How to Plan a Fun Family Vacation on a Budget
Modern day life is busy, busy, as parents shuffle between work and keeping up with domestic chores and responsibilities, and kids juggle equally frantic schedules packed with school, homework, sports and leisure activities. As the weeks fly by, it can be difficult to find time to sit and eat together, never mind actually communicate or have fun. This all makes taking the time to enjoy a family vacation pretty essential, although when budgets are tight that may seem like a frivolous spend.
The best route is to compromise and plan a shorter vacation on a budget. Children need quality time with parents who can relax and escape the pressures of everyday life more than they need fancy hotel stays in exotic destinations; in the end, the most lasting memories will be of the fun, laughter, and adventures you experienced together.
Here are some essential tips covering how to plan a great holiday without breaking the bank.
Look for good prices on domestic flights or discounts for advanced car rentals. Consider all possible travel options if the price is right, as a train or bus trip or even a combination of several things can be turned into a cost-effective adventure.
Choose Accommodation Close to Free or Cheap Attractions
National Parks provide easy access to nature for a reasonable entry fee, so choosing one as the base area for your vacation makes sense. For example, search online for budget friendly Bryce Canyon hotels and you will find something affordable close to Bryce Canyon National Park. There may also be options for camping, which will reduce the costs further still. Most areas have several free or cheap entertainment possibilities, details of which can be found online quite easily.
Make a Food Plan
Part of the fun of being away from home is not having to shop for, prepare and cook food, or tidy up afterward. But eating three meals a day in diners and restaurants can soon stretch your budget to an uncomfortable point. Ease the strain by making a few plans ahead of time, for example, if your motel offers breakfast make the most of it; it is, after all, the most important meal of the day.
Agree to snack on store-bought fruit or other healthy food at lunchtime and check out sites like Groupon or look for discount coupons and promotions for possible evening meals. (Many places offer 2-for-1 or ‘early bird’ specials, but having a few details of recommended budget food places is wise, just in case.
Create a Project
Planning an interesting project that everyone can contribute to while away on vacation is a good way to channel children’s interest into a low-cost activity. Choose a topic or theme that suits both the interests and ages of your children, for example, a photography project with a focus on one thing, such as trees or clouds.
At the end of the day a vacation is about spending time with those you love, and giving your kids undivided attention in a relaxed environment is worth more to them than any amount of money.
Image via Getty Images
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