9 Vacation ideas that won’t break the bank

I grew up in a home where we started planning for vacation about a year or so before we planned to go. Although it would often drive me a little crazy (because I would have no idea what I’d even asked to do when we finally went), I understood the logic: Plan ahead to get the best deals.  So, here are 9 vacation ideas that won’t break your bank.

  1. Roughing it. Go on a camping trip. I don’t care that you’re from the city and afraid of bugs. Try it. It’s a good bonding experience, both the equipment and the campsite are inexpensive, and depending on where you camp, there’s the possibility of sight-seeing opportunities nearby.
  2. Go on a cruise. Lots of people think “Oh, cruises are expensive!” But, if you buy early, some of them are less than $100/person per day, which, if you think about it, is less than a hotel and food in a lot of places. There’s ton to do, it’s all you can eat, and it’s cozy and comfortable.
  3. Vegas, baby! Or NYC, or some other big city. Many people assume that going to the city is expensive, but if you are smart, you can get some great package deals.
  4. Visit people you love. My best friend and her husband live in Washington DC. Do you have anyone in your life that lives somewhere with a lot of cool stuff nearby? Then why not kill two birds with one stone- visit and stay with them, and check out some awesome sights.
  5. Go on a “stay-cation” Most people don’t realize the neat activities and historical events that are in their own area. For example, I live in the southern part of Pennsylvania and Gettysburg is about 45 minutes from me. There are also countless harvest festivals and such in this area of the United States. Although a lot of people think these kinds of events are corny, they’re a fun and different way to “vacation” without busting your wallet.
  6. Revolve your vacation around a certain activity or historical event. Ever want to go water rafting? Is your family really into a particular sport? Plan a vacation around that. If you like baseball, go to Cooperstown, NY and go to the Baseball Hall of Fame, then catch a minor league game or, if you want to travel a  little further, a major league game. There are also a lot of ways to get special packages for a good price for these kinds of vacations.
  7. Get a timeshare. Timeshares are usually in a network, where you have “rented” one week out of the year. You can usually pick where you decide to use that week at. They cost an annual fee, but then it’s always there whenever you decide to use it.
  8. Roadtrip! These are always fun. Pick somewhere random to go, drive there, and check out stuff along the way. I did a lot of these during college, and some of the best memories have come from them.
  9. Go in the off-season. Last but not least, why does your vacation have to be in the summer? I totally understand if you have children that that is most convenient, but if it’s an educational trip, your student may be able to get out of school for a few days for it, depending on your school district. If you don’t have kids, then you can go whenever you want depending on your job. Going to places during the off-season (usually October to March) will save you a good chunk of money in the long run.

Hope these tips helped you think about some new and inexpensive ways to go and relax on vacation instead of feeling like you have to spend a ton of money in order to have a good time with your family and loved ones.

  1. We camp a lot and my kids love it. We mostly go to the desert and ride motorcycles. This isn’t too expensive, once you have the gear. Since we bought everything used, it was affordable. Now, we only have to pay for food and gas.

    Now that my kids are grown up, these memories are invaluable to us. At some point in our lives, time becomes more precious than money.

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