I grew up taking an annual family vacation. When we were active duty military and moving around quite frequently, we made this a family ritual for ours too. I say this cautiously because sometimes our family vacations were camping or going to visit relatives. These were some of the options when we didn’t have a lot of excess money to spend.
Vacationing as a Child
I was fortunate as a child of older parents to be able to travel the world. When I was born, my parents were close to their forties. Both had careers, my father active duty military and my mother an accountant. Income wasn’t a much a worry as it was when we began raising our family. I remember living in Okinawa and taking small vacations all around the many countries in Asia. When we moved back to the states, we began taking cruises for our family vacation. My younger sister and I were able to travel with my mother to Alaska on a cruise right before my high school graduation. The family vacations for us as children were more luxurious than when we began taking our children.
Vacationing as a Young Military Family
In our first few years as a young military couple with our first born daughter, we traveled back to our parents for our vacation. We had so little funds to spend that even the flight was all we had to spend. Our parents lived in Orlando and had access to Disney World tickets with other family working there. Fortunately, this allowed us to visit and take our children to Walt Disney World for nearly no out-of-pocket expense. We loved being able to take our kids along with their grandparents to visit one of the greatest places on earth. Where do you find options like this in your local hometown?
We moved across the country when our kids were in elementary school. When we arrived in Europe, we met a family with children the same age as our two girls, which gave us an easy way to travel as they kids had friends to keep them entertained. Having a family with kids in similar age ranges helps with younger children. We caravaned all over Europe with our new military friends we called family! Now it may seem quite extravagant, but living in Europe and caravaning around you can find some very low-cost options for vacationing. Some of the times we traveled for festivals or events that had a limited cost to attend and have enormous fun.
Fast Forward to Adults
After we retired from the military and spent our 20 plus years traveling the world, we decided it was our time to cruise. My husband and I have got the cruise bug, and our children grabbed it too! With technology today, it happens to be the only time I can completely shut down cell phones and distractions and get completely spoiled with my bed made and meals cooked. We also love camping and spending quiet time by the lake or in the woods. Children have such a great time camping as they can run, play and make noise and they are outside, so no one complains. Family vacations should be fun and even though I can’t say I remember all of them, what I do remember is a particular time we all spent together.
School is Out Soon
Around the United States, the schools are coming to a close. Some inexpensive options to consider can be as follows:
- Go to a campground and text camp or just pitch a tent in your backyard and sleep in it as a family.
- Go on a picnic and take some outdoor games to play with the kids.
- Shut down the TV and make it a craft day and game night.
- Visit family and when you’re on a road trip make a couple stops at local establishments or museums.
- Find a local need and volunteer together as a family.
- Look for low-cost last minute options.
- Find a park to visit and take a hike with the kids.
- Take a cruise as you can now find some pretty inexpensive alternatives (and remember, included is your food, lodging, entertainment). A great way for a family to spend a celebration!!!
What is your favorite vacation or time spent relaxing with family???