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A family weekend getaway can be the perfect way to pull the family together for some quick bonding or quiet relaxation. Even though the trips are shorter, the experiences you have and the memories you create can last an entire lifetime.

There are a number of advantages to weekend getaways rather than longer term family vacations. First and foremost, a quick weekend trip can be a lot of fun for everyone. Another great thing about filling your weekends with family activities is that weekend excursions and short road trips are a lot less expensive than an all out family vacation. A weekend getaway can be almost anything you want it to be for your family: an excitement packed adventure trip, an educational visit to a local site or a relaxing couple of days outdoors. Planning weekend trips is usually much easier and far less stressful than plotting out longer family vacations. It is often hard to keep kids entertained or interested for longer vacations so weekend getaways usually offer less chance of struggling to keep your kids engaged.

The ideas below represent my favorites for quick and low cost family weekend getaways and activities. While over the years, some family weekends were more memorable than others, I cherish the time we spent together having fun, exploring new places, trying new things and enjoying each other’s company outside our home.  We had as much or more fun as a family taking these shorter vacations as we ever did taking week long vacations that cost more and took more time to plan.

Go to the Beach

A lot of people live within a few hours’ drive from a beach. Beaches make a wonderful stop for any family weekend getaway, as there are a wide variety of entertainment options there. You can go for a swim, toss around a football, go snorkeling, play volleyball, play in the sand, and even rent a boat or try other water sports for some fun and adventure. Often, beaches will have some type of shelters put up along the beach, and you can bring a picnic style lunch or cookout on charcoal grills if they are provided as well. This is one of the best options for those who want a low cost getaway option.

Take a Camping Trip

Camping can also be done on the cheap and is a wonderful way to promote bonding among family members. Although some people gripe about camping initially, they almost always love it once they try it. Hiking, canoeing, biking, fishing, and roasting marshmallows over a campfire are just a few of the fun filled activities that can be done on a family weekend getaway that involves camping.

Staycation Fun

Although it may not be considered a getaway at all, a staycation can be fun for the whole family. Unless you live in a very small town, the chances are that there are places within your city or in a neighboring town that you have never seen or explored before. Try out local museums, art galleries, or amusement venues to have fun close to home. To make it even more fun, rent a hotel or motel room locally to give it a true vacation feel and maybe even access amenities you might not have at home such as a swimming pool or spa. We have visited many local attractions, cultural festivals, art exhibists and off the beaten path type places most of our neighbors didn’t even know existed.

Visit a Nearby Landmark

No matter where you live, you probably have a wonderful natural or man-made landmark within a short driving distance. Whether it is a mountain range, lake, museum, monument, or other point of interest, creating a great family weekend getaway gets even more interesting when you visit nearby places of interest. Try to find an exciting location that everyone would like to visit or somewhere that has a variety of options for entertainment in order to keep everyone happy.

This is another option that can be as expensive or budget friendly as you like. Keep it cheap and visit a national forest or state park, or spend a little more and check out a nearby amusement park. The choice is up to you and your family.

Finding a wide variety of family weekend getaway options is not difficult if you try. The four ideas above are just a sampling of the choices you have when planning a trip that will help you bond and create lasting memories with your family.

Kathryn Vercillo

The author Kathryn Vercillo

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