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4 Cheap Family Vacation Ideas

Families have more options than ever to take a cheap vacation, whether it's day trips or finding last-minute deals.

Before you decide there is no way you can afford a vacation this year, consider several cheap family vacation ideas. Yes, gasoline, airfare and resorts may be expensive, but it is still possible to enjoy a fun-filled break with your partner and children without spending a bundle.

1. Day Trips

One way to enjoy a relatively inexpensive vacation is to stick fairly close to home so that you do not need to spend a lot on transportation or anything on a hotel. Depending upon where you live, a day trip to the beach, the mountains or another area can be a great alternative to a longer vacation with your family. If you don't live near the ocean but would like to spend some time on the water, look for a nearby river or lake.

2. Last-Minute Trips

Depending upon your flexibility with your travel plans, you may be able to find last-minute deals on hotel rooms and tours when there are empty spots. When you get to your destination, keep in mind that tickets to musicals, plays and other shows that your family may enjoy are sometimes available at greatly reduced rates last minute at the door.

3. Staycations

An alternative to a traditional vacation is the staycation. For this kind of break, you will stay in your hometown but take time off of work and enjoy activities with your family. These could include outdoor activities or short day trips that may entail visits to local museums, a zoo or other places of interest for your children.

4. Stripped-Down Vacations

Plan your vacation to the place that you'd most like to go but save money on costs in other ways. For instance, avoid eating out and spending money at restaurants by visiting grocery stores or packing your own food when possible. Stay with friends or at a campground instead of at a hotel. Look for discount rates for activities and sites or simply plan to visit sites that don't have admissions charges. You can also cut down the length of your trip to save money on the overall cost.

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