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Summer is right around the corner - figure out your plans now.
This has been about the weirdest year most anyone can probably remember. Between the virus which virtually shut the entire world down and stopped travel for large portions of it, and with several crazy and wild natural events (certainly our part of the world), I don’t think anyone is bound to forget the last twelve months.
Whenever a lot is happening, it’s easy to lose track of time. That generally means that things seem to move at an incredibly fast pace. Before you know it, summer will be here again. It’s just two months away before school is out. Don’t leave your summer plans until the last minute - start planning now if you haven’t already.
The big question that many people are grappling with is whether or not they are traveling somewhere. Should you get on an airplane and fly somewhere, or simply stay close by? If you decide to stay close by (and skip the flights), here are a few tips to make your trip easier.
Taking a summer vacation close to home will involve a decent amount of driving, generally. Be sure to follow all of the local traffic laws and to drive carefully. It’s always easy to want to drive faster or to get to your destination faster (“Are we there yet?”), but make sure that you’re not putting your family at risk.
Furthermore, when you have kids in the car with you, they’re likely not happy to just sit there the entire time. They will scream, yell, and do other things that will make your time in the car less fun. Keep your attention on the road, and pull over if you must to help address what your kids are doing.
Don’t force a set schedule
Figure out where you’re going, what you’re going to see, and then try to follow that schedule. However, don’t be so strict on sticking to a schedule that you make everyone completely miserable. A schedule should serve as a guide to what you’re doing, not as a set in stone plan that can’t be modified as needed.
Focus your schedule around the main sights or locations you want to get to. If there are secondary locations you’d like to visit, pencil them into the plan if you have time. Invariably with kids, you’re going to run into unforeseen situations that you will have to deal with and will slow you down. Let yourself be flexible so that you can enjoy the places you are able to visit without constantly worrying about when you’re leaving.
Enjoy the sights
Along with the previous point, enjoy the different sights that are along the way. Perhaps you’re driving in an area where nature is stunning. As you're driving, enjoy those sights and take in the natural beauty of the world. Stop and get out in areas that are safe to do so - it’s nice to get out of the car on a long drive. If you’ve been able to not cram your schedule too full, stopping to enjoy beautiful scenery along the way should not be a problem.
Try something new
When you go on vacation, plan to try something new. That may be simply by trying an activity that you’ve never done before, stopping in to a location that you’ve never been before, or trying a new food. Don’t do the same things that you always do for the entire vacation. Try to mix things up a little bit as part of your travels.
That doesn’t mean you are a completely different person when you travel, it just means that you’re trying to take in the experience by trying something different. Try the foods in the area you’ll be in. You may be surprised what you like. It’s all of these little experiences that will add up to make fun memories.
With kids, things are not always going to go as planned. Your kids won’t always be quiet, they won’t always listen, and you’ll run into problems. Be patient with your kids as they work through their emotions - try not to ruin the trip because you’re so upset with how they are acting or what they’re doing. Be prepared with the knowledge that they’ll invariably do something you don’t like.
Furthermore, if you’re driving, there are many other things that can go wrong. You can get stuck in unexpected traffic, or you could get a flat tire. Remember, it’s all part of the adventure and you’ll get through it. Try to make it enjoyable when these things happen - everyone will have a better experience, including yourself.
Get out this summer and have a fun and safe vacation. There’s no reason you have to be stuck inside, but you can stay close to home as well. Have fun and safe travels.