Vacation Destinations: Disney World, Branson, the Grand Canyon, Europe, the Bahamas, the Lake of the Ozarks, St. Louis
These are a small sample of places people go on vacations. My family has been to some of them and hope to go to more some day. Vacation is a priority for us. My husband and I value it and include saving for it in our monthly budget. To us, vacation offers us a chance to have quality family time and experience new things. On trips, we try to do activities that hit everyone's interests. We also split up at times and offer some one-on-one time with each kid. Of course, that is not always possible but for the most part we can accomplish it.
I imagine, at times, our travelling may seem excessive but I haven't regretted a trip yet. (Although catch me in a moment of meltdown by someone during the trip and I may answer differently, it's not roses and sunshine the whole trip;). The months leading up to vacations typically involve lots of planning. This is fun for me and another way to connect. I like to discuss with my family the different plans and options available.
I understand that I am lucky to be able to regularly vacation. I know many who are not able to do so. I also know many don't value vacations. I encourage everyone to try though. Even if it is just a long weekend together, the family time is invaluable. There are lots of ways to make it affordable (Groupon and Orbitz time websites) and making some small changes to spending can make a big difference. My kids do extra chores for us, other family members, and neighbors we know in order to have spending money for trips (even my six year old). We also ask for gift cards for the holidays to use on trips.
Some of my best memories of childhood are the trips I took with my family. We didn't usually have a ton of money but my family made it work. It was worth it!
Stefanie F. Pisarkiewicz, LPC
Experience and information from a counselor and mother- sharing her two cents on children and teens.