is always fun with the little ones. It’s nice to have them out of school for a few months and with the sun out and temperatures up, it’s nice to be outside! This summer, we have a lot planned. From day camps to swimming lessons to a family vacation, the leaves will start changing colors before I know it. Before that happens, I wanted to take a minute to write about balance. In this case, I’m talking specifically about travel.

As a family

we take one to two vacations each year. We’re fortunate to be able to do this. My job provides enough flexibility and time off for us to get away without too much worry. While our vacations vary in terms of length, location, and extravagance, one trip seems to be making its way into our rotation on a permanent basis. As such, I thought I’d share. And, if you happen to live in, or plan on being in, the Midwest, it may end up being a good option for one of your getaways.

St. Joseph

Michigan really surprised me the first time we visited. I’d heard about it for a few years from my wife before she convinced me to take a trip. Apparently a lot of her friends with children similar in age to our own really enjoyed their time in St. Joe’s. Here is a bit of my wife’s sales pitch to me. In St. Joe’s we can:

  • Take it easy for a week – sip our coffee while watching the kids play
  • Go to the beach
  • Play at the splash pad with the kids
  • Go to the children’s museum
  • Get pizza from this place with really good reviews
  • Do some wine tasting in their cute little downtown area

As if sipping coffee wasn’t enough for me, my wife continued with:

  • It’s only a two hour car ride for us – no planes involved
  • It’s possible we could make it to the casino one night
  • My wife’s parents can come over for a day or two and watch the girls so we can get out

How is a guy supposed to say no to that?


for the trip proved to be less painful than some of our other trips as well. We ended up renting a two bedroom, two bath house for about $1,800 for the week. No airfare was needed so the cost of a tank of gas – just one for the trip there and back – was the only transportation expense involved and the rest was food and fun. All in all, the trip to St. Joe’s would run us less than $2,500 for a solid week. It’s not the most inexpensive trip option, but for the four of us for a week, I could stomach $2,500.

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likely has a place in our summer travel schedule for many years to come. We’re headed to St. Joe’s in less than a month and have already made reservations at the same house for next year. After the positive experiences we’ve had thus far with the little ones, I’m not sure summer would be the same if we took St. Joe’s out of the mix. And, whether a summer family vacation is in your budget or not, remember life is about balance. It doesn’t do us any good to save vast amounts of money if every once in a while you don’t use those funds to do the things you enjoy in life!

For those that would like to know more about St. Joseph – check this website out

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