We don’t take many vacations, but when we do, we make them count, getting as much fun, relaxation and family time out of them as possible!
As far as preparation goes, part of the fun of a vacation is the anticipation, so I’ll create some kind of countdown calendar for the girls to cross off the days as the vacation draws near. After we get home – and take some time to unwind – we’ll create a special album dedicated to our vacation, with little handwritten notes and drawings the girls make. And in between, well… we have a BLAST!
And relax… on a comfy bed like this, at Embassy Suites.
Embassy Suites surveyed Parents magazine readers recently and discovered that…
- More and more families – 56 percent, according to the survey – are only dabbling with vacations and taking shorter trips here and there throughout the year. This is definitely what we do. Between busy family schedules, work demands and other family commitments, it’s hard to carve out an entire week (or more) to dedicate to a big trip!
- More than a quarter (27 percent) of readers consider themselves to be “vacation extenders,” adding vacation days onto holidays when they already get time off from work or school. We tend to do this, too.
- Just 13 percent of readers are “vacation maximizers” who bank up vacation days for one long trip. I can’t do this… I need a break every now and then.
- It seems like people don’t like to wait until the last minute, as only four percent classify themselves as “vacation accumulators,” holding onto vacation days until the very end of the year, when they have to “use ’em” or “lose ’em.” I have to admit that last minute trips are fun. We’re a little impulsive that way!
Embassy Suites is helping “more-imize” your precious vacation days with their Get MORE Vacation contest on the Embassy Suites Facebook page. Between now and July 20th, you can upload a picture of your family’s “vacation face.” You know, that look of excitement and joy when that much-needed vacation is finally booked – with a caption explaining how your family plans to get the most out of your summer vacation – for a chance to win one of five week-long vacations at any of the 200+ Embassy Suites Hotels across the Americas PLUS $10K in spending cash. Talk about a dream vacation!
My biggest advice for getting the most out of a short getaway is to PLAN! Don’t waste precious time once you’re at your destination trying to figure out what you’re going to do and where you’re going to eat. I carefully plan out every detail. What can I say… I’m one of those people. I do leave plenty of time to just be spontaneous, but I like to have a general itinerary. It makes the trip much more enjoyable to not stress (or argue) over those things!
Dr. Susan Biali, a health and happiness expert and the author of Live a Life You Love has partnered with Embassy Suites and offers some great tips on how you can get as much as you can out of each and every vacation day.
- Vacation isn’t just about the time you are away. Looking forward to an impending vacation improves your mood and makes it easier to get through work. It can actually make you more productive. As possible, plan trips in advance so you can look forward to them and enjoy the benefits of “vacation anticipation.”
- There are ways to “more-imize” your vacation no matter how your family chooses to use their days off. If you’re a “vacation dabbler” and take short vacations here and there throughout the year, actually use the days to relax and do something fun – not to run around and do errands all day. If you’re a “vacation maximizer” – meaning you take big, long trips – schedule a transition day between when you get back home and when you need to be back at work to allow a day for catching up on the work and errands that await you when you return from a trip.
- Travel the night before to your vacation destination. There is nothing better than waking up and already being “on vacation” rather than spending a whole morning traveling to get there. It’s an easy way to maximize the first day away.
- Make your vacation budget go further by staying at a hotel like Embassy Suites that gives you more with every stay, including two?room suites for your family to spread out, free cooked-to-order breakfast each morning and an evening reception with complimentary drinks and snacks.
- Find the perfect balance of activities and relaxation for your family. Every family likes to spend their vacation time differently, so schedule nap time and down time according to your family’s needs. Perhaps that means letting your family sleep in while on vacation, so you can get the most out of each day, without the usual afternoon nap.
- Make your vacation pay for itself by signing up for special travel rewards programs, including hotel and airline programs. The points you rack up can translate into special perks, including preferred reservations, complimentary services and even free stays!
YOUR TURN: Are you a Dabbler, Extender, Maximizer or Accumulator when it comes to taking family vacations? How do you get the most out of your trip?
Disclosure: I wrote this review while participating in an Ambassador Program by Mom Central Consulting on behalf of Embassy Suites Hotels and received a one-night complimentary stay at an Embassy Suites Hotel to facilitate my reviews and a promotional item to thank me for taking the time to participate.