Summer Vacation on a Dime!

July 22, 2011|By David Lester

Who is the best mom or dad ever?  We know already that it is you.  You’d do anything to provide an amazing summer vacation for your little stars wouldn’t you?  The summer is a time for kids to learn new things, socialize with other kids and develop skills that will serve them, as they get older.  In this new economic reality how does a super mom provide an amazing learning opportunity and enjoyable summer on a budget?  Here is my  win win solution to provide the ultimate summer that your kids will always remember.

When I was a kid all I wanted to be was a pirate.  I had the living room sofa dressed up as a pirate ship.  I dressed in full pirate costume including stuffed parrot everywhere I went. I would swing across to neighboring sofas to loot them and make their stuffed animal passengers walk the plank into the celery green carpet that I saw as the ocean.  I’ve always loved booty!

My mom and dad, also being a super parents, knew that to see the pirates of the Caribbean would be my ultimate summer vacation.   For an eight year old aspiring career pirate, NOTHING could be more magical than going on all the pirates rides, buying pirate pistols (that I still have today) and playing on the water park pirate ships. That summer is my clearest and warmest childhood memory.  Summer is the time to create these warm fuzzy memories that your kids will remember forever and my parents did it to perfection.

So here is the plan super mom or dad.  First ask your kids if they could have ANY vacation what would it be?  The perfect solutions always come from the individual.  Just like my perfect summer vacation would be a pirate based one in originated from my little buccaneer brain.  Instead of sending them off to a place where you would have loved to go when you were a kid send them off to a place that would blow their little minds! One that they would choose hands down.

Let’s for example say your kids said that they are totally into knights and want to go somewhere knight based.  Now, being your own genius you know what would be more mind blowing for a little mind than going to Avignon in France to an ancient walled city with real dungeons, castles and culture.  Ah-mazing, right?

Now you ask, how do we do it on a budget?  You are your own money maverick so follow the thought procedure that I’m working with.  That trip would be a huge experience for my kids now how do I get there and mitigate the costs?  First thing is to get rid of the accommodation?  I just went on Craig’s list for housing swaps and I’ve found a ton of places in the old city that would want to swap to North America in August.  There are even some organizations that will help you meet someone in Avignon or other cities around the world to swap with.  How awesome would that be for two weeks in the summer? Plus you’d have a nice French family feeding Mr. Whisker’s and taking care of the house for two weeks.  C’est fantastic!

In regards to flights, knowing what a life changing experience this would be for your little munchkins how would you offset the cost of the flights?  Points?  If you have them you could use them?  You could pool birthday gift money with Nana and Papa or other relatives and put that towards this amazing trip.  Get the kids so excited to spend a few weeks in France, learning about the knights, taking a French language class and eating authentic French food ( the pizza in Avignon is better than Italy in my opinion) that they would take on a paper route or work at a bazar to help pay their way!  You’ve started to teach them before you even set foot in France.  A very important lesson that you earn the money through hard work and then treat yourself and not the reverse.

You can probably think of even better solutions based on your own situation and kids desired vacation.  That is really the plus to this idea.  You have all of your own ultimate dreams and solutions to get them for cash.  No cards, no worry, no hassle. Cash is king.

Let your kids’ summer vacation be one that they always remember matey!

Keep loving your money and it’ll love you back with an amazing vacation with you family,




David Lester
About David Lester

David Lester is a best selling author and professional Financial Coach, helping people be better with their money. David has written a personal finance book that breaks with traditional attitudes towards finance and describes his own philosophy to money that he has gained through his personal and professional experiences. His philosophy on money applies to many areas of everyday life, including banking, investing, goal setting, shopping and entertainment.