Take a Vacation in Your Own Backyard

Discover fun things to do with your family this summer right in your own backyard.

Can you really afford to send your family on a fancy summer vacation? With the cost of everything increasing, from gas to groceries, who has the spare cash to take a trip? You do. Now we may not be talking about a vacation that involves a plane ride and a fancy hotel, but there are a lot of things you can do with your family to have fun this summer without spending a lot of money.

What do you think about going back to the basics? Have we really gotten so use to extravagance that we can’t return to a simpler time when packing picnic lunches or spending the day at a state park was considered a fun filled day with the family? I think that now more than ever it is becoming more important to find things to do that involve simplicity, and even more importantly, spending less money.

Let’s say that you decide to take a ride to a state park for the day. If it’s an hour away you may spend $60 in gas, and $10 per person for entry into the park. For a family of four your cost for this trip would be roughly $100, especially if you can avoid spending money on food by packing a lunch. It’s true that spending $100 can still be a lot of money for many families, but if you compare it to the $500 or more that you could spend on one weekend away, you’re already saving yourself $400 on that one trip. This also means that you could take five day trips for the price of one weekend away. So basically, you can get more for your money if you turn your summer vacation into smaller day-long adventures instead of taking one big summer vacation.

Why is this significant? Let’s face it; everyone gets restless during the summer months. The days are longer, the sun is shining, and the weather is warmer. This time of year begs people to get out and spend time with family and friends. But that doesn’t mean you have to go into debt to do it. Be creative and you can enjoy the summer with adventures that fit within your budget.

Go for a Drive
I know that these days people are trying to stay close to home to help save money on gas, but if you are taking a day trip instead of a fancy vacation, then comparatively speaking, you are saving money by going for a drive. Besides, there is nothing like the open road to sharpen your senses and relax your mind. So go for a joyride with your family. You can have a set destination in mind, like a historic site or scenic town, or just set out without a destination and see where you end up. Pack a picnic lunch and choose a quiet spot along the way to enjoy it. This can be a fun adventure for the whole family.

Visit a Park
Most states have park areas where you can go for the day, relax under the trees, see some wildlife, and enjoy time with your family, so take advantage of them. Bring toys with you, such as a Frisbee, football, baseball, or even a board game to play with while you are there. You can even pack a travel grill if you have one on hand so you can make lunch or dinner for the whole family without spending money at a fancy restaurant.

Discover Your Own Backyard
No matter where you live I’m sure there are places right around your home that scream adventure. Hiking trails, ponds, lakes, streams, gorgeous views, or other places may exist right in your own backyard that are just waiting to be discovered. So don’t be afraid to look around your home and scout out fun places to spend your time this summer. A family adventure may be closer than you think.

Think Local Events
Most towns have events throughout the year, whether it is a parade, a bake sale, or a family fun day. There are usually lots of local events going on that don’t cost a lot of money and can be fun for the whole family. Check out the local newspaper or go online and find out what’s going on in your town this summer. Sometimes exploring your own town can be just as fun as taking a trip, so don’t shy away from this option.

This summer everyone is looking for ways to enjoy themselves without spending a lot of money. Chances are there is a lot to do in your own area that you are not aware of, so make the most of your summer by scouting out new places to visit that the whole family can enjoy. With a little creativity you can spend the summer enjoying time with your family right in your own backyard.

By Jennifer McLynch
Published: 5/26/2008

No comments: