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How to plan a budget-friendly family adventure

Many families nowadays are looking to scale back on expenses and vacations are usually one of the first things that gets cut from a budget. Vacations tend to be costly and often takes a long time to save up for. With so many people losing jobs, or having uncertainty about the security of their jobs, a family trip may not seem in reach.

However, there are many unique ideas for vacations that are doable and may align with most budgets. All it takes is a bit of creativity and perhaps thinking outside the box. Here are a few ideas, but is not an extensive list by far. The possibilities are endless.


If the family usually goes to DisneyWorld or to some other popular (and expensive!) resort, but you need to scale back this year, why not try something new and explore the great outdoors? Camping is a great family activity and it is not very expensive to stay in many campsites. Families can spend the days hiking, fishing or boating, and in the evenings cook dinner over a campfire and sing songs around the embers each night before falling asleep under a star-lit sky.

Think small-town

If staying in the great outdoors isn’t quite your style, there are many other options to consider. For instance, a number of small historical towns are located in the United States (or in other countries) and since they aren’t usually the top “touristy” destinations, there is a probable chance the trip is much lower in cost.

Popular big city locations often come with hefty price tags, however, small towns may be much more aligned with tight budgets. If you have a destination in mind, great, but if not, try picking a state or other location, pop it into your favorite search engine and see what towns come up in the vicinity. If long-distance travel is not an option due to expense, explore your own and surrounding towns. Use keywords such as “cheap family vacation” or other similar search in conjunction with your region.

Vacation from home

Another option is to take the week off and have a staycation. Many people tend to take for granted all the wonderful things that are in their own backyards. Have a family vacation at home! Lodging won’t cost you a cent and you can eat meals at home or tote a picnic along on daily outings. Perhaps there are some museums or historical landmarks in the nearby vicinity that you haven’t visited yet. Or if the vacation falls during the summer possibly there is a local water park, town park or even state park which has a lake; water is always a great family fun summer activity. Many regions have seasonal festivals and other fun events. There are likely many fun things to do right in your own backyard.


Volunteering is also another wonderful family adventure. While you may have to pay to get to the destination, often other amenities are offered for free or low cost and you’ll be so busy helping, there won’t be time to spend money. Volunteering together as a family can be rewarding, fulfilling and a nice break away from home.

There are many unique ways to have a low-cost family vacation that fits any scaled down budget. Just use your imagination, consider your family’s interests and you’ll likely find there is much to do is at your fingertips. Chances are what you’re looking for is a simple mouse-click away, you just don’t know it yet.