Making Summer Plans: Thinking Through Your Needs

source: Chris_J
source: Chris_J

I was pretty sure that 2009 had just started, but it turns out we’re almost halfway through it already!

As we prepare for the start of summer, we’re going to spend the next two weeks talking about making summer plans – adjusting to new schedules, daily activities and routines – as well as planning vacations and staycations so that you spend more time enjoying them and less time stressing over them.

What About the Children?

If you have school-aged children, summer probably means all new routines and schedules to get used to. Preparing ahead of time and having a basic idea of what your new daily routine will look like will make the transition easier on everyone.

  • Will your children be home during the day? Or will they be attending a day care or other formal program throughout the summer?
  • Are there lots of free-play opportunities in your neighborhood, or will you be looking for more structured activities?
  • Are there any community activities you want to take advantage of (story times, $1 days at the movie theater, VBS, etc.)?
  • Will your children be taking any lessons or attending any camps?

Staying Home or On the Go…

  • How does having your children  home change your daily schedule and routine?
  • How will summertime affect your grocery budget? Your eating out budget?
  • Rather than school backpacks, will you need a summer bag or a diaper bag that contains different things than it does during the school year?
  • What things to do you still need to buy or pull out of storage for summer activities (bathing suits, pool accessories, sports gear, strollers, slings/carriers, etc.)?

Vacations and Staycations

Although we’ll be focusing more on planning your vacation/staycation next week, let’s think through the basics this week and how they’ll affect the daily routines and weekly schedules of summer. For this purpose, we’ll use “vacation” to describe all vacations, staycations and weekend getaways.

  • Do you already have your vacation(s) planned? Have you confirmed the time off at work for yourself, your spouse and/or your children?
  • If you haven’t picked a date yet, are there options to choose from that don’t conflict with the other activities and schedules you have planned?
  • Are there any day trips or weekend getaways that you want to try to plan as part of your summer as well?

Have you started making your summer plans and schedules yet, or has summer snuck up on you? What is your favorite part of summer? Least favorite?