Without a doubt, many people are going through some tough times right now with the economy. Lots of folks have been laid off from jobs or cut back to minimal hours. Even paying your bills month to month can be problematic. I know this, definitely been through it myself, and I feel terrible every time I hear about another company cutting back jobs, etc. Nonetheless, even in hard times, people need to take some time away from it all and de-stress. Luckily there are still great family vacation ideas and cheap vacation spots that almost anyone can find a way to afford.
A beach vacation can be both amazingly fun and relaxing as well as also being affordable and budget friendly. Sure, you can spring for a 5 star hotel on the beach with room service and daily expensive activities, all the works, but the thing is, you don't have to do that.
Now, there are a lot of people who think that if you don't go that route you can't have any fun. I actually used to have that mindset as well, but it's just not true.
The truth is that you can have a super vacation on the beach without going further in debt. Yes it can fit into your budget! You can do this on your own but if works really well if you can find some family members or friends to go on with you.
What you need to do is a little research online to see which beach closest to you has the most affordable cabins or beach houses (or even condos) for rent by the week. I mention to find one closest to you so that it is less expensive to drive or fly there. Of course that is optional. Once you find a place, ask family and/or friends to go in with you. If you have enough people you can rent a really nice-sized beach house with multiple bedrooms and rollaways/sofa sleepers, and you'll be absolutely amazed at how little each person will have to actually spend.
Remember, the more people you invite, the less money each has to spend. You can even make it into a family/friend reunion which is what our family did one year. We were scouring the area for cheap vacation spots and we ended up actually in South Carolina although I am not exactly sure what beach we ended up going to. I recall it was not very crowded and I took a walk on the beach several times a day and hardly would see any people. It was so fun, it's definitely one of my best vacation memories.
But you know what? I didn't actually think it would be fun. Boy was I wrong. We went swimming every day, had big family cookouts and grill parties, and sure, we went out to eat occasionally too but we did a lot of cooking at the beach house and saved a ton of money. Because again, if everyone is going in together to buy groceries, it's super cheap for each person.
You can set up volleyball nets on the beach, roast marshmallows at a bonfire (if allowed), hunt for seashells (I found a bunch of sand dollars), and learn to surf. I was terrible at that but it was fun to try. Just body surf if you don't have access to a board.
Bring board games and get the whole family involved, maybe even play Crazy 8 or poker for nickels and dimes. I know, I know, you are saying oh man, I need to have my computer, my email, my video games, etc. But you will be absolutely surprised at how much fun and affordable a family beach vacation can be. As cheap vacation spots go, it is one of my favorites. Besides, you'll probably have access to your computer and email anyway as just about everywhere these days has wireless connection.
However, I would seriously recommend you just put it away for most of the vacation and enjoy spending time with your family. Give it a try, you'll have a blast and you won't spend a ton of money. And with some of the money you save, splurge on a fancy meal in a restaurant once or twice.
Find out how to save money on your vacations (including how to get absolute rock bottom prices on airfare, hotels, rental cars, cruises, etc). You won't believe it!
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