Yesterday I spoke about my New Year’s Resolution to travel more this year. I wanted to break down exactly what I am doing to make this resolution actually stick!
What I mean by this is that you don’t have to fly all the way to Europe of Australia to travel with your family. If you haven’t traveled much this year, or in years past, it might be a challenge to abruptly become a family that travels with ease. Because we are guilty of not traveling much lately, we try to to look for weekend getaways that are nearby. In a past posting, I shared with you our trip to Pinnacles National Monument, only a few hours from our home. This is an example of a great day trip you can take with your kids. Find a National Park/Monument or a neat trail near where you live and go there. We have even started going to different small towns or cities near us and exploring that way. We live close to San Francisco, which is a mecca of culture, so it’s easy to go to Chinatown, or to Alcatraz Island for a tour. You may not be close to a big city such as San Francisco, but it’s fun to explore anywhere you’ve never been, and your kids will have a great time. Another idea is to take your kids out to explore the town you live in. We live in San Jose, and we haven’t explored the entire city yet–there is so much to take in.
Multi-Task Your Travel Plans
We are all accustomed to multi-tasking, so why not do this while we are traveling. I try to bunch together a few different events while traveling. Usually, we take the in-laws or grandma with us, so it’s a larger family affair. We get to spend time with those that we don’t always see, and it also helps having another adult to help with the kids. We also make sure that each destination we visit, we have an education plan in place. If we are going to the beach, we plan a biology/zoology lesson so that we can teach the kids about the different families of species in the ocean. If we go to the Grand Canyon, we make sure to have lesson plans about Geology and Natural History. *Hint – Most National Parks have Curriculum Guides already put together for you. It’s so neat! Just go to www.NPS.gov and find a park near you. Then click on the “Teacher Resources” and you’ll find everything you need. It’s a great way to tie in learning with the outdoor adventures.
Budget for traveling endeavors
If you never set aside money for travel, or budget vacation time, guess what? You’ll probably never go! We are certainly guilty of this. It seems as though it was easier to take a last-minute trip when you didn’t have kids, right? More planning is definitely needed when kids are involved, but that doesn’t mean you can’t take a last-minute getaway. Even if you think every penny of your monthly income is committed to something else, there is always a way to stash some cash aside for a trip. Last year I went through old closets and found books, toys, and just things the family didn’t use anymore and sold them on eBay and Amazon as a way to help fund our trip. This gave us a couple hundred dollars in the bucket and we pulled off a great trip. One tip that works for me is to plan a vacation and how much it will cost us, and then start saving. That way, I already have a destination and plan in sight. That way, when I go to the store, I ask myself if we really need that one item, or if I’d rather go on vacation. I usually pick the vacation. My family doesn’t go without, but we can make due without a new coffee maker or a frivolous purchase.
Travel, Travel, TRAVEL!
We make traveling a priority in our lives, just like anything else. One key element is changing your perspective on travel. I used to see the weekend as a time to clean the house, play outside in the yard with the kids, and relax with my better half, but now I see it as an excuse to get out of the house and bond with the family. I see it as an excuse to explore and go on an adventure. There are so many things you could do with your upcoming tax return, but why not set half of that aside for a family vacation this year? It’s nice to get away, and your family will appreciate and memories you’ll make.
Never stop learning,