Vacation getaways just require a little imagination…

SummertimSummere means vacation time for many families. Neighbors and friends share tales of visits to far-flung locales, cruises to Caribbean islands and trips to Orlando theme parks.

But for families in which the parents are divorcing, the financial situation often does not permit a traditional family vacation. This can be source of disappointment for the children and guilt for their parents, who have already had to help their children adjust to downsizing and downscaling in other areas of their lives.

Instead of foregoing the vacation, there are less-expensive options that can give a sense of “getting away from it all.” A day at the beach, complete with a stop at the ice cream shop afterward, can be a refreshing change from the everyday routine. Or, try a “staycation.” Visit tourist spots in your own locale. Buy the kids disposable cameras, print the resulting pictures and have them make a note on the back of each one to capture the memories of the day. You can even put these in a scrapbook or photo album that they can share with friends.

Consider a day of activities eager to please the athlete and more sedentary child alike: bowling, go-kart racing, mini golf and swimming at the community pool are all great ways to have fun and burn calories.

Finally, don’t forget a night at the movies … at home. Order in a pizza, make some popcorn and pop in a DVD of the kids when they were little. They’ll laugh, and you’ll get a precious trip down memory lane, just about the best vacation there is.

With vacations, as with most things, it’s not the activities, but the quality of the time together that counts.

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