School is done and kids are going to be getting bored. What does that call for but an amazing family vacation where you can relax, the kids can get out of the house and you can all take a much needed break from your regular life. Instead of spending thousands of dollars, there is a way to take a vacation while on a budget.
Choosing Your Destination
Before you decide to fly across the country, find out what great things are within a few hours of your current location. Driving is definitely cheaper than flying! Your local state park is always a great choice (and they are sometimes even free to visit!) On a recent visit to Mt. Rushmore, we found that not only was it free to visit the park, but there were several attractions nearby that were also free.
Research, Research, Research!
Now that you've chosen where you're going to go, check LivingSocial for the deals nearby. You can often find an experience that your kids won't soon forget at discounts of up to 75% or a relaxing day at the spa for yourself at a great price.
Make sure you also do a search of the local attractions and find out if they offer discounts. On a trip to Bear Mountain USA, we found that not only did we get a discount because we had a child under the age of two, but they also offered a military discount!
Ask Friends/Relatives to Care for Pets
Instead of boarding pets, consider asking a loved one that you trust to care for them while you're gone. Depending on the length of travel, this could save you hundreds of dollars! Make sure you include enough food, toys, and treats for you dog. A treat for your friends would also be much appreciated!
Nothing brings the family together like a night or two under the stars, sharing a tent, roasting marshmallows and talking about your lives. Many campgrounds offer showers, bathrooms and other amenities, like wi-fi, so you'll still be able to enjoy some of the comforts of home, while saving a bundle! As an added benefit, while you might need to bring some bug spray for the mosquitos, you won't have to worry about bringing bedbugs home with you!
Plan Meals Carefully
If you don't have a plan, you can easily spend as much on meals as on the rest of your vacation combined! Instead, plan on bringing sandwiches for the road, hotdogs to roast over the fire, and check LivingSocial for the meals you plan on eating out. Instead of spending your money at a fast food joint and getting a greasy burger, you could spend the same amount at a sit-down restaurant and feel great!