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Easy, Frugal Family Getaways

Are you hankering for a family getaway that doesn’t bust the budget? The largest expenses in a family vacation center around feeding your crew, transportation, lodging, and admission expenses. Luckily, our awesome vacation budget ideas for families help reduce the impact of one or more of these categories on the vacation budget. Try a few of these budget-friendly getaways the next time you feel the itch to escape your routine.

Indulge in Local Activities

If you live in or near a large metropolitan area, you will find many budget-friendly activities that reduce the amount of money you spend on transportation and eliminate lodging expenses.

Park Activities

Keep an eye on the local park’s websites. The park organizations are always working to draw visitors and offer many free activities as a result. From movies at dusk to hands-on nature activities and hikes, parks offer something for everyone.

Zoo and Museum Memberships

Yearly memberships can be pricey, but often will cover the cost of one family visit to the zoo or a favorite children’s museum. After the initial expense, families can visit again and again and often participate in special programs at a discount or get special treatment, like admission before the park opens to the public.

Sporting Events

If your city is holding a major sporting event like the Super Bowl, the college basketball championships, or an IndyCar race, look for the fan activities that accompany the event. You may not be able to spring for the tickets to the big game, but the city will host a plethora of fan events to entertain the crowds, like fan zones and zip lining through the city, that may be low-cost or even free.

Holiday Events

No matter the city size, holidays bring on the special celebrations. From donuts and hot chocolate with Santa on the town square in December to helicopter Easter egg drops and St. Patrick’s Day parades in the spring, participation in these events will build memories and family traditions that last a lifetime.

 DIY Tours

Consider putting together a one-tank get away. Visit your state’s department of tourism and uncover hidden gems within your own state. Undiscovered beaches, dunes, caves, and historical monuments, as well as great local eateries, await you all within a few hours of home.


Get Away From It All Out of Town

There’s a special sense of adventure that comes with taking a family road trip. The next time you hit the road, consider one of these budget-friendly ideas to keep costly expenses at bay.

Homecoming at Your Alma Mater

Do you or your spouse have an advanced degree to boast about? Why not get back to your academic roots and show off your accomplishments to your children by visiting your Alma Mater for its annual homecoming? You’ll likely be able to score reduced-price game tickets for alumni and their families as well as partake in the family fun atmosphere before the big game.

Cost-Sharing With Another Family

With some careful advance planning, vacationing with another family can reduce the costs of transportation and lodging for a much-needed beach or weekend getaway. Discuss in advance how bills will be split and what activities you want to do as a group or as separate families to avoid spats that will ruin your vacation escape.

Visit Off Season

Keep in mind that many attractions have a busy season when they can command higher rates. Plan ahead and visit during the off season when rates for lodging and attractions may be lower.

National Wildlife Refuges and Parks

Throughout the 2015-2016 school year, the National Parks are sponsoring an “Every Kid in the Park” program. This program aims to get fourth graders throughout the country away from screen time and involved in green time. Take advantage of this program to receive free passes for your fourth grader to see the most beautiful natural sites our nation has to offer.

Sure, all-out vacations (like a week-long visit to the Bahamas) are fun, but are they really worth the expense? You can provide a break from the same old daily routine with our budget-friendly ideas without spending a fortune. Be sure to follow our blog for creative ideas on family time!

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