One of our favorite ways to "play" is traveling together. At ages nine and eleven, our girls are easy to travel with, which means we can take longer road trips and spend more time actually seeing sites than at the hotel swimming pool!
Reading Jessica's post about Planning a European Vacation reminded me of how much fun it is to plan for and anticipate a trip. Since I enjoy creating a plan and making lists, organizing a vacation is right up my alley. Typically we decide where we want to go, set a budget, and then I begin the fun tasks like researching hotels and activities and crafting a basic game plan for each day of our stay.
In order to be able to do this financially, there are other things that we give up. While the girls have nice birthdays and Christmases, there aren't extravagant parties or lavish gifts. We try to value the experiences we can have with our daughters during these years that they are in our home. It takes careful budgeting, but we are willing to cut back in other areas in order to make these trips happen.
We like to take one big trip each year and are currently planning to visit New York City later this summer. My husband and I have been there before, but it will be the first time for our daughters. We'd like to see The Lion King on Broadway, view the 9/11 memorial, and visit the usual tourist sites such as the Statue of Liberty and the Empire State Building. The girls are also saving their money so we can do a little shopping at the American Girl Place. (If you have any other recommendations for not-to-be-missed sites, please share!)
In the future, we'd like to go on a Disney cruise, see the Grand Canyon, and take a missions trip out of the country. Those last two probably won't happen until the girls are a bit older. But by setting these travel goals, discussing them with our children, then planning and anticipating our trips together, we are able to build some special memories.
Where would you like to travel with your family?