Vacations for Less
One of the ways to have fun and schedule play in your life is the family vacation. With summer just around the corner, here are some resources that will make a memory-making and a fun vacation possible – without breaking the bank! Try one of these creative cost-saving options for your next family vacation.
Vacationing with Friends
Every year as a kid my family and another family got cabins on a lake up north for a week and had a blast. It was very low cost. We came up with our own entertainment so we didn’t spend money on pricey things to do. We had a theme night where we all went to the local GoodWill store to buy our costumes and centered the evening around the theme with complimentary food. We all came prepared to do skits, sing, etc. It was wild and crazy and the memories have lasted a lifetime as we have carried on the tradition today as adults in the form of Cousins Camp every summer. We spent the days swimming and just having fun hanging out, and the benefit of having another family along is the social aspect, especially for teenagers. Today when we get together we also make the vacation a “no tech zone” so relationships are emphasized ? and interestingly, the kids don’t even miss it because they’re having so much fun.
When vacationing with another family, you have the advantage of sharing costs (meals, rentals, etc.) making the vacation very reasonable.
Here are some resources for finding the ideal vacation spot with another family or friends:
For those who love camping, sharing camping fees or RV rentals is another way to lower the price for a family vacation. Try www.RVRental.com to find rentals across the country ranging from $117 to $385 a day.
Home swapping has been growing in increasing popularity over the years, particularly now that the web makes it so easy to find opportunities. Many swappers like the ease of listing their homes and the opportunity to visit places they might never have considered.
Some sites to get you started:
A note about home swapping. Many people wonder about turning their home over to a stranger. But home swappers and exchange services report very few problems. Most home swappers tend to be professional and prosperous – not the types that would trash a home. These agencies conduct a general background check and track the prospective “swapper’s” swapping history. If you live in an area that’s not in high demand, then your options might be limited. However Vacation Rental By Owner (vrbo.com) is a service where you can rent someone’s home without swapping your own.
With the ever-rising cost of gas, especially this year, don’t overlook the “staycation.” A staycation is an economical alternative to the conventional vacation. Too often we think, “I can’t afford a vacation so we can’t do anything.” There are all kinds of opportunities in your own city close to home for vacation and fun with your family that doesn’t have to cost much. Instead of jetting down to Disneyworld or some other exotic locale, think about one or several of these ideas for your vacation at home (to get everyone on board, have each family member pick a different activity for each day of the staycation):
- Turn your home into a spa
- Go on a family cycling adventure
- Have a picnic at a nearby park or lake
- Fly a kite
- Transform your home into an island retreat
- Plan a movie night
- Have a Mexican patio party
- Have a craft day
- Throw a Hawaiian Luau
- Plan a pizza night where the family all makes the pizza
- Camp in your own backyard
- Be a tourist in your own city – see the sites where you live!
- Take a night out on the town
- Try mini golf or bowling
- Try a new restaurant
- Have a backyard barbecue
- Visit a nearby museum
- Visit the zoo
- Have a fine dining experience at home
- Rent a convertible for the day
- Hike in a nearby forest or hiking trails
- Spend the day at a nearby waterpark
- Visit an amusement park
- Rent a boat for the day
- Walk to an ice cream shop for ice cream
- Have a board game day
- Set dates – set a beginning and end date for your staycation just as you would for a vacation.
Don’t let your budget deny your family of a meaningful and fun vacation. With a little creativity, you can plan some fun this summer that the whole family will enjoy. It will be the time you spent together and the fun you had that will be most remembered down the road – not the hotel room or the price of the vacation! Start planning today.