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3 Frugal Family Vacation Ideas

family vacation

As many of us are trying to pay down debt or save some money for the future, we may find that our vacation savings and plans get a little lost in the shuffle.

As summer approaches your hopes for a vacation and your bottom line may not match up, but don’t worry there are still plenty of ways to have a bunch of fun family vacation experience without spending a bunch of money.


Schedule a staycation and explore your city. Here are a few ideas: museums, zoos, parks, festivals, arboretums, beaches, aquariums “theme parks” and points of interest or historic nature. Catch a baseball or local soccer game.

Major and minor league tickets are often discounted during the week because it’s harder to attend and since you are on “vacation” you can even show up early to pick up the free items that they may have to offer.

Virtual Vacations

Been there, done that with your city or town? Then why not try a virtual vacation? Choose a place to “go” virtually. Maybe you would like to visit Hawaii, Mexico or France? Then consider these frugal vacation assignments to go virtual with your vacation.

Each member finds out something about the place you are visiting “virtually” and shares it with the whole family.

During your virtual vacation host a party that includes your friends. For example a beach party, wine and cheese party (France); a Mexican fiesta, or a Hawaiian luau. Not only can you “take” more family and friends on your virtual vacation but everyone can help out with the party decorations, food, and activities.

Search for restaurants, festivals, exhibits or museums in the area that specialize in your vacation destination and be sure to visit them while exploring your virtual vacation.

Take a little trip: Frugal four-day vacations

Can’t quite stretch the budget to a week vacation? Is airfare too expensive? Four days vacations either on the weekend or during the week can save you money on airfare, food, and accommodations. Even airfare can be less expensive during the week than it is on the weekends.

Money-saving tips for your frugal family vacation destination

Look for free entrance days; many are sponsored by foundations, Target or Bank of America.

Use discount cards and coupons like those available in the Entertainment Book, Moxie Moms, and City Pass. The cost of one of these cards actually pays for itself in just one activity.

Visit local grocery stores for discounted tickets to many attractions.

Look for online specials or package deals that save money on your get-away.

Dining out? Look for Kids Eat Free offers or other special promotions.

These easy to do frugal vacation destinations save money and offer the whole family the opportunity to have fun with creativity and flair. After all, everyone gets involved with planning and participating in a frugal family vacation destination, and isn’t that what your vacation is really all about?

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