It’s a common dilemma for many American families. Despite all best intentions, schedules don’t line up for everyone in the family to take off for an entire week. Between tight budgets, job changes, demanding school commitments, and sports, plenty of families are abandoning weeklong vacation stays in favor of shorter getaways. But that doesn’t have to mean compromising time together and precious memories. With careful planning even a three or four day escape can help family members reconnect and feel close, especially if you head for a resort that offers a wide variety of activities to simplify planning and help maximize every minute. For those in the Southeast, the King and Prince Resort on St. Simons Island is an easily accessible destination for a long weekend.
For starters, ideal short getaways don’t take all day to reach. Anything more than a half day car ride is guaranteed to dampen the enthusiasm of all concerned. Of course one way to select the family vacation spot is to open the floor for discussion. But a more efficient option is to narrow the choices and let the younger set weigh in and help decide between two or three choices. The legendary “Golden Isles” in the South include, Jekyll Island, Sea Island, Little St. Simons Island, and St. Simons Island — a long time favorite with easy access from major highways from Atlanta and the Carolinas to the north and south to Jacksonville. For the ultimate convenience, a St. Simons Island getaway delivers everything a family could want in a compact footprint that means less time driving and more time relaxing.
Pre-planning an itinerary can really stretch the impact of your stay. A few weeks before you plan to leave, gather input from everyone early. Many families find involving kids and parents alike in a planning meeting helps build the excitement. Sure, it’s possible to get a lot done by using smartphones. But this is one of those times when a good old fashioned road atlas will prove useful. Young children enjoy seeing on the map exactly where you live, as well as the planned route for your weekend away. School aged kids also enjoy logging onto the Internet and putting their research skills to use finding fun things to do at your destination. A quick visit to www.explorestsimonsisland.com presents a wide range of activities that all ages can enjoy.
Ask each family member to take out a piece of paper and write down the three or four things that would make the vacation really special for him or her. Expect a more ambitious combined list than any one destination can offer. Then begin earmarking blocks of time during the stay and flagging them with some of the desired activities. For example, if your husband is a history buff, and your daughter wants to get plenty of workout time, plan to spend a morning biking over to Fort Frederica. From the King and Prince Resort, the trip takes just about an hour – and most of that is on flat, well-paved streets or along the generously sized bike paths that wander all over the island. In fact, you can rent bicycles for your entire stay just a few yards from the King and Prince Resort at Southeastern Adventures.
Another secret to stretching your weekend away is to make full use of the King and Prince Concierge service. They are truly experts in everything that’s available on the island, from deep sea fishing to cooking classes. Plus, they can often point you to little known points of interest like historical sites or favorite local restaurants that many tourists just never hear about.
One word of caution. Before you fill every waking moment at St. Simons with fishing, biking, sunbathing, shopping, sight-seeing and feasting on seafood, remember the real reason you want to get away in the first place: spending quality time together. Don’t miss the simple pleasures of vacationing on St. Simons Island, like waking early to catch a spectacular sunrise, or strolling down the beach behind the King and Prince Resort to the place where the sand disappears into the ocean. Standing there with your loved ones, you can experience the timeless connection that only vacationing together provides – however short your time away.