28 answers

Feeling Bad About No Vacation.......

HI Ladies,
I need a lttle pep talk! I have been unable to take my kids on vacation the last 3 years! Three summers ago I was having a baby and last year we were barely getting by on one income. This year is a no go as well. My husband works ALOT and we just haven't really had the time or money , but I just feel so bad having not taken my older son (7yrs old). He just keeps asking. I tell him that the summer is not over and we still my go to the aquarium later in the month, but chances are we just might not get to. Not to mention we haven't done much all summer long. Am I being petty???????

2 moms found this helpful

What can I do next?

Featured Answers

Kids like adults need a change of scenery every once in a while. Can he stay at Grandma"s or a relatives house for a sleepover . I used to visit my cousins for a few days in the summer every year. Felt like a vacation to me:) Also, just try to find free stuff to do or places to go. It really helps everyone's sanity!

1 mom found this helpful

My dad was a genius when doing vacationswhen we couldnt go anywhere far.. He would take us to a Holiday Inn somewhere nearby(withint 50 miles) but not a familiar place for 2 days and we would swim, go to resteraunts and to tell ya the truth it felt like a real vacation! Just being in a new place is exciting to them lol You could always give that a shot ;)

I never went on summer vacations as a kid. It does seem these days though that more families take regular summer vacations. We were fortunate this summer that my in-laws have an RV that we took to the lake for a week. But my kids still want to take a 'real' vacation which we have not done in 4 years. I know you live in Louisiana so it may be too hot, but camping is always fun. One year we rented an RV and parked it on the beach in Galveston - the kids loved it and it wasn't too expensive.

You do what you can around town and just explain a vacation isn't an option this year. He won't remember the vacations in the long run (especially at age 7), he will remember you loving him and having a loving home.

You aren't being petty, but I know it is hard not to feel guilty.

More Answers

No, you're not being petty. I believe very firmly in vacations! You might need to adjust your idea of "vacation," though. Instead of a week, see if you can get away for one night.

Camp out! Kids love camping. Don't worry about tents, sleeping bags and STUFF for camping. Just take your bedding, or sleep in the car. Or sleep in the back yard. Pack food (fruit, peanut butter) that doesn't need cooked or refrigerated. Find somewhere to swim. Take a walk with a scavenger hunt list - who can find a pinecone? A seashell? An animal? Find out about any county or state parks - they usually have free programs led by rangers. Often kids get "Junior Ranger" buttons or certificates.

Make a big deal out of the things you CAN do! Don't say, "I'd love to go somewhere nice, but we have to settle for this." Say, "We are so lucky! We're going on an adventure today!" Go to the library - it's free! They often show movies once or twice a month, or more during summer - find out when. Bring your own snacks. Find a park near you, and spend the afternoon there. Then buy a cheap box of popsicles at the grocery store. What would you do in your own town if you had out of town guests? Go do that!

We never had much money when I was growing up, but my parents took us on a lot of picnics, hikes, trips to the lake, cookouts, camping and anything else free, cheap or just the cost of gas (or a bus ticket). When we went out of town, we stayed at a relative's house or camped. And we did a LOT of day trips and weekend trips, because it's hard to do a week or more! We all have great memories of those times, and we didn't feel deprived a bit.

If you make a big deal about the stuff you do, when your son goes back to school and is asked what he did this summer, instead of saying, "Nothing," he'll be excited to tell about the water fight you let him and his friends have at your house, about video night in the back yard instead of on the couch, about getting goodies from the library reading program, about popsicles in the park or the weekend camping in the mountains and how he's sure he heard bizarre animal calls. If you're excited, the kids will be excited. And hey, free and cheap are now almost status symbols ;p - everyone's looking for those things!

4 moms found this helpful

You are not being petty. You are just being a mom. When you feel that your kids are deprived you heart breaks a little. You can still have some family fun with little money but when its hard to find the time that can be a bit more difficult. Make it work somehow even if your hubby will have to loose a couple of hours of sleep and that you have to do it in the middle of the night. -You can lay out blankets in the backyard and count stars or make a whole adventure out of it by sleeping outdoors.

I tend to buy yearly memberships to museums and zoos (specially since it costs about 2 admissions). Pack your snacks and after the 3rd go it's pretty much a free fun day.

1 mom found this helpful

Puhleezze...
Our kids never went on a vacation ever until they were in 4th and 6th grade and we took them to Disney. They go to summer camps. They go to museums. They go to movies - When they were little we only went to the free ones on Tuesdays... Basically when they were little, if it cost money, it didn't happen.
We don't take vacations. If we go anywhere, we visit family, but it's not a real vacation. We spend time with relatives - we laugh, we eat, we talk... and then we go home.
You need to find the free stuff that's available to do.
YMMV
LBC

1 mom found this helpful

Kids like adults need a change of scenery every once in a while. Can he stay at Grandma"s or a relatives house for a sleepover . I used to visit my cousins for a few days in the summer every year. Felt like a vacation to me:) Also, just try to find free stuff to do or places to go. It really helps everyone's sanity!

