Cheap Family Holiday Ideas

A family holiday can be an extremely expensive proposition. After factoring in the costs of transportation, lodging, food and activities, you could hardly be blamed for giving up and thinking, "Maybe next year." If you reconsider your concept of a family holiday, however, you might find that a wonderful vacation is more within your reach than you originally thought.

Road Trip

Even with recent increases in the cost of fuel, driving remains less expensive than flying to many destinations. If you rarely venture away from the interstate, you might be surprised by the scenic drives available in your area. While it can be helpful to have a destination in mind when planning a road trip, such as visiting a family member who you do not see often, simply exploring the back roads near where you live can be a fun afternoon activity on its own.


Apart from consumable supplies, many of the items needed for a camping trip are one-time investments, such as tents, sleeping bags and cooking equipment. Depending on where you live, you might have nearby parks that are open for camping and cost nothing. However, even if you have to rent a camping area, the cost will likely be far lower than a hotel room.

Explore Local Parks

Many local parks have a variety of activities appropriate for all ages, such as boating, swimming, playgrounds and courts for basketball and tennis. You might even find hiking trails and scenic views that you never knew were in your own back yard. While many parks cost nothing to enter, some parks with many activities charge a nominal fee for a day pass.

Museum Hopping

Large cities such as Chicago and New York feature world-class museums that cost little or nothing to enter. If you have the budget for transportation to a major metropolitan area and for lodging but have avoided making the trip because you are afraid that you will not have enough for entertainment, consider museums. In a large city, you could spend an entire trip doing nothing but visiting museums and still not see all of them.

Go Fishing

Fishing costs next to nothing once you have purchased the required equipment and appropriate licenses. Although fishing resorts have plenty of amenities to attract customers, you can save money by renting a cabin near the water instead. In many areas, a cabin costs far less than a hotel room. Your meals might even be free, if the fish are biting.