So you've spent half of your summer exploring all the parks, museums,
creeks, and forests near your home. What's next? You still have at
least a month to go before school is back in session and you are
released from constant entertainment duty. Perhaps your kids have
learned the fine art of being bored and inventing new games of their own
which is fantastic, but perhaps you're all also ready for a big change
of scenery, just for a little while.
This is where the weekend getaway comes into play. We just got back from one in Chicago and it was exactly what we needed to break up summer and celebrate our halfway point.
Depending on where you live you could have amazing things an hour, two hours or even four hours away from you. Decide what you can afford, what your kids can handle, how long you can get away for and who's coming. Our weekend in Chicago was going to be constant motion so my seven year old and I decided to get away alone, leaving the baby with her dad back home (don't worry, they had plenty of fun of their own.) Had we chosen somewhere a little more laid back, say Dayton, we would have booked a hotel with a pool and brought everyone along.
Getting away gives you the chance to do things you wouldn't normally do. Sure, you can go to the ice cream shop back home, but it's more fun to go to discover a new ice cream shop in a new town after a day of discovering and being together. When I'm on a little getaway with my kids I find it easier to say yes and harder to stick to formalities. Kids over a certain age travel easily, they really only require clean clothes, a place to sleep, and regular meals; not to mention they're generally up for anything.
Just like deal sites can offer great discounts in your own home town, they also offer great discounts in all the cities surrounding yours. If you have an idea of where you'd like to head later in the summer check their local sites daily to see if there's anything you could work into your itinerary. Traveling last minute? They're still worth checking out, especially if you're up for a true adventure. While getting out of town for a weekend can seem expensive, it doesn't have to be. If you book a hotel with a kitchen or at least a fridge and microwave you can get away with cold cereal for breakfast and packing sandwiches for lunch. Most city parks are free, and kids under 3 are free at most museums.
Growing up we would regularly take off for a weekend camping in Southern Utah or head up the mountain for two nights at a vacant ski resort. Now that we're in the Midwest we have a half dozen options within three hours of our front door. Chicago, Dayton, Louisville, Cincinnati and Columbus just to name a few. While some places may not sound like vacation destinations (Dayton?), they're just what you need for a little get away, a change of scenery and a fresh perspective.
we enjoy the lake and we only live 3 miles from it. It is nice to just getaway for an afternoon or evening too.
We are doing this camping style. We just got back from camping last weekend.
This is a great idea! I think it is important to get away sometimes and just relax and a lot of the times you don't have to go far to find some really nice places. :)
After DH was laid off we had to scrap our big annual vacation. To still get away, we took advantage of visiting out of town family. We also did an overnight trip that I bought on Living Social for a steal and a 3 night trip 'renting' a room in a time share complex that was 1/3 the cost of booking at the adjoining resort hotel.
Admittedly I was bummed to no longer be able to afford a nice destination vacation, but the short trips have been so much fun and just what we needed to 'get away' without being a financial burden. The rest of my vacation time was used to stay-cation which gave us time to really work on home projects. So our own yard is becoming more of a retreat. This has been the year of appreciating what you have.
We do too. There are tonnes of cool things to see and do only a couple of hours from our house. its nice to adventure cool things. This year we hope to be able to go visit the "hopewell rocks".
We have so many things within a couple of hours of us. This is a great idea!
We often do this. We just went to MI last Sunday. It was a 7 hour total trip. We visited family. The kids got to play with their cousins and they had a blast. :)