Vacation In Your Own Hometown

The 4th of July is over. Back to school doesn’t get into high gear for 4-6 weeks depending on where you live and grade level. So how are you planning to spend the next 4 plus weeks?

This is the time of year where many families take vacations. But sometimes it’s just too expensive to go anywhere. Or maybe one or both parents can’t take the time off from work. That doesn’t mean your are destined to have a long boring summer.

Learn how to vacation in your own hometown!

Get organized by first creating a Summer Planner.

It’s not too late to do that. 

What you need:

  1. 3-ring binder. Size: 1/2 inch thick to 2-3 inches. It depends on how many different things you have going on during the summer.
  2. Dividers to create different sections. Pocket dividers work great so you have a place to put any pamphlets or other info in them.
  3. Notebook paper to write down info.

What to do to set up and organize the planner:

  1. Label all the sections you need or want. Examples:
    1. Vacations
    2. Summer Camps
    3. Local Attractions (Free and paid)
    4. Rainy day activities
    5. Sunny day activities
  2. Start researching ideas for each section. Google you city or one near by and the following topics. Either print out the information you like or write on the notebook paper the sites to check into later.
    1. Museums
    2. Festivals
    3. Parks and special activities and/or events
    4. Mini vacation spots, either overnight or one day vacations
    5. Rainy day projects – art activities, scrapbooking, decluttering, redecorating a room, etc.

Be sure to include your family when researching and creating this notebook. They will be more enthusiastic about partaking in these activities and excursions. Set a day each week to plan out what they want to do and where they want to go during the next week or two. Be flexible with your plans. It’s okay to change activities on any given day as long as everyone agrees. Don’t forget to leave some days each week for good old lazy boring days. We all need those sometimes!

Here are some sites to with more ideas for things to do. – Summer Vacation – Summer Ideas – free summer ideas for kids




Simplify Your Holiday – Tip #10

Are you traveling this holiday season? If you are here are a few tips to help your trip be more organized and fun.

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  • Double check the weather of your destination a week before you leave. You may need to adjust what kind and how much clothing you pack. The weather is unpredictable in many areas this time of year.
  • If you are traveling by plane and taking gifts with you don’t gift wrap them until you arrive at your destination. Security check points may need to see inside the boxes or containers. You can bring wrapping paper, ribbon, tape, and a very small scissors (blades shorter than 4 inches). For more information on what can and cannot be taken on a plane, check out the TSA website.
  • Just because you are traveling by car doesn’t mean you have to over pack it. You will want to leave room for any gifts you receive.
  • Make a Travel Planner and write down everything you want to pack and any other information you may need while you are away. Check out this article for more details on creating your own Travel Planner.

Have a fun, safe, and organized trip by planning ahead.

If you have any tips to share on traveling at this time of year please write them in the comment section. Thanks.


“Are We There Yet?” Travel Games

If you have traveled by car with children then you have probably heard those dreaded but famous words; “Are we there yet?”. When my children were young it didn’t take them long before they grew bored with the things they had brought to entertain themselves on the trip. This was a time before most hand held video games and Ipods.

So, to help pass the time we would play travel games like who could go through the alphabet first by watching the billboards and road signs. The words had to start with the letter they were on and only the person who saw it first could move on to the next letter. This kept them busy for a little while.

Here are several sites that have lots of games for traveling. You can print out the game sheets and instructions. Keep them in a pocket folder ready to go when the children pop the question. Have pencils and/or crayons in a ziplock bag or pencil box. You will also want either a clipboard, children’s lap drawing board, or some other hard surface for them to write on. With a variety of games in the pocket folder you can keep them busy for hours.

Happy Traveling


Traveling By Car

It’s the height of vacation season. Are you getting ready to pack up and hit the road? Before you head out it is good to plan your packing so your travel light. They say if you add a lot of extra weight (luggage) you won’t get as good as gas mileage. Ok, I know it may only be pennies so that’s not usually a good reason. It’s better to pack light so all the luggage fits in the trunk. If you have ever traveled in the car with your feet squeezed between bags of extras and your children are packed tight in between backpacks, coolers, and other bags in the back seat then you are not packing light.


When you pack your luggage for airplane travel you take only the essentials. After all, you have to drag the luggage from the car to the airline terminal and then from the airplane and/or luggage claim to a cab or rental car. Then into the hotel or other place you are staying. That’s a lot to lug around!

With a car we tend to pack more than we need because it’s like a mobile storage unit. We don’t have to totally unpack the car each night if we don’t want to. Don’t let yourself get in this mind set. Pack light and the car ride itself will be a lot more enjoyable. Plus, think of the leg room you’ll have.

I’m researching websites with lots of travel game ideas. I will post those either later today or tomorrow. If you plan ahead you can pull these games out when the kids start complaining “Are we there yet?”. Just print out the instructions and/or game sheets and have them ready to go.


Travel Clutter

Decluttering Tip Newsletter – Travel Clutter
Volume 2, Issue 22
June 17, 2009


When we travel, especially for vacation, we encounter two forms of clutter. The first is what we pack to take on our trip and the second is what we buy to remind us of the trip.

How many times have you thrown extra clothing into the suitcase just in case you may need it. If you pack this pair of pants then you have to pack that pair of shoes. After all, the other pair of shoes that are packed for the other pair of pants won’t look as good with this pair of pants. On and on it goes until before you know it you need another suitcase to carry all the extra clothes. Traveling on vacation shouldn’t be a fashion show. It should be about comfort, convenience, and simplicity. Less really is more when it comes to packing for vacation. Less time spent worrying and dressing just right means more time site seeing or relaxing.

A simple way to pack what you need and only what you need is to write out what you plan to wear each day. You will have day clothes and evening clothes. There should be plenty of overlapping. One pair of shoes should be worn with multiple outfits. Shorts or pants can be worn more than one time. Just wear a different top.

Once you have written down what you plan to wear for the whole trip you can create a master list of clothes and other items. This master list will help you pack only what you need. It’s like going to the grocery store with a list so you don’t forget anything or buy too much that is not on the list. Make a list for each person in you family to help everyone to pack light.

The second form of travel clutter comes when we start buying or collecting souvenirs to remind us of the good times we had on the trip. The coffee mugs, wall plaques, sea shells from the beach, and T-shirts, all have a tendency to end up in a drawer or storage closet. If you use them and they remind you of the fun, that’s great. If not, then they become clutter. Take pictures instead and put them in a scrapbook (digital or hard copy) to be enjoyed later. Those are less likely to become clutter.

Keep your suitcases packed lightly going and coming back home. Focus on the sites and sounds and fun times of your trip, not your wardrobe or souvenirs.

How do you travel lightly? Please share your ideas and suggestions in the comment section.

Feel free to forward this tip to family and friends who might benefit from it.

To a lighter load along the way.

Janice Scissors