Seven Affordable Family Vacation Ideas

Looking for some affordable family vacation ideas? If your
vacation budget is a bit tight this year, but you still want to enjoy
some time off together and great family fun, then don't give up just
yet, as we may have some helpful suggestions. Sometimes referred
to as staycations, backyard excursions, day trips or weekend
getaways, these close to home trips can save you a ton of money in
accommodations and travel expenses. However, they can still
provide a great deal of family fun, and you'll be more relaxed
because you aren't spending a ton of money.

I have traveled all over the United States and I am always amazed
at how many things there are to see and do. Even in some states
that may not be known for their scenic beauty or tourist attractions,
they still all seem to have fun, neat, tucked away places if you just
do a little bit of digging. Unfortunately, for most of us these vacation
gems in our own backyard are often missed until we move away
and later return for a visit. Why not take advantage of some of
these close to home attractions this year, and make your vacation a
little more affordable?

Each area is going to be different, and obviously some places have
a bit more to offer in the way of attractions, but here are some
affordable vacation ideas that are worth considering.

1) Day Trips
What kind of parks are close to where you live? Most areas have
nice city parks, county parks, state parks, or maybe even a national
park, monument, or scenic byway. When was the last time your
family took a
short hike,  bike trip, picnic, or cooled off in the park
pool, creek, lake or river? Maybe you haven't just thrown a baseball
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oklahoma mountain scenery
tents for overnight camping
Medieval Times Restaurant - Dallas
Stafford Air & Space Museum
Cripple Creek Railroad
Favorite Family Vacations
affordable family vacations
will be special for both you and your kids. Remember, it's not how much it costs that matters, it's just being together
and taking the time to slow down a bit.

2) Overnight Camping
If your family likes camping, and there is a state park nearby, then you may want to spend a few nights camping.  
Don't worry if you have all of the equipment, as part of the fun for you and your kids will be to rough it a little bit. Also,
put the word out to friends and family and you'll be surprised how many of them would be happy to loan you the use of
their tent, sleeping bags or other equipment. When I was a kid our family didn't have the money to take expensive
family vacations, but we used to camp a lot. It wasn't very expensive, but we had a great time together as a family and
with friends that sometimes went with us. Some of my best memories are from
camping trips, and even today,
probably one of the most relaxing things to do is to sit next to a roaring campfire talking or roasting marshmallows.

3) Try a New Restaurant
Since you are staying close to home and not spending money on hotels, or flights or gas to get you to your
destination, then why not try that restaurant your family has always wanted to try. Maybe its a bit more pricey then the
places where you normally dine or maybe it has a fun arcade or show that the kids would enjoy. Use your travel
savings to pay for this small treat and think of yourself as an out of town traveler visiting your area.

4) Local Festivals or Fairs
Many areas have local festivals that are quite popular, and often those living in the area have never been to them.
Often, these have great food, rides for the kids, are sometimes quite educational, and overall a great time for the
whole family. If there aren't any festivals nearby, then there is bound to be a county fair. Again, these can be right in
our backyard and maybe we've never gone, but they can create some wonderful memories.

5) Local Sporting Events
Your city doesn't need to have a professional football, basketball, baseball or some other sporting team. In fact, some
of the minor league games let you get much closer to the action for a lot less money. I still remember taking my kids to
their first minor league baseball game. The bullpen was right near the stands and the kids could easily get autographs,
and you should have seen the look on their faces when a foul ball came our way and a friend of mind caught it and
handed it to them -- talk about memories! Again, maybe these types of events are not normally in the budget, but use
some of those travel expense dollars that you are saving to do a few things out of the norm. You will still be way ahead
and have an affordable family vacation.

6) Visiting Museums
Is there an interesting museum nearby? This could be an art museum or history museum or even a presidential library
or museum. Some great ones are the
military or space museums and kids of all ages will enjoy these. Many areas
along the coast will have naval museums where you can board a submarine or a battleship and see what things were
like for the sailors who served aboard these. Air and space museums have many types of aircraft and space
equipment on display. These are great fun and very educational and the admission cost is normally quite reasonable.

7) Take a Train Ride
Many areas around the country have short train rides or train excursions. These are not the cross country passenger
type trips or commuter trains. Most of these trips last an hour or two and often travel through some beautiful scenery.
Often, these are steam locomotives or older diesel locomotives that have an interesting history or story behind them.
These types of train rides can be found in many parts of the country. Many offer dinner trains or act out some type of
skit that can be quite entertaining for all involved.

Hopefully, some of these ideas are helpful, and you are beginning to realize that there are some fun things to do right
in your area. Remember, how much you spend on a family vacation is not what is important, spending time together
and creating memories that last is really the objective. Treat yourself as a tourist who is coming to your area. Do a little
research, and soon you will discover some of the gems that are right in your own backyard. Have fun and stay safe!