10 Ways to Take a Family Vacation Without Breaking the Bank

Vacations are incredibly expensive these days and taking one as a family only multiplies the costs. It is nearly impossible to go on vacation for a typical family without paying attention to saving opportunities. If you head out on vacation and constantly wonder how to save and still have fun, you are not alone. This is extremely common among vacationing families.

Here are ten ideas to cut the costs and keep things reasonable while you have a great time:

Consider campingCamping is a ton of fun and costs a fraction of what you might pay at a rental home or hotel. Consider it an adventure and make it fun and you will be surprised at how your family will buy into the idea. Many of today’s campsites are fully equipped with bathrooms and showers so it is not necessarily roughing it like the days of old.

Stay with friends or family – It is always fun to have your own space but if you can save some serious cash staying with friends or family, you have to consider it. Bless them with some of the savings to show your appreciation.

Cook instead of eating out – Rather than going out to eat on family vacations, eat in and cook for yourself. The cost difference will pay for a super fancy night out at the end of the trip if you want to reward yourself.

Consider free parks over theme parks – Some folks just have to visit the roller coasters and theme park fun and that is fine. If you are, however, only lukewarm to the idea, visit free state parks and museums instead. You will save a fortune.

Have a yard sale to offset costs – This is actually quite fun and can be strikingly effective when you advertise it correctly. Find some quality yard sale items and advertise it as a vacation sale.

If you must rent, rent from individuals – Renting from the large realty companies will get you precious little except an empty wallet. Instead, seek out an individual that is willing to rent their summer home for a reasonable fee.

Consider a home swap – This is becoming very popular these days primarily because long distance relationships are booming. The power of the Internet allows close friends that move far away to stay in very close touch. If you have a friend that would like to swap homes for a vacation, it is a solid solution that costs nothing but travel.

Get creative for souvenirs – The cost of grabbing that little foam thingie that will find a special place in the back of your guest room closet is notable. This is especially true when every child must have one. Instead, grab a postcard or natural souvenir. Even a jar of dirt from a famous location is better than a foam finger.

Send photos rather than gifts – If you like to send little tokens back to others at home, consider sending them photographs instead. Put them on a flash drive and send them electronically to save on postage.

Book everything well in advance – The best way to save cash on family vacations happens long before you pack up the car. Book everything from lodging to tickets to your favorite attractions in advance and you almost always will save big off the regular prices.

Do you have any tips on how to save on your next family vacation?

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Heather is the creator and owner of Family Friendly Frugality. She calls Texas home and is married to her best friend. With 2 children 22 months apart, she has her hands full. So full that she decided to start blogging as a hobby. That hobby blew up into a full time job. Now she's got the husband, the kids and the blog. We're not exactly sure what she was thinking, but she's too busy for us to ask. Find Me On Google +

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