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Family Vacations That Won't Break the Bank

Summertime brings thoughts of family vacation, but for families struggling to keep up with inflation, the very word ‘vacation’ may sound extravagant. But vacations need not be expensive or far from home to provide a happy break from routine. Here are some family vacation ideas that are guaranteed not to break the bank.

  • Trade Houses – Got cousins near the lakeshore or friends near the beach? Might they enjoy a few days in your city digs close to zoos, theaters and museums? Or trade places with a family closer to home, and think about new toys to play with, new snacks in the cupboard, and new views out the living room window. Trading houses gives everyone a break and costs little more than staying at home.
  • Take That Hike – You know that nearby mountain you’ve always meant to hike? The river you intended to fish? Make it a family affair and make this the year to do it, even if it means you have to borrow a tent or invest in a couple of sleeping bags.
  • Find the Freebies – Museums, festivals, animal parks, concerts and libraries are all great sources of family fun where the admission is often free or low cost. Check local websites and create a budget itinerary for the intended length of your ‘staycation.’
  • Book Last-Minute and Local – Check travel and tourism sites in your own area for last-minutes buys on tours, hotel stays, theater tickets and more. Try a few new restaurants, see the local sights at a discount, and feel as though you are far from home even when you are not.
  • Unplug and Focus on the Family – Part of the vacation mindset means no checking email, no sending work texts, no posting on Instagram. For a weekend, if not for a week, agree to do just that. Go to a ballgame together, take a family bike ride, take a lavish picnic to the park. Break out new board games, shop the farmer’s market for new foods to cook together, maybe treat the family to a sweet treat at the newest ice cream shop in town.