Heading out on Holiday doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg. When travel budgets are tight or if you don’t have the money to take your entire family on a flight, hotel, and entertainment, there are lower cost ways of vacationing on a budget. Now that we have three kids over the age of two, each child needs their own seat on a plane. Heading from San Francisco to Seattle can be well over a thousand dollars in airfare alone. Regardless of the cost, we still enjoy spending time on Holiday with the kids, we just need to find ways to do it with a lower cost.
Here are five low cost Holiday Ideas and how to do them on a budget.
Camping with the family.
Find a spot to drive to and camp that is relatively close to your home. Borrow camping supplies like folding chairs, ice chests, and tents. Do your best to limit the cost of buying items for camping and bring all your food in ice chests. We recently went camping with our family and had a great time. The kids loved it and it was very affordable. Camping is also nice, because it doesn’t take a ton of vacation days. After two nights of camping we were ready to come home.
Stay with friends and family.
There are tons of people that I wish we saw more. It’s also super nice to see old friends and renew the friendship. Taking a short Holiday to see old friends can be a big money saver by staying with them and cooking meals in, even if you pick up the groceries. It obviously saves money if you can drive to your friends rather than fly, but there are other ways to save money by visiting friends and family. For example, we drove to Avila Beach to see my in-laws recently. We stayed in their guest room, cooked in most meals and then our in-laws baby sat for us – saving us our normal sitter fees as we met old friends for dinner.
The super low cost family golf holiday.
Taking the entire family on a golf vacation can be really expensive when you take into account the normal traveling costs plus green fees. But, there is a less expensive way to do it, although it takes a little imagination. First, stay home for the family golf holiday. You might try making an agreement with your wife and family that even though you’re staying home, you are on vacation, so now house work during the vacation. Pack the family into the car and instead of playing golf, hit the driving range. Most kids are happy putting, pitching and hitting balls. It’s a great way to spend a few hours on the course and it’s a lot less than picking up all the costs of golf.
Things to do in your town.
Make a list of things to do in your town that don’t cost money. This saves travel costs and hotel money. It’s also a pretty creative way to take a few days of Holiday. For example, walking down the main drag of Burlingame and window shopping. Test driving sports or luxury cars. Heading to Golden Gate Park in San Francisco and flying a kite, or spending the day at Crissy Field are two more low cost options. In the bay area, we are pretty fortunate with lots of things to do that cost little money to enjoy a few days.
Barter for a Holiday Hotel Room.
We have a good friend that runs a small inn in Truckee California called the River Street Inn. She needs help marketing her inn and may be open to bartering rooms in her Inn for help marketing. I suspect many small inns and bed and breakfasts are owner operated and they may be open to trading rooms for help with a website or a newsletter. When money is tight, it helps to be creative fo find ways to save on vacation expenses.