Low Cost Weekend Breaks with the Family

low cost weekend breaksHistorically, we have almost pre-conditioned ourselves to dread the “family vacation.” Whether you envision a National Lampoon movie with Chevy Chase, tired parents at an amusement park with sticky children, or simply empty pocketbooks when you get home, I am quite happy to tell you: You don’t have to worry anymore. There are many ways to enjoy low cost weekend breaks that keeps you focused on fun and relaxation with your family, and brings you home with great memories.

The Last Minute Trip

Sometimes you have a moment where everyone is healthy and no one has plans for the weekend. Capture this miracle moment by taking advantage of last minute savings on a mini-break. Many travel websites have sections devoted specifically to “last minute” travel. You can also look on craigslist for vacation homes that may have had a cancellation or even call your favorite hotel directly. Many hotels would rather offer a discount than suffer an empty room.

The Bundle Package

Many resorts and amusement parks offer bundle packages. If you purchase tickets to the venue, in conjunction with their preferred hotel and travel vendors, you can get an excellent bargain. While this may limit some of your options, in many cases it can take the stress out of planning the trip as well. Preferred vendors generally have to meet certain quality standards, but you often have a variety of choices ranging from budget to luxury stays.

Resorts aren’t the only ones capitalizing on the bundle. Airlines and other travel merchants are bundling their services to increase their profit margins and customer loyalty. If you have a relationship with a travel rewards company, possibly even through your insurance or a credit card, it’s worth exploring your benefits.

The Staycation

Unfortunately, no matter how much we would like to, sometimes we just can’t leave the city. The (potentially) least expensive weekend break is the “staycation.” Many people live their entire lives never being a tourist in their own town because they don’t want to feel foolish. Camp out in a local state park or in your own backyard. Look at the entertainment section of your newspaper. Let your kids be a tour guide and recreate some of their favorite field trips. You still have to watch your budget, even if you’re staying local. You can always ask a local hotel or venue if they have discounts for locals. The worst thing they can say is “no.”

A weekend break with your family can be an enjoyable experience that doesn’t break the bank and leaves you relaxed for the coming week. Try to break out of what you think a family vacation is, and make it the experience you dream about.

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12 Responses to Low Cost Weekend Breaks with the Family

  1. Miss T @ Prairie Eco-Thrifter 12/20/2012 at 6:53 am #

    I would love to do a staycation but I find it really hard to relax at home. I end up working on projects that need to get done. It is so annoying.

    • Paul 12/22/2012 at 9:26 pm #

      Miss T you need to try one, really! Find a nice hotel or bed & breakfast nearby and leave your laptop at home! The nice thing is the time you usually spend on traveling you can spend relaxing!

  2. David @ debt free 12/18/2012 at 6:04 pm #

    Weekend vacations with your loved ones are opportunities for bonding. It can be a cheap trip. It does not matter for as long as you enjoy each other’s company. These are good suggestions for families.

  3. Michelle @ See Debt Run 12/18/2012 at 11:41 am #

    Staycations are great options for budgeting families. It is amazing to me how many people live in places for years without checking out their own town’s attractions.

  4. Kay Lynn 12/18/2012 at 6:30 am #

    I’m a planner so the last minute options don’t appeal to me, but there sure are some good deals!

  5. Kyle @ Rather-Be-Shopping.com 12/17/2012 at 1:50 pm #

    Great tips. Do people actually go to a local hotel for a staycation?

    • Paul 12/17/2012 at 9:09 pm #

      We have done this several times with the kids on a weekend in the middle of the school year and we’ve had such a great time. I highly recommend trying it!

  6. Midlife Finance 12/17/2012 at 10:16 am #

    We’ll do the stay-cation this Christmas. It’s easier to hang out at home in the winter. Our kid is getting a bit older so I think we’ll be able to travel more next year. I want to go camping a couple of times next year.

  7. John S @ Frugal Rules 12/17/2012 at 5:35 am #

    We do the stay-cation a lot as it’s usually the easiest with three little ones. It lets us do things we normally would not and have fun at the same time.

  8. Canadian Budget Binder 12/15/2012 at 6:05 pm #

    The staycation has become popular with many families who are struggling to go on a family vacation or simply want to save for something. Our mates do this and set up tents in the back yard and pretend they are camping and the kids love it.


  1. Weekend Breaks Without Breaking The Budget : My Financial Fix | By Member One - 01/24/2013

    […] Check out the original article here. […]

  2. No Words - 12/16/2012

    […] Low Cost Weekend Breaks With the Family via @thefrugaltoad – This year we did things a bit differently and took several small weekend trips along with a working vacation in Denver and our anniversary road trip to Florida. I agree with Paul’s post that you can recharge everyone’s battery with small trips and not break the bank. He has some tips on how to take a break as a family. […]

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