Sure, a few weeks in Aruba or a long weekend skiing in Aspen sound like music to anyone’s ears. Let’s face it though, it is not always easy to get the time off from work or school and it’s not wise to blow your whole budget for a week of summer vacation. Who wants to return home only to be more stressed out by the imminent credit card bill you racked up while you were away? Skip summer vacation this year! Here are a few ways to make the most of the mighty dollar and the few days you have to rejuvenate.
Stage your home: Five star restaurants are a favorite way my husband and I spend quality time together. After having three kids (and honestly, paying for three kids), sometimes dropping a couple hundred dollars on dinner is not in the budget. We take the kids to my parent’s house, dress up, set the table with linens and the “good” plates, and have a glass or two of wine while we prepare our favorite restaurant meals at home. We both love to cook, but if you don’t just keep it simple. Pizza, wings, and a few beers do the trick, too! Some of our best memories are on these nights.
Day trip: Disney World is a favorite in our family, but sometimes the pressure of making the trip magical and the cost of even a hot dog can take the wind out of your sails. Instead, we take short trips on long weekends. We live in rural Ohio, so heading to a nearby city to visit the zoo, the children’s museum, or a water park is a break from the norm. Lake Erie is only two hours away and feels like a whole new world when we visit. If you can stay overnight, it’s even better.
Quality time: Your loved ones will remember the time you spent together, not the places you have been. Stay home and bring out the board games (Uno can get pretty intense in our house) or turn out all the lights, make snacks, and watch a new movie together. Camp out in your backyard, go fishing, or have a picnic by the lake. Try a new sport like water skiing or golf. It doesn’t really matter, as long as everyone is together.