Summertime will start in a couple of weeks. This is an important time for families to have the opportunity to spend time together. We start to think about what to do, where to go, or how we are going to provide entertainment to our families without spending too much money.
It is important for our families to plan a budget that includes summer vacations. To make a budget at the end of the year or at the beginning of the year helps us to be disciplined regarding how we are going to spend our income, and at the same time it provides a wide range of options regarding how and how much money we will need for our vacations. In our family, spending time together is very important, and these times help interactions in a relaxed environment and, thus, helping with building unforgettable experiences.
As Latinos, we love to celebrate special occasions, such as festivals, picnics, birthdays, weddings, etc. All these activities are pleasant and unforgettable. But vacations allow us to put into practice and observe our behavior as a family system, which provides an opportunity to acknowledge the values, beliefs and perceptions of the world that identify us as a family. This also helps to value the differences, abilities, and particular interests of each member, accepting their developmental changes, so that we update and make the necessary adjustments to work on our family identity, strengthening the sense of belonging and family unity.
Our family enjoys traveling and getting to know places and persons of different parts of the world, but in order to be able to take a vacation each summer, we start our plans one year in advance to have time to save money, explore places of interest, compare airline fares, hotels, transportation, etc. Our daughters and their families also have adopted the habit of planning vacations ahead of time, and this has helped then to have a plan. And also to enjoy time with their children — creating unforgettable family memories.
Every year our family takes one or two good vacations. For instance, last summer our family travelled to Europe for the second time and we visited several cities in Italy, Croatia, and Slovenia. During this trip, we travelled by train and bus, and did not have to rent a vehicle. One of the advantages that our family has is that we have relatives and friends in different parts of the world. This is an advantage for many families because it is a good opportunity to meet new relatives, establish new friendships, and save on hotel expenses, and many times on meals. When we visited Croatia, we went with a friend who had relatives there, the owners of three restaurants. Thanks to this friend, we did not have to pay for meals during our stay in Croatia.
Whether it is enjoying a festival in the community, vacationing in a nearby city, or traveling by plane to the Caribbean or Europe, enjoying time with the family this summer is going to generate unforgettable experiences for you and your family. I wish you a happy and unforgettable summer with your families!
Cinquino retired in February from the American Red Cross-Greater Rochester Chapter.