With gas prices on the rise again and American’s wanting to make better spending choices, it's hard to think about planning a vacation without anticipating the big expense. But what do you do with the kids all summer long? Try a day trip adventure!
With some pre-planning, your summer can be packed full of day hikes, park trips, farmers market adventures, play dates, sprinklers, swimming pools, afternoon movies and so much more. Who wants to think about dinner, laundry and house cleaning while on an all day adventure?
Here are some key elements to keeping it all together, while still having fun during the summertime.
Plan out the week. Take the time to plan out your week by Sunday evening or first thing Monday morning. Make sure to have all your tasks and/or destinations mapped out to save on trips. Visit multiple attractions that are close together in the same day.
Pack up the car and bags the night before. For those big day trips to the beach it’s a good idea to pack the car the night before. The next morning all you'll need to worry about is dressing the kids, breakfast and packing lunches. You could even pack lunches the night before if you are feeling ambitious.
Confirm times or rates before you go. Call to confirm when places open and if there are entry fees. There is nothing worse than arriving somewhere without enough money. Or worse yet - your destination isn't open that day. Also if you are meeting friends, it's a good idea to confirm what time you are meeting and which days... we all get mommy/daddy brain sometimes!
Have one day to catch up. No matter how packed your week is, always plan one day at home. You can catch up on laundry and housecleaning and work on other projects. Plus, the kids can spend a day relaxing and enjoying some down time at home.
Employ helping hands! No matter where you go, it's important to give each child a task or responsibility. For my oldest, he is in charge of turning off all lights, tv's or radios before we leave the house. The little one carries the drinks and opens the garage door. Not only do they feel like they are contributing, but it makes my life easier.
You don’t have to spend a ton of money to enjoy your summer. Many local venues offer discounts or free events. Always check your local paper for the coming attractions which often get overlooked! Before you know it, the kids will be gearing up for back to school and summer will be over.
Megan Spears is an organizing consultant and owner of Disorder2Order. Disorder2Order provides household management solutions for busy families and multi-tasking parents. We specialize in home or office organizing solutions; as well as time and paper management systems. Helping our clients create order from all the disorder of life is what we do!