Weekend family trips (that don’t take a lot of planning)

family outside

Summertime and vacations go hand in hand. Extended vacations aren’t necessarily better, though. If you can’t swing a weeklong trip but you still want to have a little getaway, a good idea is to opt for a long weekend instead. Three days can actually be the perfect duration for a trip. With the right planning, you can fit in just about everything you want to do during that time, and actually save money doing it! Here are a few great ideas for a quick and easy three-day getaway that won’t break the bank.

Visit an amusement park. Have you ever taken a day trip with your family to a theme park only to have the kids feel shortchanged at the end of the day? With all the lines and crowds, it’s hard to visit every attraction they want to see in such a short period of time. Try spreading out the fun over a long weekend and stay at a nearby hotel, preferably with a pool, or an Airbnb. This way, you cut down on the travel time to the park, which allows you to get there earlier and beat the crowds. When the family’s had enough excitement for the day, you can retire to the hotel pool to relax, and then go out for dinner. It’s the full-week vacation experience, but condensed.

A weekend at the beach. If your family prefers the sand and ocean to the waterpark or roller coaster scene, a long weekend at a beachside resort is a great option. The closer you are to your beach of choice, the better, because it will help you maximize the time you all can spend having fun in the sun. Dining options favor seafood in these areas, making it a great place for kids to get their first taste of scallops, crabs, and clams.

Pay your family a visit. Hanging out with extended family members for a prolonged period of time is a great way to get back in touch with them, and reconnect on a deeper level than you would just by meeting them for a party. Grandma and Grandpa would probably love to see the kids, so going to their place might be the best idea, assuming they have enough room for you! Tell your kids it will be like a sleepover to get them on board with the idea, and plan fun activities the whole family can do together to keep things interesting.

Tour beautiful public parks and national parks. For campers and non-campers alike, there’s plenty to enjoy about your area’s parks. No matter whether you opt to rough it, rent a cabin, or retire to a hotel room, a weekend at a national or state park could offer an unforgettable adventure. Hike the trails, canoe in the streams, and skip rocks on the shores of ponds — nothing helps a family get excited about nature quite like spending time doing these things. So take in those glorious views, fish in the lakes and rivers, and don’t be afraid to get a little dirty!


Cheap Family Weekend Getaways [Travel Channel]