1 mom found this helpful

We used to go on vacations every year, but times are definitely harder financially for me right now. I feel guilty about not getting to take my son anywhere this summer, but I try not to feel like he's getting robbed. He and his dad just took a 10 day vacation so it's not like he didn't get to do anything at all. Still, I do feel bad about it. What we do is have picnics or just do little things together to make a day special. Fortunately for me, my son is very understanding and just having time with me is what matters to him.
I certainly do miss the days when we could afford to go out of town for a couple of nights but it just hasn't been possible. We used to go stay with friends at their house, but they just lost their home due to foreclosure and they have temporary living arrangements themselves so times have been tough for everybody.
I don't know if it's possible where you live, but if you have a tent, you could always "camp" in your backyard. That way, you can still have some fun but with all the convenience of the house being right there.
Try not to feel bad though. It's hard, I know, but I remember lots of summers after my grandpa came to live with us that we didn't go anywhere in particular and we still had fun as kids. We'd go have a bbq at the park or something for the day here and there or have water balloon wars.
There are lots of things you can do to have fun that don't cost much money and still make happy memories.

I wish you the best.

1 mom found this helpful

Well I am sorry you can't go on vacation but here are some ideas.
1. check out the prices for local camping sites we just returned from a weekend of camping. The camping sites are usually between $20-30 a night. I got one tent from freecycle and one tent that is big enough to fit a queen air bed in it for $1 dollar at a garage sell. Bring a cooler with simple foods like hotdogs, yogurt, peanut butter and jelly and apples.
I would go to Walmart. Keep your purchase low. They have the metal sticks for the marshmallows and hot dogs. Its called Coleman extended steel fork for $3.88. Buy a bag of charcoal. Bring some foldable chairs. Some blankets, tent,bug spray, lots of water.
2. host a manhunt at your house. We do all the time. My kids love playing this game and get to see all the neighborhood kids
3. Sometimes museums have a FREE day check it out.
4. Visit a different local park every week make it a fun experience.
5. type in free local activites in your area.
6. Join Freecycle. Its a world group. Instead of your items going into a landfill you can give your old shoes or whatever to some that could use them. This is how I found one tent. You use words like "Wanted" "Taken" Offer" Example "Offer" 2 blankets in good condition Sewell NJ.
7. I have great fun ideas to do with kids email me if your interested I will give you more ideas.

Updated

Well I am sorry you can't go on vacation but here are some ideas.
1. check out the prices for local camping sites we just returned from a weekend of camping. The camping sites are usually between $20-30 a night. I got one tent from freecycle and one tent that is big enough to fit a queen air bed in it for $1 dollar at a garage sell. Bring a cooler with simple foods like hotdogs, yogurt, peanut butter and jelly and apples.
I would go to Walmart. Keep your purchase low. They have the metal sticks for the marshmallows and hot dogs. Its called Coleman extended steel fork for $3.88. Buy a bag of charcoal. Bring some foldable chairs. Some blankets, tent,bug spray, lots of water.
2. host a manhunt at your house. We do all the time. My kids love playing this game and get to see all the neighborhood kids
3. Sometimes museums have a FREE day check it out.
4. Visit a different local park every week make it a fun experience.
5. type in free local activites in your area.
6. Join Freecycle. Its a world group. Instead of your items going into a landfill you can give your old shoes or whatever to some that could use them. This is how I found one tent. You use words like "Wanted" "Taken" Offer" Example "Offer" 2 blankets in good condition Sewell NJ.
7. I have great fun ideas to do with kids email me if your interested I will give you more ideas.

Updated

Well I am sorry you can't go on vacation but here are some ideas.
1. check out the prices for local camping sites we just returned from a weekend of camping. The camping sites are usually between $20-30 a night. I got one tent from freecycle and one tent that is big enough to fit a queen air bed in it for $1 dollar at a garage sell. Bring a cooler with simple foods like hotdogs, yogurt, peanut butter and jelly and apples.
I would go to Walmart. Keep your purchase low. They have the metal sticks for the marshmallows and hot dogs. Its called Coleman extended steel fork for $3.88. Buy a bag of charcoal. Bring some foldable chairs. Some blankets, tent,bug spray, lots of water.
2. host a manhunt at your house. We do all the time. My kids love playing this game and get to see all the neighborhood kids
3. Sometimes museums have a FREE day check it out.
4. Visit a different local park every week make it a fun experience.
5. type in free local activites in your area.
6. Join Freecycle. Its a world group. Instead of your items going into a landfill you can give your old shoes or whatever to some that could use them. This is how I found one tent. You use words like "Wanted" "Taken" Offer" Example "Offer" 2 blankets in good condition Sewell NJ.
7. I have great fun ideas to do with kids email me if your interested I will give you more ideas.

1 mom found this helpful

vacations are not required. We went this year for the first time since we got married 5 years ago, and it was just a long weekend away. Maybe there are fun things you can do in your area to break things up. We have a children's farmstead, for example, that's only a couple bucks a person and my daughter loves it.

1 mom found this helpful

There's some great ideas here. Here's some more. Check out some house swapping websites. You swap houses with someone for a week and check out the area they live in, saving lots of $. Have a "staycation"...go to familyfun.com or some other websites and "schedule" a week of fun activities at your house. Picnic one day in the living room. Have a movie festival one day. Do "olympics" one day. Have a baking day. Have a craft day. Etc., etc., etc. You don't have to go anywhere to have fun. Or, just book one night in a local hotel or in a neighboring town. As kids, we had a super time just swimming in the pool, eating in a restaurant, and sleeping all together!

1 mom found this helpful

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