Are you feeling the nudge that you should be going to a homeschool convention? You know that a homeschool convention will encourage and equip you, but are you just not sure that’s how you want to spend your spouses vacation days. Here is what my family does – make your visit to Great Homeschool Conventions part of your family vacation.
Why Make a trip to a Homeschool Convention into a Family Vacation?
Time and money are both valuable things in this life that don’t grow on trees. (Did your Mom say that too?) If you are making the trip to a homeschool convention why not take advantage of the fact that you’ve already traveled the distance to get there and see some local sites? This is what my family does!
How to Maximize your Family Vacation Time
You’ve already packed the van, you might away well make it worth the effort and the distance you are traveling, right? Here are some ways your family can maximize your family vacation time.
Focus on the Moment
When you are at the convention make sure you take time to swim in your pool in the evening (or before it starts if you are early risers like our family). Make sure you engage in FUN and meaningful conversation at meal time. Go ahead, splurge on an afternoon ice cream –
Make lots of precious memories together by being in the moment!
Book end your trip with weekends
By starting your vacation driving after work on Friday or bright and early on Saturday and ending driving home on Sunday afternoon you will get to take advantage of 4 EXTRA, non work days.
Go and Return a different Route
We started doing this with our long 2-3 week road trips. It usually doesn’t take a lot of additional time or distance to leave one way and return another. This way you can maximize what you see along the way. Here is an example of what I mean:
There’s no way around it, family vacations cost $$$. Ugh! But with a little planning and frugality you can maximize your family vacation time without breaking the bank as well.
- Camp whenever possible – State campgrounds are usually about $12/night and have nice facilities, showers, toilets, and camping rings. You can look up other campgrounds on line to see past guests reviews. If you want a pool at your campground, KOA’s are very nice with a great reputation – they will cost more like $30/night.
- Don’t eat out every meal – Eating out can add up quickly. You don’t eat out for every meal at home there is no reason you need to on vacation either. You can easily grab bread, PB&J, apples, cereal bars, carrot sticks, and water inexpensively at a grocery store. Then you can just eat out one meal a day or make your meal around your evening campfire – our preferred method!
- Look for Coupons – Most museums or other places of interest have free online coupons if you do a little research to find them before hand.
Make Every Stop Count
Do a little research ahead of time online, reading reviews, and talking with friends about what sites are not to be missed and what ones were duds. Keep in mind your children’s ages and your families interests. While one family may love the Hershey Pennsylvania Rose Garden (we sure did), if your family has terrible allergies that may not be such a great plan for you.
Great Homeschool Convention Trip = FUN Family Vacation
Because I’m a big fan of Great Homeschool Conventions, I wanted to share some fun places for homeschool families near their 4 convenient locations. Why am I such a big fan? I love their speaker lineup, the convenient locations, tons of workshops, the family comedy night, and that one low price allows all my family to enter. (Check around, not all conventions do that!) Of course there are LOTS of places you could visit, but here are some favorites from years past and ones on the list to visit in the future.
Family Vacation Ideas near Greenville, South Carolina
- Blackbeard’s Queen Anne’s Revenge (North Carolina)
- Morehead Planetarium (North Carolina)
- USS North Carolina Battleship (North Carolina)
- Wright Brothers National Memorial (North Carolina)
- Jockey’s Ridge State Park – Atlantic Coast’s largest sand dune (North Carolina)
- Cape Hatteras Light House (North Carolina)
- Beaches (North or South Carolina)
- Kings Mountain National Military Park – Revolutionary War site (South Carolina)
- Fort Moultrie National Monument – Revolutionary War Site (South Carolina)
- Patriots Point Naval & Maritime Museum (South Carolina)
- Fort Pulaski – Civil War (Georgia)
- Okefenokee Swamp (Georgia)
- Victoria’s Carriages and Trail Rides (Georgia)
- Georgia Aquarium (Georgia)
- World of Cocoa Cola Museum (Georgia)
- Disney World (only 7 hours drive from Atlanta!)
Family Vacation Ideas near Columbus, Ohio
- African Safari Drive Thru Park (Ohio)
- Armstrong Air & Space Museum (Ohio)
- Rock & Roll Hall of Fame (Ohio)
- Cedar Point Amusement Park (Ohio)
- Cleveland Museum of Art (Ohio)
- Great Wolfe Lodge (Ohio)
- Cincinnati History Museum (Ohio)
- Skyline Chili – unlike what you’ve had before (Ohio)
- Creation Museum (Kentucky, minutes from Ohio border)
- Themed Family Suite (so cool!) (Kentucky, minutes from Ohio border)
- Mammoth Cave Tours in Mammoth National Park (Kentucky)
- Indianapolis Children’s Museum – larges in the world! (Indiana)
- Indianapolis Motor Speedway – race track & Car Museum (Indiana)
- Indianapolis Train Hotel (Indiana)
- Amish Acres (Indiana)
Family Vacation Ideas near Ontario, California
- Disneyland (California)
- Beach (California)
- Redwood National Park (California)
- SeaWorld (California)
- Death Valley National Park (California)
- Golden Gate Bridge (California)
- Alcatraz (California)
- Yosemite National Park (California)
- Hoover Dam (Nevada)
- Leehman Caves (Nevada)
- Ghost Towns (Nevada, Arizona)
- Wheeler Peak Scenic Drive at Great Basin National Park (Nevada)
- Grand Canyon (Arizona)
- Phoenix Zoo (Arizona)
- Montezuma National Monument (Arizona)
- Saguaro National Park (Arizona)
- Goldfield Ghost Town (Arizona)
Family Vacation Ideas near Fort Worth, Texas
- Houston Zoo (Texas)
- Houston Space Center (Texas)
- Texas State Aquarium (Texas)
- The Alamo (Texas)
- USS Lexington (Texas)
- Longhorn Caves (Texas)
- Story of Texas Museum (Texas)
- Gia Hot springs (New Mexico)
- Albuquerque – balloon festival & science museum (New Mexico)
- White sands National Monument (New Mexico)
- Fort Union National Monument (New Mexico)
- Kansas Monument Rocks (Oklahoma)
- National Cowboy Museum (Oklahoma)
- Salt Mine Tours (Kansas)
- Old Cowtown Museum – living history museum (Kansas)
- Horseshoe Canyon Ranch (Arkansas)
- Fort Smith National Historic Park (Arkansas)
- Bayou Tour (Louisiana)
- French Quarter Walking Tour (Louisiana)
- Confederate Memorial Hall Museum (Louisiana)
- Auduborn Zoo (Louisiana)