Summer months have ascended upon us and vacationers are packing up and heading out to enjoy the summer sun, relaxation, freedom from the 9-5 and hectic school schedules but many of us are stuck at the office only to put those daydreams of swimming in the ocean, boating and running hand in hand with the kids on the beach on the back burner because there just isn’t enough hours in the day to get the work done. My husband works in road construction (see orange please slow down) and these hot summer months he awakes before the sun to work long hours and comes home just in time to have dinner with his family, wash up and head back to bed. There will be no week long vacation for our family until lay off season but we manage to squeeze in short getaways dabbling in 1-2 over night stays not so far from home.
Embassy Suites survey of Parents magazine readers did a recent study of families and vacations. They found that 56% of people only Dabble in vacations taking shorter trips because of obligations to work/school schedules!! Our family is part of that percentage in a way. We can’t take long trips until hubby gets laid off but we try to get away for an over night stay here and there just to escape every day busy schedules and have some fun with the kids. We don’t take the longer vacation until hubby gets laid off at the end of the year and even then we wait until taxes come because lay off season is so hard to budget for bills, Christmas and a vacation.
When we can get away we try to plan for a weekend around a holiday to have more time to relax when we return home. The extended time off allows for an extra day off of work so he can relax after all the driving and kick back, get some things done around the house and of course get some time to himself to watch Nascar, swim in the pool or hang out with friends.
The kids always look forward to our short weekend and sometimes weekday escapes. We love getting them excited days before we leave and watching them make lists and get packed and talk about the things they want to do while were away from home. Builds up the excitement for the whole family. We usually pick up a new movie for the long ride to keep the entertained and not focused on elapsed time travel. Helps to cut down on the “Are we there yet?” repeats.
Dr. Susan Baili the Author of “Live a Life to Love: 7 Steps to a happier, healthier more passionate you” has teamed up with Embassy suites to help families More-imize their vacations. Rule of them is that you need atleast 3 days to reap the restorative benefits of taking time off but when you end up taking shorter trips it’s gets a little tricker to do that.
Here’s a few of her great tips on how to “More-mize” your vacation.
1. Vacation isn’t just about the time you are away. Looking forward to 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.”
Vacation Anticipation! Oh repeat that. Sounds so good doesn’t it. I think when you build the excitement about getting away from the every day grind it just improves your overall mood. Daydreaming about vacationing never hurt anyone either just be careful your not sipping on a Margarita while your at work when you do that. Save it for when you get home.
2. 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. Vacation is about relaxation and recharging, so the way to actually reap those benefits is to relax and keep normal, everyday activities to a minimum.
- 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.
I used to be a vacation maximizer. I actually miss those days. I’d take long vacations to Las Vegas to visit my grandma and make sure I had atleast 2 days off even after I arrived back home. It just makes things less hectic when you can get all the laundry done, run errands and make sure you have everything ready before the busy weeks begins.
3. Turn a family obligation into a vacation opportunity. If your family can’t get away for a long vacation, but are traveling for family obligations, turn that trip into a mini getaway. Look for local family-‐friendly sightseeing opportunities and treat yourself to a special family dinner while you’re on the road.
We have family in Wisconsin and love driving up to visit. We don’t get up there as often as we like but tend to sleep in a hotel because of our little guys allergies. We love site seeing and I take photos along our drive for sharing with the family when we get home.
4. Travel the night. 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.
We usually travel early morning. Our 4 yr old hates sleeping away from home so we try to make it less traumatic for him as possible. Hubby is an early riser and I’m a night owl so when we pack the kids in the car when they are still asleep and get 2-3 hours of driving in before they wake up it’s usually a good trip.
5. 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.
I’ve never personally stayed at the Embassy suites but I’m certainly looking forward to it this week. It will be a wonderful get away. We chose a hotel not far from home but close to all of the exciting things there is to do downtown like Navy Pier and Grant park. We may even take the kids over to Lincoln park zoo, too.
6. 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 reservation, complimentary services and even free stays!
Oh a Free Stay. Now their talking my language. You’ll find a lot of airline and hotels offer reward program points for your purchases. Many credit cards company’s do the same. Paired up you’ll save yourself money and receive some really great benefits. Be sure to take advantages of these. You don’t want to be kicking your self when your sitting pool side chatting up with your new found friends on vacation and then you hear about how his whole week is free because he’s using his reward perks. Sign up for yours today .
“Like” Embassy suites on Facebook for an exciting opportunity “Get More Vacation“ between now and July 20, 2012 for an exciting chance to win 1 of 5 week long family vacations at any of the 200+ Embassy Suite hotels across the Americas plus $10,000 in spending cash and round trip airfare for four to capture those new vacation memories.
Super simple to enter too. Submit a photo that shows your family’s “vacation face” – that look of excitement and joy about a much-needed vacation – along with a caption describing why their family needs help reclaiming more vacation this summer.
Go ahead say it. SWEET! or in this case “SUITE!” Enter now while your thinking about it and I’d love to hear if you win.
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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.