Do Vacations HAVE to break the bank?

It’s no secret that our family budget is pretty tight these days.  We were slammed with a few unexpected expenses and coupled with the rising cost of just about everything, we had to postpone our summer vacation.  My hubby and I decided to have a “staycation” this year and play tourist in our hometown.  Fortunately, there is an abundance of things to do here with the kids, so we didn’t have to look far for fun and exciting activities.

As it turns out, even a “staycation” can be pricey!  Everything requires parking fees, tickets, refreshments and it all adds up!  Because I was determined to have at least some fun this summer, I started looking up family vacation budgeting tips.  I ran across something called a “home swap.”  Have you heard of this?  Basically, you find a family in another City that wants to visit your City and you swap homes instead of getting a hotel room.  Another great tip I found is to buy an Entertainment Book for the city you plan to visit!  We usually purchase these books from a local school group for our own city, but I never thought about buying it to receive discounts in vacation cities!

I found all of these great tips at Consolidated Credit, a one stop debt solution center. They specialize in debt consolidation and management, credit counseling and help with credit card debt as well as family vacation budgeting. I had no idea they offered so many services!

How do you budget for your vacation?


  1. Home exchange is a great way for families to save money on vacation – no hotel bills and, if you swap with another family with children, their home should be well geared up with toys, safety equipment, dvd’s, etc. The family will often be able to share tips for things to do with your children that cost little or nothing and may even be able to let you use their membership cards to clubs or provide discount vouchers.

  2. Yes they always do.
    I am still paying hard time moneywise for a small trip last month!!

  3. Lauralee Hensley says:

    Vacation, what’s that. We’ve never been able to afford one. Something always comes up and money has to go for this or that emergency or health issue. Staycations are the norm around here.
    Inexpensive picnic lunches are packed at home and then we go to parks nearby that don’t require fees. We go to the side of the reservoir that doesn’t require entrance fees. Buy a fishing license to fish and actually come home with some of the fish to eat too. We never had a honeymoon either, so I guess we’re accustomed.
    Hunting around in the prairie areas in our own community for fossils is fun, but we have to watch out for snakes. We gave all of our accumulated fossils to the University a few years back, so we need to start finding some more.
    I like the Travel Channel with their info about treasure hunting in various states. I guess one could check out a book on rock and gem collecting and have the older kids out looking for rocks and collecting them. If they got the rock hound fever a cool Christmas gift would be a rock polishing tumbler machine, so they could polish up their finds.
    If you knew a neighbor or grandparent with a metal detector that you could borrow that would be a thing to do together, to see if you came up with any finds.
    If you know of any pick your own vegetable/fruit gardens/farms in your area, it would be a great day where you could pick your own vegetables and fruits at a discounted price, sometimes they even let what the kids pick be cost free.
    Take older kids to sit in on a trial at a court if they are talking about wanting to grow up to be in law enforcement or a lawyer/judge. There’s not a fee for this, but parents must remain with children. Remember not to take anything into the court house that the security guards would have to have you leave with them, any small thing that could be thought as a possible weapon, e.g. metal fingernail file.
    Remember to take photo’s and scrap them into books and digitally too if you have the computer program to do so. Include the children in the scrapbooking of such. Let the kids write their own comments about the day and what they liked about it in their own words and handwriting.
    Fly kites in the park or somewhere out in the open. Hey even make your own kites to fly with recycled materials you already have on hand.
    Ride bikes together if you all have them.
    See if there are any restaurants that have old fashioned Melodrama theatre where the children can come and watch free with their parents adult purchased meal/theatre tickets. Let the kids boo and sneer and cheer to the Melodrama scenes.

  4. We wont be going on vacation this year for a few reasons, money being one huge one – we were unfortunately swindled in an investment scam (don’t feel bad for us, we are making things better and are getting by, thank you). But we are VERY lucky to live near one of the most magical places on earth: Disney World, and still have our annual passes, so we visit there as often as we can. To save money there, we bring our own food and snacks and bring our own drinks (I usually freeze a couple to keep everything cold during this really hot weather). We also have some friends that live on the gulf coast of FL so we go to their house and visit several times during the summer (they are both teachers so have the summer off) and they come here with their girls and we hang out at the pool.

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