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Summer Vacation Ideas for Families on the Cheap

By Edited Jan 4, 2014 1 5

Vacation Ideas

If you are looking for summer vacation ideas for families and other fun things to do that won’t cost an arm and a leg, then here are a few tips to get started with.

With everyone feeling the pinch of the present economy, you may have to get a bit more creative when it comes to finding summer vacation ideas.  Just doing something that is out of the normal schedule can add excitement and give your spirits a lift.

Packages – Don’t give up on package holidays just yet, with the tourism sector feeling the pinch just like everyone else (holidays are the first thing that gets cut back when trying to watch budgets) they have been sharpening their pencils and finding some affordable ideas for the family vacation.

If you don’t mind going on a week day for example for a few days somewhere, then you will get a better deal than packages that start out on a Saturday.  A mid week getaway can be just as fun, and also cheaper.

Google Your Town – Get onto the internet and google or search your town and see what pops up.  It is amazing what is going on in your own backyard sometimes.  Local galleries, parks, museums, pools and other attractions usually have on special deals or activities that may be a lot of fun.  Things you may not have thought about checking out, because you normally head out of town for summer vacation.

Cottage Rentals – If you check out cottage rentals for the last week of June, you can get a great discount as this is still considered “out of season” in many areas, but depending on where you live, it will feel just like summer by then.  This is a great opportunity to enjoy cottage country especially if your kids get out of school before the last week of June.

We rented a cottage in the Georgian Bay Area for 600 dollars the last week of June last year, in a beautiful area, and the price jumped to 1300 starting the very next week.  They opened the cottages the May long weekend and offer deals to anyone who is willing to go a bit earlier than the normal high season.  So, look for cottage rentals for the last week of the low season. Summer vacation ideas for families, just takes a bit more homework to be affordable.

Camping – This is a great way to spend a family vacation.  If you are not big on camping, go and check out the camping supply stores, there are so many affordable conveniences you can get now for that camping trip that you may enjoy camping once again, such as cots instead of air mattresses. LED lanterns and camping gazebos. 

Book a site for that camping trip ahead of time.  Many are on the internet now, and you can find a great site and book online.  Many camp grounds will give you a discount if you camp for a week or more and book ahead of time, rather than just showing up at the gate. 

Once again, you will get some good deals if you show up Sunday instead of Friday or Saturday.

CAA or AAA automobile clubs, will quite often carry packages deals for tickets to local attractions or even further away ones.  Our local CAA (Canadian Auto Club) carries discounted tickets for members to such places as Darien Lake in the USA or Marineland in Niagara Falls for example. 

So, if you are a member of an auto club, check them out for travel packages and discounted tickets to attractions.  Some of our best vacations with our kids were a day at a local attraction with rides that tired them out and one night in a hotel with a pool, and they loved it.

Paintball - If you like to be active for the day, you can head to a paintball park and rent all the equipment needed and have fun.  This is a lot of fun for teens.

There are lots of summer vacation ideas for families, that can give you the much needed break you were looking for, fun with the family, and not wipe out your bank account.  It doesn’t have to be a week at an expensive resort, it can be day trips here and there.  Spread out over the summer, these can be a lot of fun.  Also see installing a gazebo bar in your backyard for extra fun.



Apr 13, 2011 12:50pm
Lots of good stuff.Thumbs up!
Apr 13, 2011 1:14pm
thanks dreamaker!
Apr 14, 2011 7:37am
Nice post. I think you are right about the industry feeling the pinch. It is a good time for vacations if you can afford it.
Apr 14, 2011 5:40pm
Good ideas for family vacations done cheaply.
Apr 5, 2012 7:59am
Most Greek islands are ideal for family vacations. Use this search engine to find the right one:
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