I know when times get tough, vacations are the first thing to go. My husband already is grumbling about the Christmas trip I’ve tentatively planned for us.

I’m not saying anyone should go out on a financial limb or take out a second mortgage to take a family vacation, but don’t give up your vacation entirely.
Cut back, stay closer to home, look for places that are offering gas rebates and other discounts (it seems everyone is these days — just look online at the city or vacation region you want to visit and see what local hotels are offering). And check out my site’s daily tips section.

But don’t give up your vacation! Think about what you remember most from your childhood. Think about how important the time together is with your kids and grandkids away from the stresses and strains of home, from email, computers and video games (assuming you can get the kids to turn theirs off).

Think about the chance for a new blended family to get closer and to get to know that new significant other in your grown child’s life.

Even if only for a few days at a nearby state park, or city, carve out some just-us time for your family.

It’s more important to the kids than you might imagine!