Now that summer 2023 is in the rear view mirror, the end of year is right around the corner. Before we know it 2024 will be here and it will be time to start planning for the “Family Summer 24”.
Summer days bring more opportunities for families to be together, whether it be on vacation or at home without the demands of homework, extracurricular activities, and sports. With a little thought and creativity, you can make the most of summer days with your family and have memories that will last for a lifetime.
One way to enjoy the summer days with your family is to lengthen the dinner hour, making it a more relaxed meal rather than something that must be rushed through to get to the next activity.
Linger at the table, enjoying the food and the conversation. Take your meal out to the patio or porch and watch the evening arrive while you eat. Eating outside often has something inherently relaxing about it.
Another way to relish the summer days together is to extend bedtime for children. During the school year, kids must get to bed at a reasonable time in order to be rested for school the next day.
In the summer, let these rules slide a little and enjoy the extra time to play games together, watch a favorite movie, or read a book out loud. Kids will love getting to stay up later, and you will be investing in your relationship with them.
Plan to experience some things together as a family that you have never done before. You could go to the local zoo, take a picnic and hike at a nature preserve, fly kites together, build a model plane, write a short story, make a quilt, or go horseback riding.
The possibilities are endless! Think about what your children enjoy, and then plan to try some new things together next summer. Your kids will be talking about it for months to come.
Also along the lines of new experiences is another idea that is great for bringing families together. Find somewhere in your community where you can serve others together as a family.
It can be a soup kitchen, a Habitat for Humanity project, or a local cleanup operation at a park. Working together to help someone else does wonders for building communication and bonding within a family, and you will be benefiting someone else as well.
Many of these ideas do not cost much, if anything, to implement into your summer plans. Remember what things your family has enjoyed together in the past, think outside the box, and make some plans for this summer that are sure to be a big hit.
Spending time together is an investment in your family’s health, the benefits of which are huge and long lasting!
Whether it’s a weekend or a whole summer, you and your family deserve a summer vacation. It can be difficult to find affordable lodging during this popular vacation season. Below you’ll find great tips and tricks for getting great deals on summer vacation lodging and rentals.
The Road Less Traveled
Instead of hitting the popular summer vacation spots, consider taking a more unique vacation. You’ll find that less populated travel destinations will have much better deals on hotel rooms and resort accomodations.
Instead of going to the beach, consider hiking in the Ozarks or exploring the desert. If you must have the beach, consider visiting beautiful beaches that are still relatively top secret, for example: the beaches of the Outer Banks, North Carolina.
Think Outside the Box
If you’re willing to be flexible and creative about the types of lodging you can use over the summer, you’ll be in a much better position to get a great deal. Consider trying the following:
This is a great option if your summer stay will be an extended one. This option can be cost-effective for single people as well as families, since usually there is use of a kitchen and you can save money on restaurant meals. You may be able to get even cheaper rates with subletting if part of the agreement includes housesitting, pet care, etc.
You can find sublet listings on various websites. You can search online for the local newspaper of the destination you want to visit and search the classifieds. You can also search by city on Craigslist.
Many owners of timeshares end up renting their resort units out instead of using them. This can be because they aren’t able to fit their vacation in to coincide with the time available at their unit, or maybe the family has decided to visit a different destination.
You can usually negotiate with timeshare owners for the rent of the unit. You can find websites with classified ad listings of timeshare units available for rental (as well as the opportunity to post what kind of timeshare accomodations you are looking for) by performing a web search for “timeshare rentals.” As with subletting, timeshare units usually include kitchens and laundry, thus reducing the cost of your overall trip.
Tip: Many timeshares offer heavily discounted or practically free accomodations to families that are willing to attend a 90-minute timeshare presentation. Call the timeshare resorts in the area of your vacation destination and ask about these offers.
Timing is Everything
If you absolutely must go to the most popular, busiest summer vacation destination, consider going during a more unpopular time. Usually, even popular beach hotels and resorts offer discounted rates during the less-frequented times.
Plan your summer trip for the very beginning of summer. You’ll beat the rush and save some money. Or, wait until the end of summer, when everyone’s gone home. You’re guaranteed to have a relaxing time without putting your wallet in hot water!
Whether you’re travelling alone or with your entire family, there are plenty of ways to find good deals for lodging during your summer vacation. Do your homework, be flexible with your options, and you’ll find a great deal.