It isn't often we can plan a regular 'vacation'. Up until a couple summers ago, our 'vacations' meant me taking the kids camping- my dad would bring his camper over to a camp ground near them for us to use. Nick would stay home. I would scrape together $150, give or take, which would be -just- enough to cover the cost of the camp site, gas, groceries, and give me a couple dollars to spare. Not much, but I love camping, and it got me and the kids out of the house, and having fun.
Two years ago, I took 6 months to plan and save so I could take the kids camping up north, and we were able to do a lot of stuff while we were there, which was really nice. Last year, things didn't work out- I had not saved up anything, so we didn't do anything big. We didn't even camp last year. This year, I went back to saving, and we're able to go to Mackinaw City next week and spend 5 days there, all on money I earned myself (and considering I'm a SAHM, I think that's pretty nice!). However, I realized that I am earning enough 'steady' income right now, that I should be able to save up to do a second trip this summer.
My goal right now, is to save up enough to take all of us to Michigan's Adventure at the end of summer for 2 days, and pay for a hotel for 1 night. Michigan's Adventure is a local amusement park with a water park attached. It's $230 for us to get 2-day tickets for all 5 people. The hotel would be another $100, give or take. It would make for a nice 2 day vacation, though. MiA is a small park, all things considered. You can do the entire park and spend a couple hours at the water park, and not feel like you missed out on riding anything.
So, if I come home with money to spare, I can easily set money aside from my business profits, and still do it pretty easily.
I briefly thought about getting the money together to go to Cedar Point in Ohio instead, which is a very large amusement park. The water park is not free with that one, and the tickets would be $250 for a single day for all 5 of us, without the perk of the water park. Then, I noticed it's only $75 more to do 2 days- $325 total, which would make it less rushed in the park, but LORD- $375 for 2 days?!?!? Can't find it in my frugal bones to do that. We're not even spending that much doing things all 5 days on our trip to Mackinaw, and we're doing a LOT of stuff up there.
With Gilly's asperger's syndrome, and Chris most likely having Asperger's as well, they can both be a challenge in some settings. Both of them would have a hard time waiting in line for a ride for an hour, for instance. At MiA, most rides have a 10-15 minute wait (and those are the coasters) or less. At Cedar Point, it's not unheard of to have a 2 hour wait for a roller coaster.
With all that time spent waiting in lines, it can feel like you don't have enough time to do everything you want in the park. So, I decided it would likely be easier on the kids to do Michigan's Adventure, and if we can do a 2 day pass for $230, then that seems like a much easier trip for us to do, and the kids would probably have more fun.