I am so honored to have LM Preston, author of Explorer X-Alpha as a guest blogger today!
My kids are as addicted to traveling as I am. I must admit it is a passion that fuels and enhances my writing. I tend to always travel with the entire family and exploring the world through the eyes of a kid, brings a Young Adult Science Fiction Writer on level with the age group she writes too.
How often do I travel, okay, this is where most people look at me as though I am insane – I travel somewhere every other month. Now, that means, my family and I will drive somewhere every month to spend on weekend of quality time with each other.
HOW DO WE TRAVEL EVERY MONTH
We budget for it. In college when I was a poor, broke student working two part-time jobs and going to school full-time. I made sure that I traveled somewhere every single vacation. Why? I was completely on my own and didn’t have a home to go to during the breaks. Therefore, I would go on a mini-vacation to friends, family or even the Bahamas . I would pay on the trip every month.
Well fast-forward to now. I still budget every month for our mini-vacations. We eat in our condo, go to the free or cheap sites, and spend time with each other.
WHY DO WE GO SOMEWHERE SO OFTEN
We work really hard. I work a full-time job, am an author that writes three books a year, and teach from time to time. Not to mention, I am team mom for my kid’s soccer and basketball teams. My husband also coaches my kid’s football, basketball, lacrosse, and soccer teams. Whew!
With a schedule like that, we have a lot to do with little time. However, we don’t want to lose site of the most important thing – each other. Therefore, when we go away for that one weekend every month, we focus on each other. We play games, sing songs, do crafts, talk about goofy stuff, and I make them listen to me read every book I write out loud (LOL!). I do, and they give me honest, loud, boisterous feedback.
MY TEENAGERS LOVE IT – THIS IS HOW I KNOW IT
We thought that over time we would have to fight our teenagers, and pull them forceably into going with us and leaving their friends behind. Yet, they surprise us every time by looking forward to these mini-trips when our focus is completely on them.
Recently, I took my daughter to Cancun (a trip that she and I had planned a year ago) and she planned every aspect of our adventure. It was the best time ever. I told her that, I had more fun with her than I had with anyone I’ve traveled with alone. You know what? I really meant it. We snorkeled, ate, read and talked about the adventures we had yet to come.
HOW DO WE BUDGET FOR THESE TRIPS?
I have a vacation club account for the amount of money I plan on spending on our adventure. I plan our trips out one year in advance (yep, you read it). Then I price out a budget for each trip, an itinerary of what we plan or hope to do, and I staple them together.
Some things we do in order to save money:
- We don’t eat breakfast out.
- We don’t eat dinner out.
- We don’t spend over a certain amount on excursion.
- We make up a list of FREE things to do
- We cook in our condo
- We rent a condo on this website (http://www.wyndham-vacations.com/) and others that accommodate a family of six
- We drive to most all locations
- We take crafts to do outside, on the beach, or in the condo
HOW CAN YOU TAKE A MINI-VACATION EVERY MONTH
A mini-vacation can be done anywhere. You can even take them at home if money is tight. You can cut off the phone, not do any house work, and spend the day reading, create a family picnic, play hide and seek, or act out a story at home.
Local Parks are also a great find. Also, sometimes just being able to spend one night out is nice – you can stay at a bed and breakfast instead of a hotel.
Always remember, no matter how hard you work, that you should take some slice of time to enjoy the world and love yourself and the others you care about. You only ever get one life, and one chance to enjoy this playground called Earth.
By: LM Preston, Author of EXPLORER X - Alpha, http://www.lmpreston.com/
LM Preston is giving away 1 book/1 poster and 2 magnets to one winner! The contest ends on January 21st at 11:59 pm.
Fill out the form here!