My husband and I are in the middle of planning out our family vacation for this summer. We’re making plans to visit Grapevine, Texas this year so that we can take our son to the LEGOLAND Discovery Center. In the past, we have been vacation “dabblers”, meaning we take a short trip where we are gone two or three days. This year, we plan to become vacation “extenders” and stretch this trip out for several more days than we normally would.
One trip we make just about every year without fail is a short trip down to the Mississippi Gulf Coast. Since we have “dabbled” in the past, we often had to pack as many activities into our days and nights as we could to get the most out of our days away. Getting up early, taking advantage of a hotel’s continental breakfast, and lots of advanced planning for attractions we wanted to enjoy were some of the ways we managed to squeeze out as much fun as we could on our short trips away from home. While there is nothing wrong with this, often times I come home feeling like I need a vacation to get over my vacation. I’m sure some of you can relate, right? I am so looking forward to this extended vacation so we can take things at a more leisurely pace and really savor being together as a family.
A recent Parent’s Magazine study found that more families are “dabbling” and taking shorter trips. Embassy Suites wants to help families “more-imize” these short adventures by helping you get more fun, family time, and relaxation with their GET MORE Vacation Contest on Facebook. Simply upload a picture of your family’s “vacation face” and tell how your family plans to get the most out of your summer vacation (before, during, and after). The prize is pretty sweet, too. You could win one of 5 week-long vacations at any of the 200+ Embassy Suites Hotels across the Americas, PLUS $10,000 spending money!
Embassy Suites has partnered with Dr. Susan Biali, a health and happiness expert and the author of Live a Life You Love: 7 Steps to a Healthier, Happier, More Passionate You, to help families “more-mize” their vacations this summer, to get more of the happiness, fun and relaxation and that comes before, during and after a great family trip. Dr. Biali says the rule of thumb is that people need at least three days to reap the full restorative effects of time off, but the reality is that families are taking shorter trips, so it’s important to get as much as you can out of each and every vacation day.
TIPS FOR “MORE-IMIZING” YOUR VACATION
1. Vacation isn’t just about the time you are away. Looking forward to an impending vacation improves your mood and makes it easier to get through work. It can actually make you more productive. As possible, plan trips in advance so you can look forward to them and enjoy the benefits of “vacation anticipation”.
2. There are ways to “more-imize” your vacation no matter how your family chooses to use their days off.
o If you’re a “vacation dabbler” and take short vacations here and there" throughout the year, actually use the days to relax and do something fun- not to run around and do errands all day. Vacation is about relaxation and recharging, so the way to actually reap those benefits is to relax and keep normal, everyday activities to a minimum.
o If you’re a “vacation maximizer” – meaning you take big, long trips – schedule a transition day between when you get back home and when" you need to be"back at work to allow a day for catching up on the work and errands that await you when you return from a trip.
3. Turn a family obligation into a vacation opportunity. If your family can’t get
away for a long vacation, but are traveling for family obligations, turn that trip
into a mini getaway. Look for local family-friendly sightseeing opportunities
and treat yourself to a special family dinner while you’re on the road.
4. Travel the night before to your vacation destination.There is nothing better than
waking up and already being on vacation rather than spending a whole morning traveling to get there. It’s an easy way to maximize the first day away.
5. Make your vacation budget go further by staying at a hotel like Embassy Suites that gives you more with every stay, including two-room suites for your family to spread out, free cooked-to-order breakfast each morning, and an evening reception with complimentary drinks and snacks.
6. Find the perfect balance of relaxation and activities for your family. Every family likes to spend their vacation time differently, so schedule nap time and down time according to your family’s needs. Perhaps that means letting your family sleep in while you’re on vacation, so you can get the most out of each day, without the usual afternoon nap.
7. Hold onto that post-vacation rejuvenation feeling. Create a scrap book or
photo album of your vacation memories and remember to look at it often.
Recalling fun, relaxing family times can help rejuvenate you when you’re
stressed and need a burst of energy.
8. Make your vacation pay for itself by signing up for special travel rewards
programs, including hotel and airline programs. The points you rack up can
translate" into special perks,including preferred reservations, complimentary
services and even free stays!
Our family will be spending a night at the Embassy Suites Dallas – DFW Airport North Outdoor World soon and we can’t wait to experience all of the great amenities offered. I will be documenting our experience and sharing it here on my blog with you.
How does YOUR family get more out of each vacation?
I wrote this review while participating in an Ambassador Program by Mom Central Consulting on behalf of Embassy Suites Hotels and received a one-night complimentary stay at an Embassy Suites Hotel to facilitate my reviews and a promotional item to thank me for taking the time to participate.