04 June 2012
Time for Summer Vacation Fun: Six Tips for a Hassle-Free Summer Vacation

Summer’s here. Time to pack up the kids and the bug spray and head out for a week of fun. Summer vacation time is supposed to be family fun time, but that week at the beach or hiking in the woods can also be stressful for everyone.

The key to a hassle-free summer vacation is planning and prepping. Eliminate the stress this year, and truly enjoy a week of vacation fun.

Here’s how:

1. Tune up the car. Nothing ruins a vacation faster than an over-heated engine when you’re miles from home. So, get your car overhauled before you haul the family half-way across the country.

RVs, trailers, watercraft, off-road vehicles – anything with a motor – should be checked by a mechanic so you can keep having fun in the sun.

2. Keep the kids entertained. Long road trips can take their toll on passengers and the driver – especially when the back seat is loaded with younger children who need entertainment to keep the peace.  If your family vehicle has a built-in DVD player, rent some movies to keep the kids entertained. Books on tape work well, along with games, puzzles, MP3 players, and other gadgets.

Plan for that six-hour drive with lots of activities to keep kids occupied. Stop often along the way, get out of the car and let the kids burn off some of that stored-up energy while you stretch your legs.

3. Confirm your reservations. When you purchase airline or railroad tickets, or book accommodations at a distant hotel or motel, ask for a confirmation number and bring those confirmations with you. They’re proof that you did book two double rooms.

When booking travel tickets or reserving motel space online, print out the confirmation number and all other reservation information to bring with you.  You never know when you may need it.

4. Research local activities online. Okay, you arrive at your vacation destination. Now what?

Use online resources to discover all the fun, entertaining, interesting, even FREE things to do once you get there. Plan your itinerary for the week, but keep it flexible. You never know about the weather so, if Tuesday was beach day and it rains, Tuesday becomes historical tour day, and Wednesday becomes beach day.

Have several options planned for each day and let the family choose what they want to do. After all, it is a family vacation, so everyone should have fun.

5. Save throughout the year to prevent stressing out the credit card. There are plenty of low- and no-cost activities at any vacation destination, but a family get-away does cost money.

Set aside $20 a week throughout the year just for vacation. First, you’ll get more vacation because you can spend more. Second, you won’t max out the credit card. And third, you won’t worry about money when you should be having fun.

Start saving now for next summer and take the cash hassles out of family vacation fun.

6. Rent a vacation home instead of staying in motels and hotels. First, vacation rental homes are usually less expensive than the nightly or weekly costs of a motel room.

Even more, a vacation home typically comes with a kitchen, where the family can prepare their favorite, home-cooked meals. Cooking at the vacation home also saves on food costs for the entire week.

It’s really that simple. Enjoy time with family and eliminate the stress of summer vacations by planning and prepping all year long.


The information contained herein may not represent the views and opinions of Nevada State Bank or its affiliates.  It is presented for general informational purposes only and does not constitute tax, legal or business advice.


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