Take the trip! But if you can’t, make an Imagination Vacation at home


There are a millions reasons we can talk ourselves out of taking a trip. Just take the trip! But if you can’t, create an Imagination vacation experience at home.

How many times have you talked yourself out of taking a trip or a few vacation days? Reasons like it costs too much, it’s not a good time, or the kids can’t miss school. Perhaps some of them are truly legitimate reasons. But, other times we just need to take the leap. Unplugging and showing your kids that occasional time away is vital for your mental and emotional health leaves a lasting impression long into their adulthood.

My daughter is in high school and every year they have an option of going to Disney Nationals for dance. Last year, we all flew down and spent almost a week and watched her compete. It was a lot of money. The kids missed school. I would not trade it for the world. My husband and I initially thought that this year we wouldn’t all go. How many times should we go to Disney? But, it occurred to me that I have only five solid years of having all my kids under one roof before the oldest goes to college. I decided we should go to Disney, and try to take all or some of those trips we have been talking about taking with our kids.

Sure, elaborate trips to Disney, Yellow Stone or trekking through Europe are expensive. These trips require thoughtful planning and saving and they don’t happen overnight. While you stay focused on the goal, remember you can still create memorable vacation, or rather imagination vacation right at home.

In our early years of parenting, my husband and I started stay-at-home imagination vacations. Just for the day, on a random winter Saturday, we would crank up the heat in the house and everyone would put on our bathing suits. We play island music, make themed food and beverages, spread beach towels on the floor near a window and pretend we were sunbathing.

There are plenty of free or inexpensive activities in Milwaukee and surrounding areas that will also help you feel like you are somewhere else, just for a little while. Local restaurants inspire cuisine and a visit to the Milwaukee Zoo or any of our Museums reminds us to imagine what other cultures and places might be like. Kids thrive on watching their parents use their imaginations. The element of surprise makes planning an imagination vacation even more thrilling for kids.

Here are some ideas if you need some inspiration for planning your family’s imagination vacation:

-Try thinking of all those places you wish to go and make a list as a family. Pick one place and if you can, visit a local venue that goes with your theme.

-Plan out how long it will take to save money for your trip and be sure to include entertainment costs that will help the trip meet your expectations.

-Once you have listed your special vacation places, brainstorm what you might see and do once you get there. Do some research on the local culture and perhaps recreate a local tradition. Visiting Hawaii for example, may include tiki torches, drinking mai tais and pineapple pork skewers with rice. End the day with a hula dance and stories of local legends.

Take the trip, but if you can’t, make up your own imagination vacation at home. Spending the time to plan family fun together gets everyone involved and thinking outside the box.



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