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7 Low-Cost Trips for the Family

Summer is coming. Can you really take an affordable family vacation?

Summer is right around the corner—and with it comes the perfect time for family trips. But, family trips often rack up big bills that are tough for WAHMs on a limited budget, and, well, stressing out about the cost of a trip makes it rather hard to relax. But family trips don't have to be expensive. Here are seven low-cost trips for the family to try this summer.

Explore your own town.

An easy way to cut back on the travel costs? Don't travel far. Be honest—how well have you really explored your town? From museums and festivals to businesses you've never explored before, “staycations” are the most affordable vacations. Try visiting a travel center or rest stop near your home to get some ideas—these spots are often filled with flyers and brochures of new things to do in the area.

Embrace your state.

Really need to get out of the house? As a WAHM, that may certainly be the case. Still, you can cut costs by traveling within your own state, instead of distances that require plane tickets or all day drives. Besides, the shorter travel distance often works better for families with younger children. Check out your state's tourism website to find attractions you haven't explored yet that aren't too far from home.

Go camping.

Not only is camping more affordable than hotel rooms, it's also a great excuse to get kids away from the electronics while exploring the outdoors. Purchasing a tent and other gear will rack that cost up though, so if you don't plan to camp much, you can rent or borrow the gear that you'd need. Many campsites also offer cabin rentals that aren't as cheap as a campsite but eliminate the cost of needing a tent or camper.

Go Rural With Farms and Ranches.

Not only are farms and ranches an out-of-the-ordinary vacation, they're also rather affordable. Ranches and work farms are great for adventurous families—they mix sightseeing with activities like horseback riding and learning opportunities. The most affordable ranches are between $50-$250 a night.

Explore State or National Parks.

State and national parks often offer plenty to see and do, and depending on the area, can be rather affordable. Check out national landmarks like Mount Rushmore or get the change to see wildlife roaming. Explore on foot and by car for the best prices, get a bit adventurous and rent scooters or Segways, or try a group tour.

Cool off at a water park.

Water parks are great ways to let the kids burn some energy and cool down without a huge expense. Close day-trips are the most affordable, or combine with another type of activity to make it a longer experience. Parks that combine roller coasters with a water park are often a kit for older kids and teenagers. Check frequently for buy early deals and specials. Most will often have lower weekday rates than visiting on a weekend.

Venture through historic sites.

Historic attractions are often much more affordable than resort-style vacations. Many historic sties are free to explore—you'll just need to cover travel, food and lodging—while others offer all-inclusive vacations. Looking at sites closer to home will again help cut down on travel expenses.

Traveling is expensive—but family fun doesn't necessarily have to be. Choosing an affordable destination or trip style, like camping or a historic site, can help make family fun possible for WAHMs on a budget this summer.

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