing in those precious days and weeks before you send your kids off to annoy someone else with their constant questions, enjoy it!