Family Vacations That Won’t Break the Bank


When most of us think of family vacations, we think about big trips to the beach or a week-long getaway across the country. However, COVID-19 has changed many of our summer plans, and many military families struggle to save enough throughout the year to make this a reality regardless. But just because you can’t take a trip to the beach, that doesn’t mean you can’t make fun summer memories away from home. I’d like to share my five summer vacation ideas that won’t break the bank.

  1. Arrange a backyard getaway. The easiest, least expensive vacay is somewhere you might least expect. Look no further than your backyard. Sleeping out under the stars is an awesome adventure, and planning around clear skies and maybe a meteor shower will set the tone for some pretty awesome family memories. If you don’t have a backyard, another great idea is setting up a fort in your living room and sleeping under your very own design. Don’t forget the flashlights and ghost stories!
  2. A staycation is the perfect way to get away without the road trip. Every city has some type of fun, unexpected tour. Booking a day full of local adventures always produces some surprising fun. Not to mention most of us haven’t grown up in the city we live in. It’s fun to take the time and get to know fun facts about all the towns we get assigned to. Finding treasures in every location we are can really make time fly and help us appreciate places we never thought we would.
  3. Go camping or backpacking. There’s nothing like spending some quality time in nature. Roasting marshmallows and breakfast around a campfire are the perfect ingredients for family memories that never fade. Not to mention they are pretty inexpensive. There are endless activities for kids while camping too. Games, hiking, animal scavenger hunts, swimming, are just a few. Don’t forget the hammock for naps.
  4. Check out bed and breakfasts in your area for a romantic getaway. Chances are they are closer than you think. I live in pretty rural Oklahoma and can get to a bed and breakfast within an hour. And they will have good recommendations for fun attractions in the area.
  5. Pack up and go stay with some friends. This is way too underrated. It’s easier than ever to stay connected with friends these days. And when you only have to pay for gas and food, it’s a lot easier to swing an out-of-state vacation. Don’t forget the games! In fact, fun friend-cation can quickly turn into yearly reunions.

Sometimes we need to get creative to make memories with our families. Memories from vacations last a lifetime, regardless of how big or fancy the trip is. And in this whirlwind military life, it’s important to make time to focus on being together as a family.

photo of Katelyn Nixon
Written By Katelyn Nixon
Army Spouse

Katelyn has been a military spouse for six years and enjoys the adventurous lifestyle. To share her experiences with other spouses, she started a blog in 2018.

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