Planning for school vacations has always been challenging for me. In the past, I have either taken time off or made arrangements with other parents to do a child-care share. Several years ago, however, I decided to succumb to the concept and reality of the annual spring break, and since then, creating a vacation period for me and my children has become very important.
For years, I felt guilty taking time off and didn’t trust that spending any of our funds on a vacation was ultimately in our best interest; but eventually, I came to understand the importance of self-care and the priceless long-term impact of family time. Some of our vacations have been staycations, spent going to free-admission days at museums, libraries, parks, and friends’ houses. And as my money-management skills and trust in my financial well-being has increased, I’ve learned how to save from April through February in order to afford a destination vacation. Each month, I invest in a segment of the trip’s gas money, hotel, airfare, meals, etc.
My kids are now 16 and 20. Together, we have created warm, family-centered vacation memories, and the time that we spend focused on US is very special, regardless of whether it’s spent close to home or away.
So, take time out for just you and your kids, start saving now for next year’s vacation, and breathe!!!