It’s spring break time around the Seattle area. This year, we had a “stay-cation” and enjoyed local activities. Our two biggest outings included a trip to the Skagit Valley Tulip Festival and The Woodland Park Zoo. We also enjoyed the outdoors, did crafts and created a fairy garden. Summer will be here before we know it and these are good lessons for me to keep in mind for when summer vacation arrives. I hope they help you too.
1. Staycations aren’t really about “staying-put.” They’re about making memories with your kids and taking joy in simpler local experiences with your family. You can be a tourist in your own city or not leave your own neighborhood. The point is to find quality time and PLAY with your kids. A simple walk through the woods to a beach wielding sticks can be just as fun and playful to them as a trip to the Space Needle.
2. Don’t feel like you have to do it all. This is a trap we have all fallen into. Our vacation time is short and precious, so we tend to stuff as much in as possible. The problem with this is you end up feeling rushed and stressed going from one thing to another. And you may not really take the time needed to truly enjoy a simple experience.
3. Keep your group small. It may sound like fun to invite the whole neighborhood to the zoo, (the more the merrier concept) but you’ll end up exhausted trying to keep your herd of little monkeys in check and from getting lost. Or worse, you may not spend any quality time with your own kids talking and laughing.
4. Be flexible. It’s ok if your plans change. Accept that when you have little kids in tow, you may need to change course. It also helps to have an arsenal of snacks, wipes, shoes, supplies and extra clothes in the back of the car – just in case.
5. Do mommy and daddy dates with one child. If you can, take time to coordinate special time with just one of your children. It helps make that child feel special and it’s amazing how much easier it is to divide and conquer. It also gives you a chance to have one on one talks uninterrupted.
6. Make time for mommy. Mom’s and dad’s need a break too. Ever come home and feel like you need a vacation from your vacation? Schedule time to do something just for yourself – alone. And don’t feel guilty about it. The bliss of seeing a movie quietly by yourself or a trip to the spa….heavenly.