UNITED STATES—School is out for summer, and that means kids, tweens, teens and parents stress galore. Summer is about three months if we’re being honest, June, July and August. Most kids are already out of school or will be getting out within the next week at the latest. With that said, it is time to start planning for those summer vacations and for parents to find things to do to keep their kids busy or active in the process.

Planning a summer vacation is not easy and above all it costs money to do it. Can you do an impromptu road trip? Yeah, but do you truly want to be in the car with kids asking after 15 minutes are we there yet? You might think that is a fallacy, but the reality is that kids get bored very easy and very quickly. Yes, I know what you’re thinking, give them the cellphone or the iPad, even that becomes boring for kids after some time.

I used to be able to give the iPad and not be bothered for a 2-3 hours. Now, within an hour, the kid wants something to do. When I was a kid, my parents forced us outside. Get outside and play, that is easier when you have siblings to play around with and we did it all summer long. From when the sun arose, which nowadays is like 5 a.m. till when it set which is close to 9 p.m. or later currently.

When it comes to vacations, you have to plan for a location that accommodates all parties involved, but especially the kiddos. You want them to have something to do throughout the entire trip. I’m not big on the itinerary. Have an idea of what it is you want to do, but don’t plan everything down to the second, because I think that just stresses you out a bit more and you’re not having as much fun living in the moment as you think you should.

I love an amusement park and I think most kids, teens and adults do as well. Whether you are planning a trip to Six Flags, Disney World, Disney Land, Universal Studios, or some other attraction throughout the country (trust me there are indeed plenty), rides are not just for kids. For my family, we have an annual trip to Cedar Point in Sandusky, Ohio, once a year. There is no greater amusement park than this place because the amount of roller coasters that are thrilling and no other amusement park comes close. It is fun for adults, kids and even the elderly. If you don’t like to ride, you can enjoy walking the park and indulging in carnival food and fair food. I’ve seen more adults on roller coasters here than any other place and I’ve done them all with the family. If you live in the Midwest it’s not that far to travel to, but if you’re in other parts of the region, you might be planning the Disney World or Disney Land trip, and that is costly.

You’re paying for the flight, the hotel, amenities, the rental car, transportation, food and so much more. The budget has to accommodate those things, and kids are ALWAYS going to want something you don’t expect, so expect extra money for that. You can spend thousands and I mean thousands on a trip taking the kids to sunny Florida, so be aware people, be aware.

You don’t have to go broke to have fun with the kids, ask them what they want to do and then plan a trip around that. Sometimes the kids just want to go to the park, go to a trampoline park, the arcade, go Kart racing, Laser Tag, the water park, the list goes on and on. Sometimes as adults, we overthink the situation when it can be simple. There are those parents who want to ship the kids to summer camp, and I’m against that. If the kid wants to go, that is one thing, but don’t just ship them away because you don’t want to be bothered with them.

Summer school is an option if the kid(s) need it or want to do it to keep that brain going, but let’s be honest, what kid wants summer school, if they don’t need it. Make them do chores around the house, for the younger ones to teach them responsibility and help them earn money that they can use throughout the week and the weekend if the family is planning something. For those teens who are of age and can start working, guess what, time to get a job. You can’t say you’re bored or sleep all day if you actually have a job you have to go to.

Simply put, summer should never be boring and when you hear the kid say they’re bored, trust there are things to quickly change that mantra. Vacations are not going to happen every single week in the summer for most families it might be 2-3 throughout the entire summer, and then you have those mini-vacations or staycations where you don’t travel that far, but find something so riveting and fun to do, a lot of the time those things are right in your own backyard.

Written By Davy Jones