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Take a Vacation

By: Donna Martin

One of our best experiences when our children were home was our family vacation.  Each summer we would pack up the car and the kids and head for a new destination.  To help keep the kids entertained I made a road map for each child.  The kids were given washable markers so they could trace the route and stickers so that they could mark destinations along the way.  This activity not only kept them engaged in the adventure, but also improved their map reading skills (this was before the invention of GPS).  I also packed snacks and small inexpensive surprises that were to be opened only when we reached certain destinations on the map.

As we traveled in the car we made up stories, played different travel games, and read books together.  We often packed picnic supplies so that we could stop at roadside parks or national forests along the way for lunch. We stayed in simple, clean, budget hotels.   Of course we aways made sure the hotel had a swimming pool so the kids could release their energy at the end of a long day of travel.

We enjoyed visiting National Parks and historic sites, amusement parks, baseball fields, large cities, small towns, beaches and mountains.  Some years the trips were shorter than others, but we always made it a point to go somewhere on a road trip together. Each year we saved a little each month in our “vacation account” to make the trips possible.

We made memories that we still enjoy talking and laughing about.  Being confined in small spaces, working together to find our way when we got lost, learning to get along even when we were tired and tired of each other’s annoying habits helped us bond together as a family.

Try to plan a family vacation each year.  It does not have to be long or extravagant.  Just find a way to get away together and bond as a family.

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