You Don’t Know What You've Got ‘Till It’s Gone

There are many roads to your summer fun! Even a staycation can be a great option. I just read that as a parent you can expect to get 18 summers with your kids. How do we make them the best with time flying by?

When looking ahead to your summer plans, why not start contacting some relatives or close friends you might not have been able to visit in the past year? If your summer schedule is already filling up, do not underestimate what you can get done in a single day. Starting an adventure early in the morning and booking a one-night stay can feel like a whole weekend trip if you plan correctly.

Talk to your family and get their ideas so that everyone has some skin in the game. Our collaboration has spawned some amazing and unforgettable trips!

Here are some ideas:

First look into airline miles or American Express points and hotel deals, all of which can help keep the cost down. You may even score a free hotel breakfast! Look into timeshares that are not being used or even vacation home properties. Many of these offers are all-inclusive, so don’t be afraid to ask!

If you know you are the type of person to “enjoy the journey,” consider renting a motorhome or enjoying a relaxing evening staycationing by your pool. You would be surprised how even a day trip complete with sightseeing or a quick drive to a nearby beach or lake adds adventure to your summer vacation.

Your Summer Checklist

Make sure your hotel has a refrigerator so you can bring back leftovers or save money on snacks if you are traveling with kids. A cooler can serve the same purpose. Before leaving, purchase all of your sun protection and sun wear, as these items are typically more expensive at hotels. Bring a fold-up bag in your suitcase so that you always have extra room for unexpected purchases, or better yet, have your purchases shipped to your house! A lot of stores offer free shipping nowadays.

What I’ve Learned

Always have a plan! I have found that if you have no plans, chances are you will not get to or fully enjoy any of your destinations. When traveling to new towns, before booking any activities, make sure you check out the discounts that the city has to offer so that you can catch the best deals.

When my kids were young, I always reserved the last month at home to prepare for school. I wanted somewhat of a calm month to help with the transition into the new school year. We started back with a tutor to get my kids thinking about school again. That way the vacations we took in the months prior could be fully enjoyed. We were all able to shut our minds off without having to worry about school yet.

Lastly, make it your goal to create memories. As my kids are all older, I am grateful for all of the summer vacations that we took. I am still planning trips, but this time with my children AND grandchildren. It has been so exciting to see how our family vacation has grown.

Remember to be flexible and look for the golden nuggets.

Kim Pagano is brought to you by the award-
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