Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Vacation on the cheap

I just finished writing a column for Family Driven homeschool over at homeschool Mosiacs about learning together on vacation and it reminded me of so many past vacations I thought I'd elaborate on a few ideas here on my personal blog.

First off I'd like to share some frugal ideas for an excellent vacation.  

Many years let's face it, money is tight!  Vacations are important to my family but especially when the kids were younger there were a few years where we just couldn't make a "trip" into a reality.  This is where you can get creative and still really have a lot of fun.

Vacation at home.  That's right, do vacation things at home.  What would you normally "do" while on vacation.  Maybe you like to hit the shopping mall, take in a movie, mini golf, go to the beach, visit local attractions or relax by the pool?  Do all of these thing but from home.

Get a map out and search within about 1 hour of your home for "attractions".  Perhaps there's an orchard to pick apples or a train museum.  Maybe you'll find zoos, museums, historical homes, state parks, beaches, water parks and more.  Pick one or two and mix in your movie, shopping day, relax day and you've got your vacation.
Camp Reynolds
Setting up the tent a few years back
We've done this a few times.  One year we traveled about an hour from home to Shipshewana, the Midwests largest flea-market.  We gave the kids each $5 to spend and packed a picnic lunch, it was a blast.  The same year we did a beach day at Warren Dunes which is about 25 minutes from here.  We go there often but this trip Dad wasn't working and got to go with which made it special. The other days of the week we did things like movies, hanging out in the pool and sleeping in a tent in the backyard.  Instead of spending $1000 or more on vacation we had a great week for less than $200.

Another year we did a long weekend at home and called it "Camp Reynolds".  We did our own "family camp" at home.  This one did require a bit of preparation as I had crafts ready for the kids to do.  We started out with making a family flag.  I simply turned under the edge of a piece of fabric to make a sleeve to put a stick through for hanging and let the kids paint and decorate.  We hung it from their play set for the weekend.  My big splurge was T-shirts from the hobby store that we tie dyed outside.  The kids had a blast with that!  

Once Dad got home we set up the tents, had a campfire, s'mores and slept in the tents for the weekend.  The beauty of it for me was camping with all the amenities (the house being 50 ft. away!)

So what "stay-at-home" vacation ideas do you have?  Please comment and share.

1 comment:

  1. The article I mentioned for Homeschool Mosaics will go up on July 30th, just FYI.