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9 Budget-Friendly Summer Travel & Family Bonding Ideas

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Getting ready to hit the road this Memorial Day weekend and beyond? First, read these 9 tips from "RelationTrips" author, Jeff Siegel, who offers expert advice on planning summer travels that are fun, full of adventure and the bonding opportunities every family needs. Who couldn’t use a little of that?

Summer travel can be a great time for family bonding and family fun. Remember that? And with Memorial Day weekend right around the corner and family reunion season coming this summer, it’s time to get your plans and budget ready to hit the road. 

Jeff Siegel, author of RelationTrips: A Simple, Powerful Way to Bond With Your Loved Ones Through Personalized Road Trips, shares these top 9 tips for planning Memorial Day weekend and summer travels that are full of adventure, bonding opportunities, excitement and unpredictability. Yes, please!!  

 

1.      
Save on
activities.
While
fuel prices have been a hot topic, remember that family trips are more about
spending time together and less about the destination. For families looking to
save cash, research the many free events, activities and locations available at
your destination. They often provide more unique and memorable experiences than
a pricey theme park or attraction. 

 

2.      
Let the
kids be your guide.
Choose
one day during the trip and let your children research and plan all the
activities. Encourage them to create an agenda that includes a theme and
soundtrack for the day. Families with more than one child can make it a joint
effort or assign each child their own day or portion of a day.

 

3.      
Give
your trip a life of its own.
During the planning stages, sit down as a family and
personalize your trip by giving it a name.  This builds anticipation and gets
everyone involved long before you leave the driveway.  Incorporate your
destination, family name or both into the trip name, such as "Millers In Memphis"
or "The Simpson Sizzlin’ Summer Spectacular."

 

4.      
See the
journey with new eyes.
If your family travels to the same location each Memorial Day
weekend, take the opportunity to explore new destinations along the way. Pick
out two or three new places to stop while in transit, such as a new landmark or
roadside restaurant.

 

5.      
Make
homework fun.
School’s
almost out for summer, but many kids have final projects or exams at the end of
the year that can be incorporated into your family travel. Look for
opportunities for destinations, side trips or activities that directly relate
to your kids’ upcoming school schedules for educational fun. 

 

6.      
Begin a summer-long adventure. Summer is the time of festivals, craft
shows, theater showcases and a host of other creative events. These fun,
outdoor activities are healthy, engaging ways to get your family moving. Pick a
Memorial Day weekend destination with events that will excite your loved ones
and inspire them for future travel. For an extended adventure, identify a
series of events that share the same theme taking place in different locations
throughout the summer and kick off your travels during Memorial Day weekend. 

 

7.      
Plan for the journey. Help pass the travel time smoothly and get
kids geared up for the trip with activities and entertainment en-route. Choose
books-on-tape, music playlists and rest stops that relate to the activities
planned at your final destination. Create your own games with references
to the people, places and things that are unique to your family.  

 

8.      
Remember the Minors.  Baseball is America’s summer pastime and centerfield
provides a perfect centerpiece for a Memorial Day excursion. While Major League
games may be the most popular, some of the most budget-friendly fun can be had
at the dozens of Minor League parks around the country. With music performances,
game-related activities and all kinds of other fun antics, there’s something
for every member of the family to enjoy.

 

9.      
Be
flexible.
As well-planned
as a trip may be, unforeseen circumstances, such as detours, flight delays or
attraction closures, inevitably arise. Turn these challenges into "teachable
moments." They are a great opportunity to showcase problem solving skills,
creative thinking, patience and manners.


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