Full Time Vacationing in the Great Outdoors: Is it Possible for Your Family?

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August 7, 2013

In the past if full-time vacationing was mentioned I probably would have laughed. I mean, unless you were gifted with substantial amounts of money, didn’t need to be employed, or didn’t have children, you couldn’t make that work, right? Wrong! My family has been “vacationing” now for a little over a year. My husband works full-time away from home, we have three children, and did not receive a windfall. So how did we make it happen?

But I Have a Job

The biggest deterrent to a full-time vacation is work – and lack of time off. People usually save up their vacation time and use it for yearly week-long vacations and then consider the vacationing stint over. However, with a littler preparation and research you can make your 7 days of vacation time last a whole year. In fact, you could vacation all year without ever using an hour of vacation time.

My husband works 50 hours per week outside of the home, but we still vacation weekly. My husband does not have two days in a row off work, but rather a Sunday and Thursday off. Therefore, we make our vacations last Thursday-Sunday or Sunday-Thursday, depending on the location and how much time we want to spend at home. We search out “staycation” locations that are within a 90 minute drive from my husbands work location. This makes it possible for him to make it to and from work each day. Another option is weekend travel. If you have the weekend off each week, utilize that time and go on two-day weekend trips. If there is a will, there is a way!

But I’m Not a Millionaire

Money is the next biggest obstacle I hear to traveling. Fortunately, there are a lot of very inexpensive ways to travel. My husband and I decided that it was worth the extra effort to save to purchase a travel trailer. This is our means of vacationing 99% of the time. We will load up the travel trailer and head out to a local park or lake. We have my husband’s two days off work to enjoy the area and spend time as a family, while I utilize the local playgrounds, play places, and nature centers for fun day time activities with the kids. You don’t have to spend a fortune planning an elaborate vacation to enjoy some time away from home. If you can’t make a travel trailer happen, purchase some good camping gear.

But I Have Kids

This is a little more tricky. If you homeschool you can easily teach on the go, but if your children go to a brick and mortar school, you will need to adjust your schedule to their school schedules. How far can you reasonably drive to and from school each day? Do you need to plan weekend-only trips? Much like catering to a work schedule, working around schooling doesn’t have to mean you can’t vacation. If you can swing every other weekend, that’s 52 days a year spent on vacation!

Vacationing full-time in the outdoors (or semi-outdoors in your RV or travel trailer) is definitely not for everyone, but if you enjoy outdoor activities and are looking for a way to explore different places on your days away from work, it could be for you. Do you prefer a life on the go or more time at home?

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