2018-04-11 / Society

Plan a weekend family getaway

Weekend getaways can provide great bonding opportunities for families. During the week, families may be too preoccupied with hectic schedules packed with sports practices, extracurricular activities and work commitments to get much quality time together. That makes the weekend an ideal time to step away from the hustle and bustle and enjoy some time together as families.

When planning weekend getaways, parents may benefit from employing a few strategies that can turn their trips into the perfect escapes from the daily grind.

• Don’t stray too far from home. Weekend getaways can provide respites from the stress of everyday life. Spending much of the weekend in the car likely won’t provide the relief that families are seeking, so parents should keep location in mind when planning their getaways. Choose somewhere close to home so as little time as possible is spent in the car, leaving more time for fun and relaxation.

• Find fun activities. Getaways are more enjoyable when families find fun things to do. Simply getting away to somewhere peaceful might work if parents are going it alone, but youngsters may quickly grow bored and retreat into their devices if there’s nothing fun to do. Before booking lodging for the weekend, parents can research weekend festivals, area parks where families can hike, swim or kayak together, or other activities.

• Don’t overbook the weekend. While it’s important to find some fun activities for weekend getaways, parents should avoid overbooking the weekend. Many families enjoy weekend getaways for the respite from the often hectic daily grind they endure during the week. Overbooking a weekend getaway may make such trips less relaxing than parents intend them to be. One family-friendly activity per day should suffice and still afford families ample time to relax and enjoy one another’s company.

• Avoid Friday rush hour. If possible, families should try to depart for their destinations a little early on Friday. By leaving before the start of Friday rush hour, families can avoid traffic and ensure their trips start off on the right foot.

• Pack light. Weekend getaways likely won’t require too much packing. A two or three-day excursion should not be treated like a weeks-long overseas vacation. Packing light makes it easy to get on the road and then get back on the road when the time comes to go home. Only parents with babies in tow may need to pack more than seems reasonable for short getaways. Babies may need swimming diapers, noise machines to help them sleep, bottle warmers, extra bottles and jars, and extra clothing. Packing those items can save parents the trouble of having to track them down once they arrive at their destinations.

Weekend getaways can provide busy families with great respites from their often hectic weekly schedules.

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