I need a vacation. Correction, WE need a vacation. By “we” I mean my family, all 5 of us. I need fresh air, disconnect from the world, no household chores, no time schedules and a beautiful landscape. I have found it is in these small, quick moments that I carve out for my family that we most reconnect, reconvene, recharge. I think the word “vacation” has become inflated to mean expensive plane tickets, fancy hotels and an overload of entertainment. What vacation should be is relaxed, easy and border along the edge of boring, because after all, aren’t we just trying to escape the busy-ness of life?!
One of my favorite “vacation” spots is about an hour from my home in Stonewall, TX. This little piece of heaven is sandwiched between Johnson City and Fredericksburg, located on 500 acres. Among the carved out Hill Country you will find Longhorns, Axis deer, roosters and cows roaming freely. The freshness of the air comforts my soul as the sounds of the city disappear and nature pierces my heart. We can stay in the restored 1927 ranch house with a porch and rocking chairs to watch the kids play as we admire the painting in the sky of a sunset. It’s as magical as it sounds. Something about just being away from the city (yet 15 min from town when you wanna get a bite or roam the antique shops) and in God’s country that replenishes my soul every time. Spots like this exist all over our beautiful country. If you are creative, you can get them for $200 or less per night, no plane’s necessary and you are back before another work week begins.
With all the demands, schedules and stress that this world can so easily place upon our shoulders, it is important that we take control and take back our time. When traveling with kids, the shorter the distance the better (yes, we drove our kids 15 hours over the holidays to Colorado…I survived to talk about it). While our Texas coast is no Clearwater Beach or Virgin Islands, it is still full of the fundamentals of peace. The salty air, soundtrack of the ocean & sand in your toes that will give you the release your mind is longing for. Now while this all sounds great and is most definitely necessary, money is always a factor. This is not the time to blow your whole savings because you simply need a break. This may give you immediate satisfaction, but will only leave stress waiting at your door, as you return from your trip broke with no emergency funds to fall back on. Getaways need to be a part of our budget, just like groceries and gas. It doesn’t take much, but if we set aside $10 a week (just cut 2 latte’s and you’re there), in a few month’s you will have enough to plan a 2 night getaway! It’s easy, affordable, only cost you 2 latte’s a week and now your batteries are recharged until the “low fuel” light pops up again. These little getaways can buy me 3-6 months of sanity and if I’m able to swing $15/ week, I can get them even sooner.
My point here momma is that life can be intense and this is our opportunity to be intentional. Intentional with how and where we spend our time. We are the seekers of our destination. We get to create, carve out and make the memories for our families. I promise you while Disney World is at the top of all their lists (mine too!!!) that it’s the small moments you make regularly, they will cherish most. Back to us driving our kids 15 hours to see snow this last Christmas, it’s the 1 night hotel stay on the way there and the way back that my 5 year old still talks about! What about the cabin? the snow? the mountains? Nope, she asks regularly when we can go back to the hotel! Well….we can’t win ’em all, but to her the smell of an indoor pool, a continental breakfast and big fluffy beds that she can jump back and forth between, just do it for her. While this won’t stop me from doing the ‘big’ trips, it just makes me realize that it’s the small ones that count too.
So lets take a deep breath, set $10 aside today and begin makin’ memories, planning our getaways, carving out time for our kids and husbands. I can assure you, you won’t regret this friends. You don’t have to have a lot of money, you don’t have to have a lot of time. One night away, which we’ve done several times when that’s all that was in the budget, will break up the mundane and shine light back into the beautiful life you have spent so much energy creating.
My Personal Tips for Saving:
- Have a separate bank account just for travel, even if you only put $5/$10 in it from time to time, it will add up!!! I had to switch banks because my old bank started charging/acct ( I have SIX!!!!) Credit unions are very friendly to free banking 😉
- Book through sites that give you credits towards a free night! I personally don’t use credit cards that do this because I have little self control and will just get myself in credit card debt. I use hotels.com (after 10 nights, you get 1 free night).
- Stay close by, look in your own city for Bed & Breakfasts!!! Dripping Springs is in my backyard and it’s full of cute Hill Country Getaways!!!
- Hotels are always cheaper than booking condo’s/vacation homes. The condo’s charge almost as much as a one night stay for taxes/fees, hotels charge anywhere from $30-60. Plus hotels offer FREE breakfast, wifi and pools….every kids DREAM! When we want to feel luxurious, we book the ever so fancy, Embassy Suites…a parent’s dream! They have FREE happy hour every night with snacks for the kids!!! It’s a win/win!!!!
Our creator reminds us through scripture how important rest is, after all He created an entire day devoted just to this! Know that it is okay to slow down, have a lazy day, a lazy week, be still in your soul and allow yourself to here your own inner voice. Your spirit. His spirit. This is the truth that dwells inside all of us.
So then, there remains a Sabbath rest for the people of God, for whoever has entered God’s rest has also rested from his works as God did from his. Let us therefore strive to enter that rest, so that no one may fall by the same sort of disobedience. (Hebrews 4:9-11)
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