Photo Credit: Carissa Rogers -- her kids 'jumping' into summer.

Photo Credit: Carissa Rogers — her kids ‘jumping’ into summer.

Ah, spontaneity. It was one of those great joys of being young and unencumbered by kids, families, jobs and responsibilities. But it’s possible to recapture that feeling by reconnecting with your spontaneous self and taking an unplanned trip.

Really. You can do it. Even with kids. Suburban TravelingMom Jamie Bartosch and a friend picked up their kids after school, bags packed, and whisked them off to a surprise weekend in Milwaukee.

Sponsored Review“These trips are all about attitude,” says the ever spontaneous and aptly named Family Fun TravelingMom Desiree  Miller, “be ready to roll with anything.”

Three tips to make the most of a spontaneous weekend trip:

1. Engage your network. Ask the locals.

In advance of your quick getaway use your social media networks to crowd source ideas for recommendations on the best, fun and/or free things to do at your destination.

The front desk clerk, the waitress at the local restaurant, the mom watching her kids play in the park are all good sources for local recommendations. Be specific about your needs to elicit the best advice. For example, ask “Where’s the best place to get a great margarita?” rather than, “What should I do for fun tonight?”

Image provided by Staybridge Suites Brand

Image provided by Staybridge Suites Brand

2. Choose a family-friendly hotel brand.

You want to choose a hotel brand that has enough space for the entire family and offers a good value. Staybridge Suites is an all-suite hotel brand with in-suite kitchens designed to make you feel right at home. Complimentary breakfast and WiFi are included and with more than 200 locations, your spontaneous trip can be right around the corner.

Enter the Family Weekend Getaway contest in the widget below to win a spontaneous long weekend at a Staybridge Suites property.

To book your next getaway at Staybridge Suites, visit www.staybridgesuites.com/familygetaway.

3. Prepare for Spontaneity.

Keep a packing list (or a fully packed suitcase) on hand so you can be ready in an instant when the chance for a spontaneous trip arises.

TravelingMom will have more Spontaneous Travel Tips for you July 20th on the #TMOM Twitter Party at 9PM ET. Including the last minute expertise from 5 Traveling Mom Panelists: @7OnAShoestring @RamblingStump @NicoleWakelin @MeaganShamy @RaisingDickJane

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Enter to Win the Family Weekend Getaway contest!

The Staybridge Suites brand is offering vacation-starved families a spontaneous getaway. Please tell us WHY you believe you deserve a last-minute, spontaneous Family Weekend Getaway in 1500 Characters or less to enter.

The Essay will be judged by this criteria:

  • Submission must demonstrate why entrant and his/her family deserve the “getaway”
  • Creativity/Originality of the Submission

3 Yes 3! Winners will each receive:

  • 3-night stay at a Staybridge Suites® hotel
  • $250 MasterCard® prepaid card
  • Kindle Fire HD7 8GB Tablet
  • $50 Amazon.com gift card

Total ARV: $800, please read Contest Rules to enter.

Congratulations to the winners!

  • Melissa Moore from  Belleville, IL
  • Stephanie Gaines from Dalhart, TX
  • Allison Luong from Los Gatos, CA

NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. Open to legal residents of the 50 United States (D.C.), who are 21 or older. Enter Contest by 7/27/15 at 11:59 p.m. ET. For Official Rules, see: [http://www.ihg.com/staybridge/content/us/en/exp/long-live-long-weekends/familygetaway_termsconditions].