Big Savings Ideas for Short Family Breaks

Category: Financial News

savingNot all vacations, especially in the summertime, should be about the sun, sand and sea, nor should it entail dipping into your savings for a 2-way ticket to out-of-state destinations or a foreign country. In the same way, unlike full-on staycations, brief breaks on a budget need not be strictly within city limits.

Short vacations are fun, less stressful and cost much less than full seasonal vacations most people are used to. Whether you want it outdoors or in the comforts of familiar grounds, the short and cheap getaway is the next best thing.

Here are five short holiday interludes and ideas and that are just that – brief yet fun and rewarding and packed with savings.

Family Camping – Tips for Family Camping on a Budget

The Camping Central

This article goes straight to the nitty-gritty of family camping savings, beginning with rounding up basic family camping supplies and making discernments between what to buy on the cheap and what to invest in – like sturdy tents, lamps, first aid kits and of course, maps.

Add this to more valuable budget camping wisdom like settling in nearby grounds, stacking on canned and preserved food items and knowing how to pitch your own tent (tent pitchers in campgrounds can cost a lot), and you will never settle for costly conventional camping again.

Sleepovers – Say ‘Yes’ to the Sleepover, Mom

The Wall Street Journal

Having a good old sleepover is an integral part of the American growing up experience, especially for girls in the family. However, sleepovers are a tricky thing, and can be stressful especially for parents.

The article points out that technology spells the difference between sleepovers generations ago and how it’s being done today. It can make the sleepover costly (what with all-night web chats and hours and hours of movie marathons, (with incessant pizza orders and refrigerator raids on the side). But it can also mitigate simple sleepover costs (using YouTube tutorials on makeup, nails, fashion or dance that would otherwise cost to have an actual tutor come over).

Yes, sleepovers today can be a slight expense and a huge headache. But this article could be a gem for parents as it gives the serious and  practical treatment to the topic of sleepovers. It presents views of pro and anti-sleepover parents and closely examine what some family hosts do right and do wrong. Most of the do-right guides are in themselves money-savings tips (like having offline hours, downloading and saving sleepover web materials ahead and setting rules like strict sleep time for the younger ones).

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Weekend Backpacking – What a Beginner Needs for Backpacking

Backpacking Light

Former scout master Tad Englund provided a multi-part beginner’s guide to backpacking that parents will surely be thankful for. Much of the tips are scout-focused, but they are nevertheless practical for every backpacking adventure, whether it’s a beginner’s trip or a pioneer’s return trek after many years.

The article is divided into  detailed sections to give emphasis on various points in the backpacking adventure, from lightweight lessons to basic training for beginners. The Checklist part is a comprehensive guide of essentials to bring like food, drinks, water, mess kit, sleep gears, clothing including the appropriate textile, sizes and weight limits.

Other useful preparation tips include eliminating wastes (like food spoilage) and avoiding unnecessary expenses (beach gears, camping tents and picnic sets) when the family confuses backpacking with other ideas of the great outdoors.

Backyard Sports – Bonding Over The Summer Games

She Knows

Riding on big sporting events of the season like the college world series all the way to the major league baseball series is another good way to spend some brief but great time ‘away,’ and we don’t mean scoring expensive season tickets and traveling where the action is. This article shows the way to having your very own world series or olympics experience right at home, bending it like Beckham, but in the backyard.

When followed, it could provide a good two weeks worth of sporty and budget-friendly bonding time with all members of the family (not just moms and daughters).

Activities can be a mix of the creative and the sporty, like researching together about athletes and sports celebrities so that everyone is familiar with their heroes while viewing sports broadcasts, creating a family Dream Team and of course, staging one’s very own family series games right at home, in the park, a community pool or baseball, tennis or basketball courts.

Award-Winning Family Projects – How to Shoot Better Family Vacation Videos

 Family Crossings

A short summer interlude is the best time for some creative family project like making a vacation video that people not related to you by blood would actually want to watch – stuff that make once awkward family films worthy of an MTV award. By involving everyone, it can be quite easy and bearable, without the need to enrol in ridiculously expensive videography classes. This article shares more than the basics in making interesting vacation videos. Say goodbye to filming nonsensical actions and random scenes, including family arguments while posing behind historical statues.

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The video-making tips range from logical clips that create a story: capturing wake-up moments to packing and sharing candid family moments (like misplacing tickets) and making meaningful interviews. It also shares technical tips  like filming  with sunlight and the ins and outs of zooming, and professional help like loading on footage for later editing. Of course, there’s a space for taking care of the video camera to make it lasts as many summers as grandpa does, and counting.

Do you have ideas for short yet rewarding family breakaways that are also budget-friendly? Share them with us.

By Jenny Chang

Senior writer at FinancesOnline who writes about a wide range of SaaS and B2B products, including trends and issues on e-commerce, accounting and customer service software. She’s also covered a wide range of topics in business, science, and technology for websites in the U.S., Australia and Singapore, keeping tabs on edge tech like 3D printed health monitoring tattoos and SpaceX’s exploration plans.

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