Vacation Ideas for Families on a Budget

For the first year in a long time I have not planned a family vacation for me and my family.  It is so not like me and there are several factors including our budget, but it’s not too late.

Are you on a budget? Oh, who am I kidding, who isn’t on a budget, am I right?  If you find yourself on a budget, but wanting to take your family on vacation, all hope is not lost.  You can, in fact, vacation even if you aren’t flush with cash.  If you are wondering how you can make it happen, here are some vacation ideas for families on a budget:

  • Staycation. This one counts.  Why not make a vacation of your home city, or those nearby?  Most places have great tourist locations that many locals never go to visit.  Treat yourself as a tourist in your own area and stay in your own home at night.  You will save on lodging and food since you can pack lunches each day, but you will still be getting new experiences.
  • Camping. Pack up your tent and some food and head out to go camping.  Camping can be a very frugal vacation idea if you already have camping gear.  If you don’t already have it, see if you can borrow some from friends or family, as camping gear can be spendy.
  • Timeshare offers. Okay, so some of you may think I am crazy to even suggest it, but this one can make for a cheap vacation.  Next time you get those annoying calls about receiving an opportunity for a free vacation, don’t hang up.  Take advantage of the offering and start packing for your free trip.  Just be sure to say no to the timeshare sign up and be firm with your no.  You will have to spend several hours in a presentation, but the rest of the time you can relax and enjoy your trip.
  • Groupon. Check Groupon or Living Social for great vacation ideas.  I have seen half priced hotels, cheap activity tickets and more listed on these sites. Plus, you can often combine promo codes with their deals to get them even cheaper.
  • Stay with friends. Do you have any friends or family that live nearby a destination you want to go to?  Hotel rooms can often cost upwards of $150 or more each night so being able to stay with a friend or family can save a lot of money.  Be sure to take them out to dinner or present them with another type of gift in thanks for their hospitality.
  • Rent a vacation home. Rental houses are often cheaper than hotels, especially if you have a good sized group with you.  This isn’t always true of course, but be sure to check Craigslist, VRBO and other similar pages to find deals.
  • Book last minute. If you don’t mind waiting, book your trip at the last minute to find last minute discounts.

I am going to take my own advice and pull together a family vacation before the summer comes to end.  I don’t have much time or money but I am confident that I can come up with something. What is the best, budget-friendly vacation you have ever had?




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