Vacations can be expensive and, as every parent knows, they are even more important after you have children. One of the greatest ways to develop and strengthen bonds with your kids is by “getting away from it all” and just enjoying family time together; no household chores, schoolwork or work responsibilities to get in the way.
Unfortunately, traveling can become expensive. Putting your entire family on a plane, renting cars, and paying for recreational activities can really add up. So if the tropical island vacation is off the agenda, what other options do you have available? Included here are a few tips for budget-friendly travel with your family.
While some people consider timeshares to be a terrible investment, in many cases they can be a good option for families. A timeshare is basically a property that you own a “share” of and gain use to it for a set amount of time each year. You help pay maintenance and basic rental fees on the place so that you can stay there for your vacations.
Timeshares exist all over the globe. You can get a timeshare in sunny California, one near the skiing slopes of Colorado, or even a timeshare on the Florida beach. Take stock of your family’s needs as well as traveling abilities (flying vs. driving), before investing. Keep in mind, most families with timeshares will always take their yearly vacation to their share, so make sure it is a place you love before you invest.
One of the easiest ways to reduce travel costs is to cut out flying. Saving on airfare can be astronomical when you load up the kids in a car to drive to your destination. Driving can be prohibitive if you have antsy toddlers, but most kids should be able to acclimate to the journey with plenty of stops.
Road trips offer plenty of time for family bonding, talking and interaction. There are plenty of road trip friendly games you can play as well as fun snacks to pack in the car. Bring a frisbee for a little leg stretching at rest areas and remember to be flexible. Sometimes everyone needs a break from the car, even if it means falling behind on your itinerary.
The most budget friendly method of traveling and vacation is in going camping. Most campsites will be less than $10 per night and there is plenty of activity to enjoy in the woods. By packing all of your own food, you are guaranteed to avoid overspending on the trip and your kids can gain real world outdoor adventures.
Take time to catch frogs in a local creek, explore hiking trails, skip rocks across the lake, or go fishing. Sunbathing, reading, napping and sandcastle building are great low-key options as well. Evenings spent around a campfire are the perfect time to bond as a family and, if you confiscate all electronics before the trip, you should have your kids uninterrupted attention.