Planning a Cheap Family Holiday
With planning, a family getaway can be memorable even on a budget. Consider day trips to nearby attractions rather than Disneyland Paris and save a bundle.
For families with children, going on a family holiday can be a rather expensive undertaking. Especially in today’s economic situation, not everyone can afford trips abroad. Holiday funds are often the first to be used for more necessary items. However, there are ways to plan a family getaway that doesn’t have to break the bank and can be fun as well.
Day Trips Make Great Family Getaways
Short day trips that can be accomplished without being away from home overnight can be a great way to enjoy a family vacation on a budget. If there is a large city nearby, consider taking a day trip there. Cities usually have museums, aquariums, and zoos with relatively low admission prices that are wonderful ways to have fun with children. Take a picnic lunch and save money on eating out as well.
When taking a day trip, one way to make it a more memorable family getaway is to take alternative transportation. If a train or bus stops nearby, look into the cost of taking this transportation to the destination instead of driving. Packing and getting ready for such an excursion can be a fun adventure in itself.
Get a map of nearby areas and check for lakes with public swimming areas, festivals, swimming pools or small amusement parks available for a reasonable price. Many such places offer family rates or lower return prices, making a family getaway a bit more economical. Areas that may be seeing a decrease in tourist traffic are likely to be offering bargains for those who are willing to search for them.
Make a list of places to go and things to do. If it’s only possible to go on one or two day trips during a two-week holiday, alternate them with fun projects around the house. Even letting children spend the night at Nanny and Grandad’s home can be fun. If they happen to live in another city, or better yet in the countryside or near the sea, take a family trip to visit. Using their house as a base, take day trips from there.
Go Camping for a Cheap Escape
Camping is a great way to leave home overnight at a minimal cost. It isn’t necessary to travel a long distance to get the feeling that home is far away. Look into the costs of camping in nearby parks or campsites, see what activities are offered, buy minimal supplies since food, cooking equipment and bedding are already things most people already have on hand.
With a family tent big enough to house everyone, one sleeping bag per person (or even blankets off the bed), and food that can be easily cooked outside or that doesn’t require cooking at all, a family getaway is not much more expensive than staying home. Take the pets along to avoid boarding fees and let them have a fun getaway too.
Go to a Movie
For a real staycation experience, take the family to a movie at a nearby cinema. To really splurge, go for pizza afterwards. Children old enough to sit still and watch it will enjoy this because it is so different from what they’re used to. To Mum and Dad, it may seem ordinary, but to a five-year-old, a huge screen, loud music and giant actors can be quite a treat. There are even some places offering an American-style drive-in ‘movie theater’ experience, so that could be a fun option, too.
With a bit of planning, any family can have a fun family getaway on a budget. Just remember, if possible, take food and drinks from home, go on short trips that will allow the family to be home each night or for an overnight family getaway, go camping.