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Family Vacation Ideas

Save on your next family vacation! Sign up for SmarterTravel.com's FREE Family Traveler newsletter for family vacation deals and more!

Family vacation ideas can be challenging for those of us with budgeting and debt management agendas.

Relax, you already have the tools in place to plan for a family fun vacation without breaking the budget or creating more debt.

Simply including additional funding for a family vacation into your irregular expense account budget will eliminate financial worries.

You can call it the Family Fun Vacation Fund. It's all about planning and being prepared.

Family Vacation Planning

Find the best deal, compare prices and read what other travelers have to say at TripAdvisor

Determining how much you can afford to spend will give you some starting point for family vacation ideas. A cheap vacation can be just as much fun and excitment as one with no regard for expense if you plan ahead and research the best options. As a matter of fact, some of the best values on family vacation packages are found in planning far in advance.

If you're really strapped for funds, get creative. Check out some "creative family vacation ideas."

Whatever your budget, planning ahead will reduce stress, and get you the most vacation for your money!

Family Vacation Packages

Many times all inclusive family vacation packages are great money savers. But, do your research to be sure. Make sure you account for all expenses that will inevitably occur as well as optional expenses.

Know what the vacation package includes and what you will be still be responsible for footing the bill for. Knowing what expenses to expect is half the battle in planning.

Many all-inclusive vacation packages include these expenses in the cost of the room:

  • all meals
  • beverages (alcoholic and non)
  • all tips and gratuities
  • entertainment
  • airport transfers
  • activities like non-motorized watersports
  • Family Vacation Ideas


    My family enjoyed a wonderful vacation in New York for under $500. For a family of six I was impressed myself.

    If your family enjoys nature this would be a great family vacation idea to research. You can plan a wonderful camping vacation whether you prefer a tent campsite, cabin, or your own Recreational Vehicle.

    ReserveAmerica.com can help locate the camping vacation spot of your dreams.

    My family was really impressed with our last vacation spot. I was a little worried that the kids miss the "comforts of home" on a camping trip.

    This was our first camping vacation so I opted for the "luxury" of a cabin instead of tents.

    Family fun was no problem on this vacation. I must admit, I wasn't sure if there would be enough to entertain the kids.

    The kids enjoyed it so much that they have requested to return as soon as possible! The Robert H. Treman State Park, in the Finger Lakes area of New York, offers breathtaking gorge trails with beautiful waterfalls. The kids loved the swimming and diving area at the bottom of a thundering waterfall. The park offers very affordable cabin and campsite accommodations.

    Check out these family vacation photos....

    The convenient location, in the Finger Lakes area of New York, offered access to a variety of state parks (all with free entry when you are a park guest) with trails, picnic areas and awesome lake views with swimming areas. Read more about the park and the finger lakes area on the parks website.

    We actually didn't get to do all the activities I had planned. I was sure to check out all the area attractions beforehand just in case boredom set in.

    Plan ahead and reserve early. It's not uncommon for the cabins to be completely booked for the summer months up to a year in advance! This is my top pick for low cost family vacation ideas. I think it was one of our best family vacations!

    Your family's idea of a fun vacation depends a lot on their interests.

    Each family member's idea of "fun" may be different. Find out what their interests are. It's likely that you'll find some common link to satisfy everyone in some way.

    Family Beach Vacations

    Camping not your family's ideal of a "fun" vacation? Perhaps an all inclusive, budget friendly, family beach resort package such as those offered by Beaches Family Resorts would be exciting!

    Save up to 40% at Ultra All-Inclusive Sandals Antigua Caribbean Village & Spa for travel between September '05 and February 9, '05.

    My family enjoyed a great weekend outing at a beach near our home using discount services at Expedia.com Vacation Deals

    How About a Home Exchange Vacation?

    I personally haven't tried this option. However, I see that it is becoming a popular money saving option for family vacations.

    Sounds like a terrific idea. You get to stay in a nice cozy home instead of a crowded room or small suite. I guess it's all open to how comfortable you are giving up "your" home for exchange.

    I'm welcoming any input on this one. Send me your feedback if you've had good or bad experiences with a home exchange family vacation. Inquiring minds want to know!

    Meantime here's one resource to check it out further!

    Home Exchange Holidays
    Home Exchange Holidays: Enables home owners worldwide to list their homes and cars for a holiday exchange. Save money… no accommodation or car hire to pay for, enjoy the comfort and freedom of a home from home holiday.

    Again, information is the key to a family fun vacation and savings.

    You can get some great family vacation ideas just by doing an online search related to your family's interests. Then make note of those resources you find that meet your budget criteria or any special needs.

