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Inexpensive Holiday Ideas with Kids

By: Elizabeth Grace - Updated: 31 Jul 2013 | comments*Discuss
 
Holiday Travel Vacation Planning Cruise

Everybody likes to take a break from their daily routine now and then, kids included. Free time to roam and explore, to learn new things, or to simply sit and relax -- there is nothing quite like a holiday. In today's busy world, holidays are often the only time that families get a block of time to really focus on each other and share fun experiences. For many of us, family holidays rank amongst our most treasured childhood memories. If going on holiday sounds too costly, take heart. There are plenty of things that you can do that won't break the bank but will leave your children with wonderful memories to call their own.

Budget Travel Tips

  • If you can arrange it, plan to travel mid week when rates are considerably cheaper. The money you save by avoiding weekend travel will more than pay for some great souvenirs!
  • Travelling during the months that school is in session can save you a bundle of money. Although this can be difficult to arrange if you have school aged children, for those with younger kids, it is the perfect, budget-friendly way to go!
  • Look for family packages -- many cruise lines and large holiday resorts offer discounted packages for family travel. Often, these packages are not much more costly than travelling without the children. Ask which activities are included in the package; these "extras" can make all the difference between a so-so holiday and one that is packed with family fun.

Lodging Deals

  • Choose a rental house or apartment rather than a hotel. Sometimes, you can rent a nice vacation property for less than the price of a hotel stay. The benefits go beyond the cost of the rental, too. Instead of eating all of your meals at restaurants, you will have the ability to stock a few foods where you are staying and cook some of your meals there, saving quite a bit of money.
  • Consider staying in a hostel. Many offer private rooms for families, some with their own bathrooms. The lodging is likely to be a bit rustic, but they are usually clean, affordable, and sometimes even include breakfast. And really, how much time to you actually spend in your room when you are on holiday?

  • Some families choose to house-swap and pay no rental costs whatsoever! You can advertise in advance, or search the internet for available properties in your desired location. The concept is simple -- you simply arrange to stay in the home of another family while they spend the week in yours. Both families get to visit a new place without incurring any rental expenses. This plan comes with a bit of risk, of course. You may leave your spotless home to find that you have rented the house of Mr. and Mrs. Messy.
  • If you are the outdoorsy type, take the family camping. Kids almost universally love the freedom of romping outside and many campgrounds offer plenty of opportunities for activity. Typically, you can swim, fish, and hike at the minimum. Larger establishments may offer bike or motorbike rentals as well as hold organized cookouts, trail rides, campfires, sing-alongs, and classes for kids. Be sure to make a reservation in advance, the best campgrounds fill up quickly.

Close to Home

Often, we take trips to see the sites in faraway places, but never find the time to do any exploring right near home. One great way to have a fun week without spending a lot of money is to be tourists in your own area. Visit the museums then stroll through the park and enjoy a picnic lunch. Check out all of those touristy spots that other people travel far and wide to see, but are right in your backyard. One word of caution about spending your holiday week right at home -- don't let all of the things on your never ending "to-do" list get in the way of having a good time. This is not the time to clean out the closets or paint the garage. This week is all about fun!

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