The first day of spring is two weeks away. Shortly after spring sets in schools across the country will be letting out for spring break. If you’ve decided to take a little family getaway this spring or summer there are inexpensive ways to do so.
Just because the average family spends $1,200 per person per vacation doesn’t mean you have to! Here cheap vacation ideas for 2017 and beyond.
Visit National Parks
National Parks can be a great place to visit for a budget-friendly vacation. If you’re interested in camping many National Parks charge less than $20 per night for a campsite. Even if you don’t want to camp there are tons of hotels around each National Park at varying price points.
If you visit a park on an off-season you’ll be able to score a hotel room pretty cheaply. Since there are National Parks all over the country you shouldn’t have to travel too far to reach one.
Have a Weekend Stay in a Nearby City
Every now and then I’ll plan mini-getaways for my family. We’ll stay in a city that we’re not super familiar with but that’s not too far away. I’ll book a hotel and grab tickets for attractions in the area.
For instance I recently chose Newport, KY as our city and booked one night in a hotel that has an indoor pool (always the highlight for my kids!) got tickets to the Newport Aquarium, made plans to walk to the Purple People bridge and go to Joe’s Crab Shack for dinner (my husband’s request.)
This makes for a pretty jam packed two day weekend trip but will be something the entire family genuinely enjoys. While you might think that this isn’t technically a vacation it’s a great way to break up a normal routine without breaking the bank!
Have a good friend or family member on the other side of the country? Trade houses for a specific period of time. This will completely eliminate hotel/housing expenses.
You’ll be able to explore a new area and all you’ll have to cover is travel and food costs.
Visit the Nearest Beach
If you’re primarily wanting to vacation to appease your kids the beach always remains a great option! You don’t have to go far either. Pick your nearest beach and go camping or get a hotel room and stay the weekend.
This is a very inexpensive way to make the kiddos happy!
Skip the Vacation and Plan a Stream of Weekend Activities Instead
Another idea, and likely what I’ll do this summer, is to skip a big vacation and instead plan out a fun weekend activity to do every other weekend.
This could be things like:
- Go to a ball game.
- Visit the beach for a day.
- Go to the aquarium.
- Visit the zoo.
- Stay in a hotel.
- Go to your local pool.
The ideas are endless and customizable to wherever you live. If you’re not able to vacation for days at a time doing these activities could be the solution.
Make Your Dollars Go Farther
Aside from choosing inexpensive vacation destinations there are other ways to make your money go further. Don’t forget to do these things before you hit the road.
Cash in Your Credit Card Rewards – If you have any credit card rewards now is a great time to cash them in. Many rewards can be cashed in for hotel stays, flights or gift cards.
Cash in Your Spare Change – Since I don’t use a credit card enough to benefit from the rewards one of my go-to strategies for vacationing has always been saving my spare change. If you have change collecting in a jar go cash it in at your local bank and use it as your spending money.
Use Groupon and Other Discount Sites – A great way to discover fun things to do and a way to save money doing them is to utilize Groupon. Check the Groupon for the city you’re staying in and see what you can discover.
You can also check sites like Priceline and Travelocity before booking your hotel room or rental car.
If you want to take a bigger trip next year make sure you plan ahead. Putting away $20 per week will net you $1,040 to vacation with by the time next year rolls around. Pair that with the other cost-saving methods and you can take a decent trip.
What’ the best budget vacation you’ve ever taken?