    See how much you can save using discount family vacation services like Expedia, Beaches Family Resorts, or Orbitz.com. Be sure to check out the all inclusive family vacation packages. Find the best value for your money!

    Curious What Kind of Deals Are Out There?

    Do your research! Remember.......

    Informed Consumer = More Savings!

    Some of the best information comes from other's experiences. Get advice and information from people who have been there, done that. Find the best deal, compare prices and read what other travelers have to say at TripAdvisor

    Join the forum at TripAdvisor. Don't miss out on this great resource for vacation information.

    For more family vacation ideas, inquire at local travel agencies. Sometimes they can save you money on packages or special promotions.

    Know what your options are and who can save you the most!

    Travel USA major cities and popular vacation spots. If you live in the US you're likely to find a popular vacation spot not too far from your home. Many times we aren't even aware of what's right around the corner! Research Travel USA for vacation venues and accomodations.

    For very limited budgets plan a "creative vacation" check out these great frugal family vacation ideas.

    Adventurous Family Vacation Ideas

    Looking for something more Adventurous? You might be ready for a Belize Family Adventure Vacation Package!

    Enjoy a family adventure vacation at the Belize Jungle Dome Resort - offering a unique Belize Vacation.

    Members of the Belize Tourist Board, Belize Hotels Association, and Belize Eco-Tourism Association. First Class Travel service for Families, Individuals and Groups looking for a unique Vacation.

    Discover the Rainforests of Central America and Tropical Caribbean Islands of Belize. Travel Belize and become an explorer of the ancient and sacred Mayan Temples, adventurer as you discover the Cave systems of Belize.

    Maximize Your Vacation Total Savings!

    You need to be aware of all the expenses that could occur during your vacation; Not just the where, when, and how of getting there and back!

    Be sure to use any coupons or special discounts you are entitled to for travel, hotels, restaurants, or special attractions.

    Senior citizens and young children often qualify for discounts. If you belong to an automobile club or travel club, now is the time to cash in on some benefits!

    Take any coupons you might have accumulated for restaurant chains that may be in the area where you'll be vacationing.

    You can cash in on some great Entertainment Book savings coupons and discounts at restaurants, hotels, tourist attractions, movies, and much more. The 2007 Entertainment book is now available! Don't miss out - Purchase yours today!

    Planning a trip to NYC? Be sure to take along theNew York Pass

    The New York Pass includes admission to over 40 top attractions in New York City, including: Empire State Building, Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island, American Museum of Natural History, The Guggenheim, Madame Tussaud’s Wax Museum, Intrepid Sea.Air.Space Museum, Brooklyn Museum of Art, NBC Studio Tour, Circleline Sightseeing, Radio City Music Hall Stage Door Tour, The United Nations Tour, Madison Square Garden All Access Tour, and much much more! Plus...

  • 140-page comprehensive guide book
  • Discounts at 25 top restaurants and retailers
  • Line-skipping privileges at select attractions
  • ....all for one price!

    Here are some other vacation package resources and tourism offers that could give you some family vacation ideas and save you money.

    EuroVacations: custom travel at package prices

    Are You a Procrastinator?

    For those who can never seem to plan ahead....there's help for you too!

    Named for the 59th minute, Site59 is an industry leader in last-minute online travel. Their premier packaging technology continuously locates unsold airline seats, hotel rooms, rental cars and other inventory and assemble them into dynamic, real-time packages available for online purchase up to hours before departure.

    Check out Site59's Kids & Family Packages:

    Last minute vacations can be just as great and Last Minute Vacations and Travel Guide will make it easy, fun and quick - 30 minutes. It's packed with everything you need, money-saving tips on airfares, car rentals, hotels and cool tours, and much more.

    Family Vacation Ideas Resources

    Save on your next family vacation! Sign up for SmarterTravel.com's FREE monthly Family Traveler newsletter for family vacation ideas, the latest family travel deals on airfare, hotels, cruises and more!

    Frugal Vacations

    VRUL - Vacation Rentals Unlimited
    Hawaii vacation homes - vacation rentals by owner, houses, condo rentals. Maui, Kauai, Oahu, Molokai, and Big Island directory of vacation rentals - homes, condos, villas, cabins, and more. Rent direct from owners and save.

    Total-Holiday.com - Your first Port of Call for travel information.
    Full of useful holiday, travel & tourism articles and resources, we provide the holiday-maker with the total package!!

    Miami Hotels
    Miami Hotel Reservations is a resource for finding the cheapest and best hotels, and booking them online.

    Where to go, where to stay, and what you must see in the beautiful southern city of Chattanooga, Tennessee! Enjoy the natural beauty and many attractions of this charming city.

    More Vacation and Travel Resources

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