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  • Writer's pictureJim Parks, CFP, AIF

Enjoy the Fresh Air While Making Memories

You can have memorable family experiences this summer without blowing the budget. Camping, RV-ing, and road trips are just some options to get your family having a good time together and enjoying the great outdoors.

Summer—no school, lots of sunshine; this is prime time for spending quality time as a family. Without feeling pressured to spend a lot of money on expensive vacations, here are a few fun and simple tips for making lasting memories together.

You don’t have to go far. What national or state parks, campgrounds, or hiking trails are in your area? Go explore some of them together. By staying local, you can save money on gas (and spare yourself the stress of a long car trip). But more than that, you might find a place your family loves and can return to often. Make sure to research where you’re going ahead of time. If you’re going hiking, you’ll want to make sure the hike isn’t too difficult for anyone in the family, or you might need to see if there’s a paved path for a stroller.

But if you want that road trip, go for it! If, on the other hand, you really want to go somewhere, make it a road trip! The time in the car is a great opportunity to chat, play games, and get to know each other better. If you have young kids, you might want to break up the trip by finding parks, playgrounds, restaurants, museums, landmarks, or other places to stop along the way to your destination.

Soak up the sunshine. Whether you’re at the beach, climbing a mountain, or just taking a walk, the benefits of being outdoors can’t be overstated. Fresh air, vitamin D, and exercise—in addition to a welcome change in scenery—can do wonders for your physical and mental health. Kids will reap additional benefits too, escaping the house and screen time to explore new surroundings!

Plan together. You can come up with a few options and talk with your family about what they’d like to do. Getting everyone involved in planning a trip—even if it’s just for a day or a weekend— lets them feel invested in the family time. Cater your plans to the interests of individual family members and get excited about your plans together. Everyone can help make a family packing list and can volunteer to be responsible for certain items. Don’t neglect the outdoor essentials—like sunscreen, insect repellant, and lots of water.

Time is money. You may be feeling limited in your family time. Perhaps you can’t afford some of the experiences you’d like to have with your family, or maybe you’re strapped to a job that doesn’t give you the time for it. Give us a call and we can talk about long-term financial goals that can help you plan for the disposable income you want for those family vacations.


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