Family friendly vacation on the beach.
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Frugal Family Vacations

Need to get away with the family? Have a limited amount of money to spend or do you just want to be cheap? No problem, there are certainly options. Take a look at some of my go to vacation ideas when I do not want to break the bank. Believe it or not, you can go on vacation on a budget and still have fun, even with kids. Take a look.

Get Out In Nature

Camping has been and always will be the ultimate family vacation. It is cheap and kids, especially younger ones usually enjoy it quite a bit.

Most state parks will have camping spots available for $10 to $25 a night. These spots will generally have a few amenities like picnic tables, sun shelters, restrooms, water access and fire pits/grills. Some will even have electricity access which is nice if you want to get back to nature but not all the way back.

Now, if you are not into camping currently, you do have some gear to buy. Luckily, you do not need much. A 6 to 8 person tent can be had for around $50 new and even less on the used market. Besides a tent, all that you really need is some flashlights and a cooler. You can bring bedding from home, no need for sleeping bags, and most camp grounds will have a picnic table and fire pits. Take a look here for some more ideas on making your camping trip more frugal.

Road Trip To Nowhere

Who says that a road trip has to necessary be to any one particular destination. Sometimes it is fun to just drive, even with kids. Sometimes the drive can actually be the vacation. The trick is to pick little attractions that you want to see along the way and space them out into short hops. Things that you want to see but that do not justify an entire day.

Some attractions worth seeing might be state parks, caverns, animal parks, historical monuments, etc.

Drive a few hours and get out and experience an attraction. Spend a few hours there and then do it again. If you keep the driving intervals short, nobody gets cranky and, if you like to drive, it can even be relaxing.

At the end of the day, you have a nice restaurant meal and settle down in a hotel room. The next day, repeat the process.

Road trips take a lot of planning to pull off, but if you have more time than money, they might be a good option.

Have A Staycation

You knew I was going to go there eventually right. Well, this is because it remains one of the most logical ways to vacation for cheap.

Very few of us actually take advantage of the touristy things to do in their city. You might have grown up in your city or simply moved there for a job but never looked at your home with the eyes of a tourist.

Go take a look at Tripadvisor and do a search for your city. Pick a few destinations and enjoy a weekend exploring your home town. You might be surprised at just how much stuff there is to do.

The beauty of a staycation is that you do not have to pay transportation or lodging costs. That is a huge part of every vacation. If you want to kick it up a notch though, stay at a hotel. You still get to save on transportation costs and your knowledge of your city will help you spot a good hotel deal.

Airbnb At The Beach

You might be surprised at just how affordable an Airbnb at the beach can be. In many areas, you can rent one beach-side for  $200 or less.

Yes, $200 is about as much as a  hotel room would cost, but consider what it comes with. Namely more space and a full kitchen. The kitchen can let you save an easy hundred dollars a day in meal costs. The space will make you not mind hanging around you accommodations more. Cook your own food, lounge around a little and save big while enjoying the ocean.

Ocean not your thing? Pick an Airbnb anywhere and save big. Get a cabin in the woods or a condo in the city. Anywhere you go there will be someone wanting to rent you a place to stay.

Visit Family

When was the last time that you took the opportunity to catch up with some out of town relatives? Maybe it is time to change that.

Take an inventory of all of your out of town relatives and see if any of them live in a place that you would like to visit. If you are on great terms, straight up ask them if you and your family can stay for a day or two. Not on perfect terms, mention that you are thinking of visiting the city and ask them what a good place to stay is. They might just throw an offer your way.

If a relative takes you in, be sure to be courteous and clean. Also, it would be a good idea to pay for a nice dinner out with them.

Travel Off Peak

Vacation during peak travel times can be 2 to 3 times more expensive. Instead of taking a family vacation in June, aim for a long weekend in September. Depending on where you want to go, you could save hundreds, if not thousands of dollars.

Not sure what peak and off peak is? Visit a few travel websites and plug in some dates. Look at hotel rates and airfare prices to a few cities that you like and the off season should become fairly apparent.

If you do not have any particular place in mind, consider looking at a deal website like Living Social and see what pops up. You might be surprised at just how cheap your family vacation can get.

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