Vacations are a time for family bonding and relaxation, but planning them can cause conflict and stress. Besides pleasing family members of all different ages, many parents feel the economic squeeze that can come with a getaway for everyone. If you’re stumped about where to go this vacation season, try these five family-friendly and affordable ideas.

Backyard or Living Room Campouts

Campouts at home are a great way to get away without leaving at all. They can be done in the backyard when the weather cooperates, or even in the living room when it does not. The trick is to make it like a real adventure where only nature, food, family, and adventure are permitted. Unplug devices, turn off the wifi, and enjoy some analog rest and relaxation.

Staycation Day Trips

Another option is to live like a tourist in your home city. Even if your kids think their hometown is boring, you can find plenty of inexpensive day trips to make it exciting. Go sightseeing in a nearby city, go hiking in the country, or learn about the history of your suburban development. There may be historic sites nearby to explore or even old favorite hangouts to rediscover too.

Family Visits

Planning a trip to see out-of-town family members is a great way to get away for less. Staying with relatives will save you on lodging, and cousins your kids’ ages make great built-in entertainment. Just a few days is usually enough for everyone to reconnect and recharge.

Beach Destinations

Many people think beach destinations need to be fancy Caribbean seascapes surrounded by palm trees. However, the truth is that a trip to any beach will get everyone in the vacation spirit with the first whiff of saltwater. You can find North Carolina beachfront rentals to bask in the Atlantic Ocean. Or, if you’re not located on the coasts, find one of the many lakes and other bodies of water that also have beaches where sun-revelers and swimmers alike are welcome.

Amusement Park Destinations

Everyone thinks of Central Florida as the place to be for amusement park recreation, but the truth is that smaller amusement parks are scattered across most of the 50 states. Find a local one near you or visit a carnival or county fair in your area for a day of family fun. You may have to drive a little, but the ride there and back can be another sightseeing adventure and opportunity for family bonding. 

Planning a family vacation can be a stressful task when considering all of the options. However, the right outlook and just a little spending money can turn any time together into lifetime memories.

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