A family vacation is one of the best ways to celebrate great weather and take a break from the long, hardworking winter months – but not if it puts a dent in the rest of your year’s budget.
Americans alone are estimated to spend over $100 billion on vacations this year – up 16% from 2016.
But don’t let these numbers deter you from sticking your toes in the sand. With just a little planning and these five budget-saving vacation ideas, relaxing and exciting family vacations that don’t drain your wallet are only within a summer’s day reach.
1. Splash Around at the Beach
Beautiful beaches don’t just exist in the Caribbean Islands. The best beaches lie on the beautiful coast and offer just as much sunshine and relaxation as your favorite 5-star resort. What’s the best part? Most beaches are free, while others charge a small parking fee. If you don’t live in a coastal region, skip the pricey plane tickets for a family drive. Just don’t forget to make time for your favorite stops along the way.
2. Plan a Road Trip Around Your State
Road trips are one of my favorite ways to spend quality time with my family. Not only do you save on expensive airfare, but you also have the freedom to plan your destinations and can always change your course along the way. Instead of spending money on a hotel room, plan to stay at popular campsites along your journey. Who knows? You may create a new family tradition and discover something new.
3. Check Out Parks and Nature Centers
Most people look forward to summer as a chance to spend time in the great outdoors, so why not use this to your advantage? Check out local tourism websites inside and outside your city to give you ideas of places you’ve never been before that will get your family active and moving. Most towns have a plethora of excellent views, biking/hiking trails, and wide-open spaces that are open for exploration to the public.
4. Visit Historical Sites
Are you looking for a fantastic family vacation that is also educational? Visiting our nation’s historical sites is not only an affordable way to pass the time but also a great way to create family memories while learning about our history. Most historical landmarks are free or very low cost. Find out what kind of history your state and the surrounding areas have to offer. Look for landmarks, ghost towns, ruins, battlefields, museums, and other activities rich with history.
5. When in Doubt, Head to the Backyard!
A great family vacation doesn’t mean you must spend a lot of money and travel far away from home. Some of the most classic summer memories can happen in your backyard. Enjoy all of the benefits of summer near your home by setting up your own camping experience right in the comfort of your home! Cook your dinner over the fire, tell scary stories, and sleep under the stars, a great way to get younger children accustomed to the camping experience. Just don’t forget the s’mores!
Finding a vacation destination that will accommodate the whole family is tough, but discovering a vacation spot that doesn’t destroy your wallet can be even more difficult. Avoid the crowds and save your wallet this year with a family-friendly money-conscious vacation that doesn’t compromise on summer fun.
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