6 tips for creating a memorable family vacation on a budget
With the cost of fuel and food on the rise many families have nixed the idea of going on a family vacation. But, that doesn't have to be the case! A family vacation doesn't have to be expensive to be memorable.
Think Outside the Box
Summer travel typically involves long car rides--or even air travel, motel stays and lots of restaurant eating. With a little bit of thinking outside the norm and pre-planning you're still able to create a memorable family vacation, without breaking the bank. As adults we tend to complicate things, when the reality is--simple is best. In the end, the time spent together and the memories created are all that's left.
I once thought that there was nothing fun to do in my local area. Boy was I wrong. With a little bit of research I found a plethora of activities that are free or pretty close to it.
Since you're staying close, your fuel expenses will be minimal and you're still able to support your local area. Check out your local Conservation Department, Parks Board, or Chamber of Commerce for ideas.
Plan Your Meals
Meal Planning easily saves our family hundreds of dollars a month on our grocery bill. Using that same concept, why not do that for the days you're on vacation? Doing so will not only eliminate the Dinner Hour Question, but it'll save money in the long run--without any additional work!
I've been known to travel with my crockpot or electric skillet and a cooler full of food before. And while people thought I was crazy, they were also the ones that were jealous that I was able to do our trip so inexpensively!
I've found that pre-making some of the more time consuming parts of a recipe and purchasing the items that are harder to travel with works out best. Also, doing a combination of eating out and staying in helps to make it still feel like a vacation!
Scope Out the Area
Before your trip, find restaurants that are in the area that you are travel to and take note of the ones that pique your interest. Loosely add them to your schedule. Be sure to check out Restaurant.com and Groupon for your area of travel so you can save!
Forget the Hotel
I know, some of you might think I'm crazy, but what if I told you that you're missing out on an opportunity to spend less than $30 a night? It's true! Many State Parks offer camping areas (or cabins) for rent, with electricity and showers, and they're nice! Of course you would have to bring your own linens and toiletries, but with that savings who cares?
Phoebe Hendricks, author of the book Frugal Gardening 101 and the frugal lifestyle blog GettingFreedom.net, is the mother of 4 children living in rural Missouri. Resources are slim, so creativity and unconventional thinking are a must in order to make it on their one income.