Vacation Planning on a Budget

One of the hardest things about planning a vacation with children is making sure everything you select; the area, resort and restaurants are kid-friendly and full of options for accommodating rambunctious and exhausted kiddos. I have two children; a 5 year old and 20 month old. Finding a perfect selection to satisfy both is often challenging.  My son, the baby, is a little fuss-bucket without his daily naps and early bedtime. A place with bedrooms separate from the living area is a must, especially if the rest of the family would like to talk, read, watch TV or move around while baby is resting. Trying to get a baby to go to sleep in a tiny room shared by four people - for a week - is no picnic.

Lucky for us, we've learned our lesson.

When given a choice, we don’t stay in cramped hotel rooms – even on our budget. There was a time when I thought there was no way we could afford to stay in a condo suite or home. Well, let me tell you - they are a family’s best friend. With plenty of room to spread out and separate sleeping areas, baby can take long peaceful naps. There’s a lot to be said about paying a little extra for some peace of mind - and privacy.

Did I mention these properties are usually stocked with fully-equipped kitchens? With two small children, sometimes you just welcome the opportunity to stay home, eat-in (especially if it involves preparing fresh local seafood and produce…yum) and relax with the family.  This gives you so much more flexibility while on vacation and it’s such a stress-reliever too. If you want to make a late day of it at the pool or the beach, it’s much more relaxing to stroll back to the beach house and make dinner then it is to hurriedly get everyone ready to go out (and mom is usually the last) only to stand in line for 45 minutes waiting to be seated. Ugh…try that with a fussy baby and an impatient 5 year old. Crackers and crayons can only go so far.

When planning our vacation, I spend a lot of time trying to make sure I think of everything. I want it all to be perfect – well, as perfect as it can be. I cherish the moments (often emotional) I’ve experienced through the expressions of my children. It’s one of my favorite things; seeing their faces light up, feeling their excitement and watching as they explore and discover new things. Anything I can anticipate causing issue during our vacation and circumvent, I’m all over it.

We all deserve it all, don’t we? We work hard throughout the year and like so many we pull our resources to afford valuable alone-time with our family. Why wouldn’t we want to make sure our money is well-spent?  And by the way, if you wait until just after peak-season you can enjoy the same amenities at a fraction of the cost. It’s all in the planning.
- Kimberly Raley-Kimes, Advertising & Marketing Director, Garden City Realty

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