{ "media_type": "text", "post_content": "Ladies, I need help learning how to vacation /tips. I’m an immigrant, my parents have not vacationed in years/other than visiting family, and we always penny pinch. I don’t travel a ton so no miles", "post_id": "5de7d4ad6c0bf3001cb6f7cc", "reply_count": 17, "vote_count": 2, "bowl_id": "59e88be7e2808e00149b0443", "bowl_name": "Women In Consulting", "feed_type": "bowl" }

Ladies, I need help learning how to vacation /tips. I’m an immigrant, my parents have not vacationed in years/other than visiting family, and we always penny pinch. I don’t travel a ton so no miles

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Vacations don’t need to be elaborate, especially if kids are involved. Eg mine loves going to a holiday inn with an inside water park that’s 2 hours away from us just as much as the ritz a flight away, which I certainly prefer much more. My suggestion is to start small (long weekend), focus on your main goal (making memories, focus on the types of things your family would like to do (nothing on a beach vs activities in a city) and stick with a budget (look for things close to you or off season deals or driving distance). Happy to make some tactical suggestions. Where are you? How many kids and how old?

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About same age as mine. I would definitely keep it short and sweet - they won’t last a long time at this age anyway and it’s incredibly difficult for just one person to deal with two kids. Here are our favorites. 1. Long weekend in the city at a hotel with an awesome pool. Day one - take them to some fun cheap eatary and the pool. Day two - go have breakfast somewhere kid awesome, do an activity (fun park or kids museum or horse ride), take them somewhere for dessert for lunch (my daughters favorite since it’s breaking all the rules), pool in the afternoon. Day 3 - breakfast and a toy store or souvenir store and they can pick whatever they want upto a certain amount. 2. Beach vacation - look into Airbnb with a kitchen walking distance to the beach and driving distance to DC. Lots of options by DC - just book in advance and shoot for when the school is still/already in session (the advantage of younger kids). It might be chillier but they will enjoy it just as much. They can dig in the sand during the day, fire and marshmallows at night, everyone is chill and happy; nobody around. We go to the middle of nowhere and is quiet and relaxing and very enjoyable. 3. Hop on the train to Philly or NYC for a long weekend. We usually target half a day (am or pm) doing stuff and the other half chilling (exploring hotel, reading new books, watching movies, etc). To summarize, at this age - they have short attention spans, get tired easily and anything different for a day, especially if it’s “breaking” rules is fun, so I don’t think you need to do anything elaborate. You mentioned Disney, I wouldn’t consider it until your oldest is 8 and if she is a huge fan (mine wasn’t and she had fun but would have been just as happy anywhere else; honestly the pool was a bigger hit than the princesses). Hope this helps.

likehelpful

You can also start local! Spend the day making memories at a museum or zoo, start a tradition where you go to a specific (budget friendly) restaurant and order the most elaborate dessert to share. My family traveled a lot when I was little (mostly driving to national parks, also relatively reasonable), but some of my best memories are random. My dad did a monthly daddy/daughter date with each of us individually at McDonald’s. And we’d all make crazy sundaes at the local pizza place on special nights out.

likeuplifting

Immigrant myself. Idea is vacation always has been biting family and friends. That’s the mindset I grew up with. I started with small road trips and after the wonderful vacation experiences I had, I started opening up to the idea of spending on vacations. Small steps count. Hugs 🤗

likeuplifting

Nom nom nom family

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We have done day trips to a beach/state park (east coast), day trip to the Crayola Experience, Sesame Place, apple/pumpkin/whatever picking. Our local YMCA has a nice outdoor swimming area where you can get day passes in the summer so you get a bit of the beach experience without the travel costs. And we use our vacation to visit family but we build in 1-2 fun days during those visits for the local science museum or show that is kid-friendly, mini-golf, movie theater, visit farm with horses, indoor trampoline park etc. We’d love to do nicer vacations too but realized we were missing out on memories and experiences by thinking it had to be a certain way so we’ve tried to build it more into our lives ☺️ Also ask a friend or babysitter to join you if you need support or another adult to help supervise if you do amusement parks.

likehelpful

Not sure how old your kids are - but the baltimore aquarium and the maryland science center are both open for $1 this weekend. I’m told the aquarium is always packed and the science center isn’t too bad after 2- or 3pm. There are 3 ships in the harbor that aren’t very busy but you can tour them for $1 as well. Tons of free and local things to do. We have plenty of state and federal parks (state parks are usually free and federal for an annual park pass or per entry/per car fee). Both my parents and my husband’s parents didn’t have a lot of disposable income so we did a lot of driving road trips. So much do and see up and down the east coast for nearly nothing (just avoid ‘south of the border’ 😂

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If you want a break from the cold and if you guys like the water, go for a extended long weekend 3-4 days in Miami or Ft Lauderdale? Beaches in the Carolinas (never been) as well or go to San Diego. You can watch them play in the sand while you just relax and lay there. Enjoy margaritas or any drink you'd like. Yummy food down there for sure too!

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Flights would definitely be the most expensive, but since you're from DC, they should have fairly decent prices (say vs. Out of a non-major hub like Phx or SLC). If you don't want to use up hotel points, you can look for Airbnbs. You also get to cook meals you'd like during your vacation if you want this option. As far as food, Yelp is always my go-to and looking up articles written by Buzzfeed or Thrillist for top food spots in the city.

Doesn’t help that I’ve gone through divorce in the past 4 years and didn’t take any trips with my kids as I’m in debt form the divorce. I’ve been living frugally for the past two years to repay debt. I want to make memories. And I’m afraid even if I am debt free, I will be afraid from a price tag for a Disney cruise or something. Any tips on planning or mindset shifts? Do you plan trips for the year? Quarterly? Feel free to be basic. I won’t be insulted.

I need to start small so this is great.

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