Planning a Vacation with ADD
You do not want to go into debt for your vacation, so start planning far enough in advance, so that you can save money each month to pay for your family getaway. You need to plan for gas, food, and lodging. For an extended trip, this could mean planning a year ahead. Decide where you want to go and how long it will take to get there. If it is sufficiently far away, you might need to have overnight stops. How far can your family drive in a day? Use the internet or a map to plan your route.
Our favorite destination is about 1,200 miles from our home. It takes almost 18 hours to drive there. For older folks, this is a 2-3 day trip. With children, it could take longer. In the car, keep water and other healthy drinks. We like to have combination fruit and vegetable juices. Have a variety of healthy snacks that your family enjoys. This limits impulse buying at gas stations, and it helps to reduce the amount of unhealthy food that your family eats on vacation. You save money, too! Make sure that you plan times at rest stops, so that your whole family can walk around. Kids need to burn off that ADD energy. Older adults need to get their blood flowing, to reduce the chance that they will get blood clots. Younger adults just need time out of the car to refocus!
At each place that you stop for the night, find something interesting to see or do. Plan those stops! Use the internet to find places of interest and restaurants with great reviews. Find hotels that suit your needs. Some of our favorite hotels are ones that are part of large chains. Others are mom and pop shops, little independent motels that are great places to stay. We look for good reviews. In addition, we always want a refrigerator, microwave, and a breakfast that is provided at no extra cost. Sometimes, that breakfast is pretty basic, while other hotels are downright lavish. If possible, we love to have a kitchen where I can cook. It is a way that our family holds costs down, while we continue to have good nutrition. We travel with a cooler that is stocked with ready-to-eat veggies and fruits. For protein, we carry individual cheese sticks and hard boiled eggs. Our cooler also has homemade muffins for snacks and quick meals. Travelers who are well-fed and hydrated are a lot less cranky. When family members have Attention Deficit Disorder, this is especially important. If family members take medication, keeping the med schedule while traveling is a priority.
When planning a vacation, the time of year is important, especially if you are going to a destination that is favored by a lot of people. Try to go on off-peak times. This will save money on lodgings, and sometimes even restaurants and gasoline. If you are going during a peak season, make reservations far ahead of time. When we would camp at Rocky Mountain National Park in July, I would make reservations as soon as the system would let me, usually in early winter. If you are going to the Grand Canyon and want to stay there, call a year ahead and find out when the earliest time would be to make reservations.
Planning can make all of the difference in whether your vacation restores and rejuvenates or is a big pain and waste of money. I remember our first trip to the Rocky Mountains in July of 1990. Because our children were 4 and 8-years-old, we elected to stay in a cabin. We reserved it six months in advance. The trip to Estes Park, Colorado is about a ten hour drive from our house. We drove six hours to Goodland, Kansas and spent the night. That allowed us to be at the top of our game when negotiating the Denver traffic and subsequent mountain driving.
Our boys had their own room in the cabin where they could spread their toys around and feel at-home. Mom and Dad had privacy. We had a complete kitchen, and that saved us money. We planned a routine. Early in the morning, we would eat breakfast and leave to explore Rocky Mountain National Park. At about 1 PM we would eat our picnic lunch in a gorgeous picnic area and head back to our cabin before the afternoon mountain rain shower. Then, it was nap time for the old folks, while the kids played or napped. In the evening, we would spend time together. Sometimes we would go into town and explore. This was an amazing and relaxing vacation, because we took time to plan it.
With careful planning, you can have a wonderful vacation that does not leave you in debt and 5 pounds heavier than when you left! Your whole family can relax, see sights, and enjoy the time together. When you have young children, you also need to plan the travel time in the car, so it is not just kids on electronics who are missing the sights and sounds of the trip. That is a completely different level of planning and another article! Please check out the related links below. They have more information about vacation planning, and there are tips for keeping the kids safe.
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