Thursday, September 19, 2013

Who Needs a Summer Vacation? Planning the Perfect Fall Family Getaway

Fall is coming up and you know what that means?!?  Vacation time!!  Haha, who am I kidding...It is ALWAYS vacation time!  My husband once asked me if I would rather live in a fancy house and drive a fancy car or go on lots of vacations.  Well, thats a are always going to win!  I love seeing other places, states, countries, beaches and seeing how other people live and the culture that surrounds them.  But most of all, I love love love the memories and the bonding experience that vacation entails.  Some of my most favorite memories and most treasured photographs are when I have been on vacation with my husband and now my little girl. 

I think the important thing to remember is that you don't have to spend a lot of money to go on vacation and have a great time.  Memories can be made sleeping in a tent by the river, or a van if you are so inclined. 

I was recently approached by Kendra.  She lives in the fabulous city of Chicago and is a mother of 3.  Before getting the privilege of being a full time mom, she was the former Orbitz Director of Communications.  This job allowed her to travel a great deal.  She loves to write about travel trends and tips and wanted to share some tips on the perfect fall family getaway with my lucky readers!  Enjoy!

As much fun as you have spending time together during the summer, you probably think that you need to leave that behind you in the fall. However, even though the kids go back to school, you can still take a break together. By picking the kids up at the end of the school day on Friday, your family has the chance to have some fun together and still make it back in time for the kids to get a good night of sleep before school on Monday. Columbus Day offers even more chances for family fun. With most schools closed on Columbus Day, you have the opportunity to get away for an extended weekend. Pack the car with some healthy snacks and a few travel games, and a spirited game of license plate bingo can help the kids have fun until arriving at your destination.  

Choosing a place to stay is the first step in planning any weekend getaway. When the weather is still nice, staying at a campground can be a wonderful experience for all. State parks offer a number of free activities and things to do, and some private campgrounds are great options as well (and are very fair in pricing). If you don't have access to a tent or a camper, you can rent a cabin or stay in a lodge. If the outdoor scene is not for you, a big city like Chicago can be a weekend vacation hotspot. When staying at a hotel in a big city for just a weekend, many will offer great weekend deals and have fair pricing. Use a hotel-booking site like Gogobot to find a hotel with competitive pricing and user reviews about the best places to stay in Chicago. The city has hundreds of things to see and do, so make sure that you do some research before you settle on any hotel. Picking one in the wrong location or one with dirty rooms and broken furniture can ruin your entire trip.

Your family faces dozens of distractions every day. You and your spouse worry about work, your kids worry about school and everyone can get so busy with their own lives that they forget to think about spending time together as a family. Getting away from those distractions lets you work on improving your relationships. Telling stories around the campfire, taking funny pictures in the heart of the city and cooking meals together can foster these great connections for you to share.

Whether the kids have a three-day weekend away from school, or you decide to just take a fun trip in the middle of the fall, a getaway is the perfect excuse to have some fun together. Staying in a campground or right in the heart of the city lets you focus on making memories that you will all treasure for a lifetime.

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