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3 Reasons to Take a Family Summer Vacation Before College

Jun 17, 2013 • Kevin Wandrei • College Life

Summer vacation is all about relaxing and having fun. It means trips to the beach, lakes, mountains, amusement parks, or maybe even abroad. College-bound teens, however, are often faced with a dilemma: Should you go on another vacation with your family, or should you spend your last summer with friends from home and preparing for your new life on campus?

Here’s my answer: Seize this opportunity to appreciate what could be your last family summer vacation. While you might be itching to move to college as soon as possible, I promise you that you’ll miss your family at some point. You’ve been around them all your life, and in college you’ll suddenly be without them. A family summer vacation is a great time to savor some special moments with your parents — and your siblings.

If that hasn’t convinced you to jump in the ole’ station wagon and take off to Cape Cod or the Grand Canyon, here are a few more reasons why you should:

1. You’ll miss mom and dad when you’re at college. Really.

Some students have reservations about a family summer vacation because it means giving up time with friends at home. But remember, you won’t be gone for the entire summer. More importantly, college has a lot of breaks. You’ll be home for Thanksgiving, the holidays, spring break, and four months over the summer. You’ll see your high school friends again, I promise. You might even spend summers interning or taking summer courses with them.

Make this summer about mom and dad. You’ll want memories of your family with you in your dorm, so take some vacation snapshots and make a scrapbook to bring to school in the fall.

2. College summers ≠ high school summers.

Maybe in high school you spent your summer vacations babysitting your neighbor’s kid or scooping ice cream at your local scoop shop. Either way, you had ample time for a vacation. College summers, on the other hand, are often filled with internships and summer courses. While you’ll still be able to squeeze volleyball tournaments and nights under the stars in between career networking and essay writing, it’ll be harder to set aside a large chunk of time for a family vacation. Use this summer to relax and enjoy your family’s company.

3. It’s a free trip.

In all likelihood, money will be tight in college, and nice meals and hotels won’t be very common. It’s possible to eat well on a college budget – and, let’s face it, Ramen noodles, macaroni and cheese, and $1/slice pizza are pretty good some nights – but your parents want to treat you on vacation. You should let them!

So, relax and enjoy quality time with your family during your summer vacation. Use the time to hang out with your parents and catch up with your siblings. Remember, you can be excited for college and still appreciate what might be your last family summer vacation.

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