Monday, June 27, 2011

Budget Family Vacations that Aren't Short on Fun


 Budget Family Vacations that Aren't Short on Fun
 by: Allison Boyer

Taking vacations as a family can really bring everyone closer together, but unfortunately, trips don’t come cheap. The good news is that you don't have to sacrifice the fun to really enjoy your time together. Here are a few vacation ideas that are low on cost but high on fun.
  • Try camping together.
Campsites only cost a fraction of what it would cost to rent a hotel room, and the activities are built into that price. Instead of expensive tours or amusement park tickets, you can enjoy setting up a camp, building a fire, and roasting marshmallows together. Food is also cheaper this way, and during your camping trip you can also hike together, exploring the woods and teaching your kids a little about nature. Even campgrounds that have running water facilities are much less expensive that hotels, so get in touch with the great outdoors for your next family vacation.
  • Head to the beach.
Beach vacations don't cost much because you don't have to pay for activities (as long as you go to a free beach). Hotels at beaches run the gambit when it comes to pricing, but you can usually find an affordable option, especially if you play your stay during the week instead of on weekends. You can also get your extended family or friends together to share a beach house for the week. These usually sleep 10+ people and can be a real steal when you all chip in!
  • Look at all-inclusive options.
If you're willing to spend a little more on a vacation but still don't want to break the bank, try an all-inclusive option, like those found with Disney. When you pay one lump sum for your hotel, food, and activities, you'll pay much less (in most cases) than if you had paid for all these things separately. Plus, you can focus more on just having fun while you're on vacation, rather than calculating every dollar you spend to try to stretch the budget.
  • Go on a cruise.
Like all-inclusive options, cruises are great because you pay one lump sum for the entire vacation, rather than paying as you go. You can find some rather affordable cruises in non-Caribbean locations as well, so don't forget to check out coastal options if you want to save money (and avoid the hassle of getting passports).
  • Staycation in style.
Lastly, a "staycation" (where you stay at home instead of travel) might not sound like a lot of fun, but it can be! With the money you've saved, hire a maid for the week, order in instead of cooking, and do some activities around town as a family that you'd usually pass up because you didn't want to spend the money. Declare the rules (within reason) ineffective for the week and eat your ice cream first, let the kids stay up as late as they want, and even pick up a few new toys for entertainment.


**This guest post is from Allison, who works with TravelInsurance.org. When planning your family's next vacation, no matter where you travel, consider checking out travel insurance policies to cover any mishaps that happen when you're away from home!**

**Disclaimer: this post was not written by Over Thirty Mommy, it is a guest post written by Allison Boyer** 
 

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