VPS News

From student shout-outs to the exciting things that happened at our last school event or a great parenting article, we’ll post it all here for you. Please be sure to visit this page often so you’re always well informed about what’s happening at VPS.

Getaways on a Budget

Getting away from the everyday hustle and bustle can be wonderful. Unfortunately, many families are financially strapped and never take that much-needed weekend getaway. With so many discount and coupon websites available, however, a weekend trip with the family is much cheaper than you might think!

Here are a few pointers to help you find the best deals for your family excursion…

Location:

Choose a location you can drive to. For a weekend trip, you want to maximize the time at your chosen destination, so keeping your drive-time to four hours or less is recommended. Draw a four-hour radius around your hometown, and decide which city within that circle would be the most fun for your family to visit. The larger the city, the more activities and discounts you will find.

Hotel:

Websites like Hotwire.com will give you a list of hotels within the vicinity of where you’re going. Decide on the price you’re willing to spend on a room, and choose the highest rated hotel within your price range. You’ll be surprised at the low rates you can find for high-quality hotels!

TripAdvisor can be helpful in your hotel search, too. Not only does it provide reviews on hotels within your price range, but it also provides key information about parking, nearby attractions, and even available discounts. Once you’ve found a hotel, bed and breakfast, or other lodging option, TripAdvisor will search multiple discount sites simultaneously and help you get the best value for your money.

Activities:

What you do on your getaway can make or break the trip. To maximize your spending cash, subscribe to discount sites like Groupon or LivingSocial, and watch for entertainment deals in your destination city. These deals can range anywhere from paintball and laser tag to local water parks, spas, and restaurants. By arranging activities through these discount sites, you are guaranteed to save at least 50% off the retail value for your excursion.

Searching your destination city’s Convention and Visitor’s Bureau (CVB) website is another great way to save on entertainment. These sites often have links to coupons and discounts. Check out the Kansas City CVB for an example.

Lastly, let Google do the work for you. Search “coupons for (your destination),” and see all the wonderful sites that come up!

In short, the key is to take the time to plan and research your trip. By following the above guidelines, you will find deals you didn’t even know were available. Plus, with all of the cash you save, you’ll already be well on your way to saving for your next getaway!

Keeping Children Safe Around Water

Now that summer is approaching, nothing sounds more appealing than a dip in the pool to cool off from the heat. However, when swimming pools, plastic kiddy pools, or bathtubs are involved, children need constant supervision. All it takes is two inches of water, and a child can drown.

This is the time of year that you hear the unfortunate news of children drowning. According to Steve Eastwood’s article from About.com, around 90 people die in drowning-related incidents each year, and 75% of those deaths were children who were being watched by only one adult and were out of his/her sight for 5 minutes or less. If that is all it takes, there’s no excuse to leave your child alone for even one minute. If you need to go back inside or even walk out of the room while your child is taking a bath, take your child with you; or make sure that you have another adult watching him/her.

Knowledge and preparation is the best prevention. The American Red Cross website offers classes to become CPR certified. Being prepared is extremely important. Look for a class in or around your area.  By being prepared, you can help save your child’s life or the life of another.

Keep your kids safe during the summer this year. The Drowning Prevention Coalition of Arizona is a group that consists of parents, health professionals, and business leaders who try to make aware the importance of water safety. The DPCA has a great website for those interested in getting involved in the cause against children drowning. It provides great tips and resources, from tips for lifeguards to grief resources for those who have been affected by or involved in drowning or near-drowning incidents. Summertime should be fun, so keep it that way by keeping your child safe.