So you want to take a vacation, but can’t afford to take an extravagant trip? Here are some tips to take an amazing trip that might surprise you.
ACTIVITIES NEAR HOME:
You can actually find some amazing places within your state or even sometimes, your own town. Sites and activities that you probably didn’t even know were as close as a 10-minute drive can be such a pleasurable outing for the day.
In the town of Flagstaff, for example, there are so many little out of the way places that bring a sense of being ‘away’ from it all, and brings to light that going on a long expensive trip seems a little excessive. Only about 20 miles away from Flagstaff is a little canyon that leads to Sedona, AZ that has a year round creek, trout fishing, private cabins, fresh blackberries in abundance and a host of other amazing attractions. Red Rock has water pools and slides that are great swimming holes in the summer and are a great attraction to anyone that lives near there.
Camping is always a great ‘get back to nature’ getaway that is inexpensive. And – best of all, the basics of gathering wood, building a campfire, using a creek for water, sleeping under the stars, brings a sense of solitude, and relaxation and, a really great escape from city life, and every day responsibilities.
Taking a family bike ride, including a picnic lunch, can be a lot of fun for a family excursion. Most places have designated bike trails, and excellent park destinations and/or campgrounds in which to play and have some outdoor fun while enjoying your lunch.
My kids love growing a garden, and are even willing – when spring comes around, to do some of the digging, and cultivation of the dirt that is needed. They get so excited knowing that food will be growing soon, and planning what to plant and where to plant it can be so much fun. But, the watering and nurturing of plants can be so exciting, watching that first tomato or corncob start to form. My kids go out to the garden every day to see what might be ready to pick.
Indoor or outdoor crafts can be entertaining for hours, especially if at least one parent is involved. The creative juices really get flowing once you decide on what crafts you want to create. Making wooden signs, hand painted for the garden is always a fun activity. Painting the wooden furniture, or chairs in a unique manner, with some personal touches can mean lasting fun and create a sense of accomplishment.
My kids and I painted our outdoor sheds, and ended up painting faux windows on the sheds to make them look unique, and their creativity really made this fun.
The kids also painted our water tank, in one solid color, and then used acrylic paints to paint sunflowers and farm animals in random order, which made it adorable. When our neighbors come over the kids grab their hands to show them their creative handiwork. This gives them pride in ownership as well.
ATTEND LOCAL MUSEUMS OR GALLERIES:
Every town has some kind of historical record of the town and it’s founders and early inhabitants. Children love knowing about where they are growing up, and the history behind their hometown. This is especially great if you can show them these things in a museum or gallery (photos and artifacts). My hometown is close to an Indian reservation and the museum displays the Navajo and Hopi Indian traditional wear, blankets and art. My kids loved learning about the Native Americans who lived in their hometown, before their time.
There is always a retirement home, animal shelter or animal sanctuary that could use help at any time. They are always understaffed, and would welcome a helping hand to help read to patients, or walk dogs, whatever they can use at the time. And teaching your children humble work such as this is something that they can take with them, into adulthood. Being an advocate for animals or a humanitarian is a great lesson to teach them.
Make sure that you get a subscription or a regular copy of the local activities newspaper or magazine to check for fairs, flee markets, art walks, outdoor concerts, and even open air farmers markets. These are great places to get out and enjoy the weather, with very little costs involved. Most of these kinds of places, depending on the town in which you live, are free or very minimal in cost.
And getting your kids involved in your local community would benefit them greatly, as well as not costing you an arm and a leg for a fun time.
Ally is part of the team that manages No Annual Fee Credit Card, a free 0% Balance Transfers and no annual fee credit cards comparison service in Australia. Before joining NAFCC, she was a Media Planner with McCann Worldgroup Philippines, Inc., with award-winning executions, including the Levi’s 501 “Live Unbuttoned” global campaign.
Image by NotAgainFarm