Spring break is just around the corner and you’d love to get away with the kids, but a Caribbean cruise or a ski trip to Aspen just aren’t in the budget. So you’ve got two options: give up and do nothing or start brainstorming some fun, affordable adventures that won’t break the bank. And just in case you think that’s a tough decision, we decided to make it easier by kicking off the brainstorming process and giving you a few ideas to get the creative juices flowing:
Pretend You’re a Tourist in Your Own Town
A staycation doesn’t have to mean sitting around at home. There are probably interesting things to see and do that you’ve never seen and done right in your own backyard. So, depending on your taste, consider taking the family to the zoo, or the park, or a museum. Plan a bike ride that follows a scenic route or allows you to check out the architecture in an historic neighborhood at an appropriately languid pace. Splurge on tickets to a concert or a game or a play. Or plan a fun lunch or dinner out at that new restaurant everyone’s talking about. Better yet, plan a mix of all of these activities spread out over several days. That will give everybody something to look forward to and make the week feel truly special.
Get out in the Great Outdoors
Plan an excursion to the closest state or national park or recreation area. Spring break can be crowded, so it might be best to pick a more obscure option if you want to avoid the crowds. If you have camping equipment and your schedule allows, plan to stay for two or three nights –just don’t forget to call ahead to book your site. If you aren’t campers, get up early and spend a full day hiking and picnicking. And if there’s more than one great outdoor spot within easy driving distance, get up and do it again later in the week.
Produce Your Own Film Festival
Are you movie fans? If so, indulge yourself by planning a series of movie-watching nights during spring-break week. Identify the movies you want to see in advance and schedule official show times. Spice things up by picking up dinner or having it delivered. If the movie you’re going to watch has a specific setting, you can even plan your menu accordingly. So if you’re going to watch Casablanca, for example, pick up or prepare Moroccan or Lebanese food.
It’s true that not all of these things are inexpensive, but keep in mind that you won’t be spending any money on big-ticket items like plane tickets or gas for a road trip or hotels –and even if you eat out a few times, you won’t be eating every meal out like you would if you were out of town. If cost is still an issue, just focus on less expensive or even free options. At the end of the day, it’s not about how much you spend –it’s about spending time together as a family and creating the kind of memories that you’ll be able to share forever.