Tuesday, June 12, 2018

5 Tips To Plan the Best Summer Vacation

Linking up with Shay and Erika for another random discussion. Last year they did a Workin' It theme, and this year they are doing How We theme. I love it. This month is about how to plan summer vacations, so I'm giving you 5 tips to plan the best summer vacation.

As a full time working parent, I try to make the most out of our weekends. It's the time we get to spend together with friends and family, so we like to jam pack our weekends. Not to say that there aren't those weekends, we actually plan to do nothing and have no concrete plans, but mostly I like to catch up with friends and enjoy each weekend to it's fullest extent. That being said, this is how I plan each summer, I like to call it the 5 phases of planning Summer.

I keep everything in my Day Planner, all written out so I can see the whole month of activities. I just don't think I could go to a digital planner.

Planner code:

Yellow = Baby Fox
Purple = Mini Fox
Blue = Work
Green = Family/My stuff
Orange = birthdays/anniversaries

You might be interested in How I Use My Planner

Phase ONE:  Save

...haha, that seems like an obvious one, but by this I mean, we decided in the Fall what we want our Summer to look like, so we can save money. Most things these days cost money, and if we want to make the most of our Summer, we need to plan how we get the money to do so. This year we are going on a big trip for Christmas, so we know we don't have enough to do two big trips, but vacation time at work...blah, work getting in the way of having fun, haha.

So each paycheck we save a little so that we can do weekends away, instead of doing one big long trip. We follow the Dave Ramsey plan, which I talk a little bit more here and how we incorporate that into our lives here.

Phase TWO:  Prior Commitments

The first thing I do, is write down the things we always do. Mostly it's 4th of July and we take the day prior off, and go to my cousins for some fun pre 4th stuff and we take the day after so Mr. and I can go on a day date and relax a bit, we've done this the past few years and it seems to work out well. Once those are written out I can go to the next phase of planning.

Phase THREE: Kids Stuff

I like to plan out what Baby Fox and Mini Fox are going to do. I write out all of the potential summer classes they can take and the times, so I can work out what will work with our schedule. Most of the classes Baby Fox is going to take are Monday-Thursday. So that makes it easier for long weekends. This year Baby Fox is going to take a computer programming class, Lego building class and Build a Fort (if you don't know what that is, check out this post for an explanation). Mini Fox is doing a VBS camp with her little friend and so far that's it. I don't think I can handle much more than that!

Yep this is build a fort, they built that...this is several camps after Baby Fox went...but how cool is this?

Now that the kid stuff is all planned out, next phase.
Phase FOUR: Who

Plan who we want to visit and when it's going to happen and coordinate with those people. This part takes some time, usually I suggest what is going to work for our schedule and hope that it works for theirs too. This year, we're doing two things, we're going to visit some good friends in Northern California and we're also going camping in Yosemite. The Yosemite took a lot of effort, as it's so hard to get camping reservations, but we knew which weekends would work for us, and hoped for the best and it worked out! I love when that happens.

 Phase FIVE: The Small Things

You know during the year when you tell people, yea we should do that this summer, or we should go there this summer. I find that if you reach out to those people and plan those things...it will actually happen. So after all that other stuff is planned, I start reaching out to friend and asking them, hey want to go to the zoo on this day? Want to do a beach day on this day? Of course not every weekend is full, it just seems like it. But those things that we really want to do, like the zoo, we make an effort to get those on the calendar, instead of making it a last minute decision a few days prior. I find things actually get accomplished when it's written down.

After all that is planned, there is still time to plan unscheduled things with friends, like ice cream dates at 7:30pm.

So that my friends is how I schedule our vacation. Next year we are planning our long vacation during summer, instead of winter break, so I'll probably start with that (we'll probably have already bought our plane tickets before we even get to Summer planning) and then schedule all of Baby Fox's and Mini Fox's Summer classes around that.

How do you plan your summers?

Linking up here


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