Family on a budget friendly vacation.

3 Budget Family Vacations

We all know how wonderful a good vacation is, but we also know how expensive they can be. If you have a family, this is particularly true, but you need the vacations for the memories. If your budget is a little tight at the moment, take a look at 3 family vacations that you can take, without a loan.

The words fun and vacation go together like peanut butter and chocolate, but the word budget does not fit quite as well. This does not have to be the case. If you think that your only option for a budget friendly vacation is a boring staycation you are wrong. Let’s take a look at 3 great budget friendly vacations that your family will love and that you will not need a 4000 dollar loan to pay for.

1) Take Your Family Camping

Camping is a classic family activity and one of the cheapest ways that you can vacation. Every family should go on at least one camping trip. Even if you are not much of a camper at heart, you can still have a great time and camping gear has come a long way.

For example, you now have huge, family size, pop up tents that set up in a matter of minutes. No more spending hours setting up and tearing down a campsite. If this is what you dread about camping, times have changed.

Planning Your Trip

The first step in planning your family budget camping trip is choosing a location. No matter where you live in this country, there is usually a state park around and this is where we suggest you start. In general, state parks will be better maintained than private facilities and there is often overnight security which is nice when you are bringing your family.

If this is your first camping trip, choose a location that is close. This will minimize the boring drive and it will give you an escape route. If your kids absolutely hate it, you will be close to home and can execute a hasty retreat.

Also, be sure to look at the activities available at your potential campsite. Are there trails to hike, canoes to rent, playgrounds to climb on or is it just a gravel parking slip. Pick a few campsites and then list their amenities before you make a final decision.

Keeping It Cheap

Camping is a cheap activity, but you really can go over the top with camping gear. In order to keep this trip cheap, buy your gear used from Facebook Marketplace. People start and give up camping all of the time, which means there is plenty of gear to be had for pennies on the dollar. Keep it simple with a good tent, some camping chairs and maybe a camping stove. You can realistically pick up all of this gear for well under 100 dollars. If it turns out that you never want to camp again after this trip, you can also sell it and get most of your money back.

2) Find A Beach Off The Path

Those expensive beach resorts are likely out of the question if you are on a budget. If you live within driving distance of a coastline however, the beach is not entirely out of question. Think to yourself, where do people who live near the ocean go? They don’t hit the resorts, I can assure you.

There are plenty of local beaches that offer you a number of budget friendly benefits over the beach resorts. They will be a lot cheaper and way less crowded. Do you want to be a tourist among tourists or spend a beach day like a local?

Planning Your Trip

Pick a location and then branch out from it. If you love the idea of Padre Island in Texas or Clearwater in Florida, look an hour in either direction up and down the coast. Chances are that you will find free public beach access and affordable hotels to rent.

Keeping It Cheap

To keep your beach vacation budget friendly, try to make the distance driven minimal. Although gas prices are on the way down, it is still a huge expense. Also, don’t try to stay on the beach, the rates will be too high even if the location is not a major tourist spot. A 30 minute drive to the water is very reasonable and it will drastically reduce the price of lodging. Just a bit of driving can turn a room that costs 250 dollars into an 80 dollar one.

3) Don’t Forget About Groupon

Groupon and Living Social used to be the go to places for cheap deals, but many have forgotten about these websites. They are still very much around, although Groupon bought Living Social in 2016, so they offer the same deals.

If you want to go on a budget friendly vacation and do not have a destination in mind, Groupon is a great source. Check the website often and be ready to grab a deal when it pops up. Keep in mind that most deals are not available the same day, so you will need to plan in advance.

Planing Your Trip

With Groupon, if you want to secure the best deals, you need to not have a plan. Scroll through the website and look for destinations and activities that catch your eye and then roll with it.

Vacationing in this way not only helps you stay on budget, but also adds some mystery to your trip. You very well might end up going to a location that you never even thought of. It can potentially open up doors, very inexpensive doors.

Keeping It Cheap

To keep it cheap, look for locations in driving distance. Flying has never been more expensive than it is now and this is particularly true when traveling with a large family.

In addition, plan your trip in order. You do not want to book some great activities to do in a city only to find that hotel rates are through the roof. Look for a room first and then plan activities around it.

Let’s Wrap Up

Hopefully, you have enjoyed our list of budget friendly family vacations, and it has given you some ideas. Will this vacation be the trip of your dreams? Probably not, but it also won’t cost you over 3000 dollars. Any one of these trips would accomplish your goal however. They will allow you to have fun with your family, stay on budget and best of all, make some memories.

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James Car is a finance, loan and budget expert based in the United States. After attending Brookhaven college, he went on to become a successful entrepreneur. He now enjoys writing articles that help people save and make the most of their money.