Cheap Vacation Ideas

Family Vacations on a Budget

Everyone needs some time to relax and decompress. These cheap vacation ideas help you get away without detouring off the road to financial freedom.

There are four primary types of expenses that you need to think about when it comes to family vacations on a budget:

  1. Food
  2. Lodging
  3. Transportation (to and from your destination and while you are there)
  4. Entertainment

Ideas for Frugal Vacations

Cheap Vacation Ideas

These cheap vacation ideas focus on saving money in one or more of these types of expenses:

  1. Camping is a great way for the family to unplug from technology and enjoy nature together. It is also at the top of the list for frugal vacations, especially if you choose someplace relatively close to home. There can be a large initial investment in equipment. However, you may be able to start out by borrowing gear from friends and each year buying more equipment of your own. This also enables you to see if camping is right for you.
  2. A home exchange allows you to vacation in someone’s home while they vacation in yours. You can swap with someone you know, or find someone through a network such as, which has over 40,000 listings throughout the United States and the world. This could certainly save you in both food and lodging expenses.
  3. Visit friends or relatives. This can be a great way to reconnect while relaxing. Just remember not to wear out your welcome!
  4. Explore areas close to home. There are, no doubt, many attractions that are within one to two hundred miles of home. This will significantly cut down on your transportation expenses.
  5. Consider a staycation at home. This is at the top of the cheap vacation ideas. A staycation can save you money in food, lodging, transportation, and maybe entertainment. Find out what draws people to vacation in your home area and then follow their lead.
  6. Go on a volunteer or mission trip. Although you usually have to pay your own expenses, they may be lower because you may stay in rustic conditions and benefit from group discounts. With this type of frugal vacation, you get the added benefit of knowing you are helping others.
  7. Visit Washington, DC. The capital city of the United States has enough free attractions to keep you busy for days or even weeks! Also, the transportation costs are minimal because you can either walk to many things or take the economical Metro all over the city.

Don’t Forget to Budget

If ever there were a time for frugal budgeting, planning a vacation is it. On vacation, it is easy to let your frugal guard down. If you don’t set a budget before you go, your money may trickle through your hands.

Budgeting for a vacation is not difficult, because the time is limited. Plan realistically how much you will spend for each of the categories (food, lodging, transportation, and entertainment) and don’t forget to include a buffer for those unexpected costs.

With these cheap vacation ideas, you and your family can relax, forget about responsibilities, and enjoy spending time together.

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