I've made a lot of mistakes as a parent. I suppose any parent with a child who's older than 2 can say that. I have 3 kids and have been a parent for almost 21 years. This makes for many opportunities for countless mistakes of infinite varieties covering the spectrum of severity. I could talk about lots of them, and I have done that.
A much shorter list would be of the decisions I've gotten right. And near the top of that list, in my humble opinion, would fall into the category of vacations.
Every year, with only 2 exceptions I can remember, I have taken my family on a week of vacation in the winter and another one in the summer. The summer vacation is at the beach and the older kids invite their friends. The winter vacation has been for just the 5 of us, most of the time, and we've gone to a variety of places.
Without a huge amount of money, we normally vacation somewhere within driving distance, and one of our favorite winter vacation spots the ski resort of Killington, Vermont. We left at 5:30am last Monday and drove for 12 hours. We got there in time to enjoy a few minutes in the heated outdoor pool, one of the novelties. There's something just plain fun - almost nature-defying about swimming outside when it's 10 degrees! We skied for 3 days. My daughter is a skilled snow-boarder and both of my boys have been skiing since they were 4. We're all well geared for the extreme cold, and it was a good thing last week!
The trails at Killington are incredible. One of the 'lifts' is a heated, 8 seat gondola that takes you 3 miles up the mountain. From the top to the bottom is several miles of skiing in various kinds of terrain. It simply doesn't compare in any way to skiing in Virginia, and except for the long drive, it's not really any more expensive.
But these vacations are really more about being together as a family and making memories than improving our downhill skill. Last week was a fantastic time for our changing family to spend some time together. A few years from now, my daughter will be out of college, my oldest son will be in college, and significant changes will come. I cherish the moments we are creating today - the last of their kind.
I hope you look for ways to do some things with your family in the coming months. Even if it took months to plan and save, it would be worth it.