Like all of you I have a lot of time constraints when it comes to traveling, pair that with travel expenses and lodging costs on the rise sometimes a big summer vacation isn't possible. But there are many ways you can still have a vacation right at home. Yes, in your own backyard. Many of us live within a reasonable distance to museums, campgrounds, historic sites, and beautiful state parks. You might be surprised at what you find in your own local area.
Budget Backyard Family Vacations
Do some research in your area to find free or low cost activities and sites to visit. Schedule something for each day of the week, even if it's just a park visit for a picnic. Many of these are free, educational, and fun for parents and kids. Or be a local tourist and save big with a CityPASS and get to do all the local attractions for a fraction of the cost and save on lodging fees because you can stay in your own home.
You can even plan activities at home just as if you were at an exotic vacation spot. Have a different theme for each day, a couple fun ideas are:
- Beach day – sun tanning, volleyball, make some fancy icy drinks to sip on in the sun, have a picnic.
- Camp day – stay in a tent or sleeping bags under the stars, build a little fire if allowed in your area, roast marshmallows, make smores, sing campfire songs.
- Have a backyard fair – create booths with games like ring toss or balloon popping to win little prizes.
- Colonial day – dress, and live in another era!. This is great fun. I thought of this one purely by accident when the electricity went out one day. The kids expressed how “neat' it was to live like they did in the “old days.” No lighting except candles and lanterns, no T.V. or radio, no video games or computer. Sounds boring, but believe it or not, they had fun coming up with ideas to keep occupied. A good teaching tool too! Shhhhhhhh….. don't tell the kids.
- Cultural Day – Live, celebrate, dress, and eat as you learn about different cultures. Some examples might include an Irish, Native American, or Spanish Day. Another great learning experience. Try to include some ethnic games to make it even more fun and interesting.
These theme days at home will take some imagination and a little work, but will be loads of fun for everyone. Half the fun will be in the creation, so let everyone pitch in. With a little imagination and creativity, you can have a wonderful vacation right in your own backyard. You may even have more fun than being in another part of the world!
What's your best budget family vacation tip?
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