Frugal Day Trips

by Kelly · 9 comments

in Living Frugally

Summer vacation in France

We’re not going anywhere on vacation this summer. I don’t feel comfortable taking time off work yet, and we’re hoping to be able to go visit my family this winter. My husband, being the French man that he is, feels absolutely deprived without at least a little bit of time off work, and as the nanny is taking two weeks off, he took the opportunity to take some time off himself. I don’t normally work Wednesdays, so today we’re going to be going on our one big summer vacation splurge- a trip to a local amusement park.

The kids are really looking forward to it, and I am too, despite having to spend the day in the hot, hot sun. We’re going with my husband’s cousins, who also have two boys and a girl who are about the same ages as our three. And I think it will be so worth it just to see the kids having fun.

It’s not going to be the most frugal of days. We did get our tickets at about 50% off the full price, thanks to my husband’s cousin’s job. I also bought a couple off big bottles of water to bring along, and I plan on telling the kids in advance that we’re not buying souvenirs at the park. But picnicking is not allowed in the park itself, so we’ll be eating at one of the (surely overpriced) restaurants on the premises.

I know that staycations are all the rage on the blogosphere nowadays, and this year it happens to be the best choice for our family. But what about you?

Are you travelling this summer? Staying at home? How do you stay frugal on vacation, either at home or away?

Here are some of my frugal tips on travel, for when you do decide to hit the road.


1 MommyK August 5, 2009

We are taking a trip to a children’s museum about 2 hours away for our “vacation” this year. It will only cost us gas money and one meal because we are going on the free family night that they offer one time a month. It will be busy, but still fun. We’ll pack lunch and eat dinner out with my brother-in-law that lives there. So, the trip should cost us less than $40 for a family of 6!
.-= MommyK´s last blog ..Nature Study…. Help! =-.

2 Kate Kashman August 5, 2009

I imagine that you'll have a wonderful time. We splurge each summer by spending a day at the water park and I think that is my children's favorite memory every year. As much as I hate to admit it, the things that are relatively expensive seem to have the most impact! Last week, we went to a mirror maze. I hated the cost, but it was a wonderful experience (educational, too) and we've talked about it ever since.

I hope it is a great day!

3 Amy Reads Good Books August 5, 2009

We went on vacation to the beach this summer. I was a little frugal. . .cheap plane tickets, cooked meals in our rental condo, set limits on what the kids could spend on souvies. However, we also splurged on the condo and several nice meals out. I don’t mind spending on vacation. But the big trick for me is to rein our spending back in after we get home. It’s too easy to let that vacation mindset last another few weeks. I got out the budget as soon as we got home and stuck to it!
.-= Amy Reads Good Books´s last blog ..All We Ever Wanted Was Everything =-.

4 Craig August 5, 2009

I already have done a half day hiking trip and planning another one. They are simple, local and fun.

5 Kasey at thrifty little blog August 5, 2009

I’m also not in the position to take off of work quite yet, but I’ve never really felt like I needed a big vacation. My family usually took larger vacations every few years instead of every year so that’s all I’ve ever really cared to do. Maybe the staycation generation will be content will smaller vacations and save some money as adults.
.-= Kasey at thrifty little blog´s last blog ..Thrifty Little Tip… Time-Expensive Gifting =-.

6 WAHMy August 6, 2009

Traveling is my favorite thing to do, so I have a hard time staying put. We ended up going to Florida for 3-4 days. We drove there when gas prices were decent and booked a clean budget hotel that offered a “free” breakfast. We stuck to inexpensive restaurants like Panera and Mellow Mushroom. I can’t say it was a frugal vacation, but it wasn’t over the top, and it was totally worth it.
.-= WAHMy´s last blog ..Overwhelmed =-.

7 Karen R August 6, 2009

I thought I heard on a news program that France has a national vacation for the month of August. I was thinking how could that be? I hope your family had fun at the amusement park.

We went to a local amusement park early in the summer. It was relatively inexpensive and I think we’ll go back before the end of summer.

8 Jennifer August 6, 2009

When kids are little just walking to a local park with a picnic is festive enough to satisfy. Really frugal! Save up NOW as when they get to preteen and teens their needs empty the wallet. At least France is not as consumer-obsessed as what we just experienced with the teenagers we visited in US recently. And those kids have parents worrying about upcoming college tuition!

9 NaTasha August 6, 2009

Hope it was a fantastic day for all!

We tend to do semi-frugal family vacations – my husband does a fair bit of traveling for work, and when he’s going to be gone for about a week and he can find cheap tickets, our daughter and I tag along. The distances are usually what would be crossing a couple of states, but as we live in the EU, this means that we go to different countries and cultures. My husband’s tickets and meals, the hotel and the cost of getting to and from the airport or train station – or car rental – are completely covered. Most of the hotels and even the conferences have tourist deals for site seeing and museums, and we tend to avoid cabs and use public transportation. All this keeps the costs low enough for us to be able to go. Even for our trips back home across the Atlantic, by husband is able to expense some of the cost by going to a conference or arranging business meetings that he normally would not go to …

Other than that, we tend to “staycation”.

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