Christian Living


Start Planning Your Summer Vacation

Feel the white sand in between your toes already? Good. Keep that ultimate getaway in your mind and go with it.

Don’t wait till May before you think about where you would like to go on your summer vacation. Start now. Let your imagination go wild day-dreaming of the places you long to visit.

Determine three things right off:

  1. Your budget - how much are you willing to spend?

  2. Your travel buddies - who’s going?

  3. Your destination - where to go this summer?

As the places flood your senses, make sure you determine what you can handle. It’s good to think happy thoughts of wasting away an afternoon lakeside with a majestic mountainous view, just don’t be too unrealistic.

Figure out what you can afford. It’s no good having a fabulous time on a vacation if you end up with another big debt to pay afterward. By looking ahead, you have time to save for your trip.

Next, figure out who you want to go with you on your little excursion.  Is this going to be a family thing, a romantic getaway with your spouse, or a fun trip with your closest friends?

Trip Destination Ideas

For the family –

  • Cabin Fever: Rent a small cabin on a lake at a national state park or a beach house at one of the thousands of beaches America has to offer. Get the place to yourself and enjoy swimming, boating, and barbequing with the kids. Research coasts and parks in your state for the best pick for your family. Consider this: staying close to your home state will keep the trip cost down.

  • Historical Fun: Celebrate the 400th anniversary of the landing at Jamestown. The historic triangle of this early settlers’ village, the Yorktown battlefields, and the colonial history of Williamsburg provide tons to do. And a great family-friendly amusement park, Busch Gardens Williamsburg, is just a few minutes.

For the romantic couple –

  • The Caribbean Islands: Beautiful sunsets are perfect for a couple who just want to relax in each other’s arms. For cheaper flights and hotels, consider vacationing in the Bahamas. If you’d like to find a spot with fewer tourists, think about going to St. Lucia or Barbados. Search for hotel packages and specials that provide you with a private oceanfront cottage.

  • Bed and Breakfasts on the Go: Pick a corner of the United States you and your spouse would enjoy exploring together. Rent a convertible and drive from small towns to urban cities staying in romantic Bed and Breakfasts along the way. Waking up in a warm bed with a delicious breakfast waiting for you downstairs will help you both relax.

For the single with friends –

  • Road Trip, Anyone?: Pile your friends into the car and see a part of the country you’ve always wanted to visit. Although it could be fun to spontaneously stop in random cities, having an idea where some great spots to stay wouldn’t hurt. Consider this: going north for the summer to escape the hot, humid weather in the southern states.

  • The Big Apple: There’s literally something for everyone in New York City: from Broadway shows to festivals in Central Park and a baseball game at Yankee or Shea Stadium to riding the Wonder Wheel at Coney Island. Stay uptown, midtown, or downtown all with great access to the trains that will take you anywhere in the city that never sleeps.

These are just a few ideas of what you can do for your vacation this summer. No matter where you decide to go it’s important to know why you are going – whether it’s to relax, spend time with the kids, or just getaway with your closest friends.

Research, Research, Research

It cannot be stressed enough. Research your destination and plan your trip ahead of time. Book a hotel, bed and breakfast, or camp site in advance. It’s not fun to sleep in a car when you should be enjoying your vacation. Also, check out local restaurants and sites before the trip. If you are using public transportation on your trip, do reconnaissance online.  Figure out the best way to travel and how the particular train and bus system works or if renting a car is best.

There’s no need to have a detailed itinerary for your entire vacation, just some ideas.  Be a spontaneous planner.

Not a planner?  Let me put it this way.  You’ll save money planning, so suck it up and get to work. You may even find you enjoy exploring your destination online even before you arrive.

Use your time wisely by taking a vacation. We all need rest, and a vacation may be just the thing you need to relax. Also, remember to stick to your budget. Taking an elaborate vacation when there are no funds shows God that we aren’t wise stewards of His provision.

Be sure you have time to recuperate after trips that require a lot of travel time on airplanes or on the road. Don’t schedule to be in the office the next morning after getting in late from your vacation the night before. Give yourself a buffer day to get back into the swing of things. That way, you are ready for the workday instead of dozing off at your desk.

Wherever you go, whatever you do, have fun, relax, and enjoy your vacation!

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