Q&A: What is a good fun and affordable vacation for a family of 6???

Question by leavin: What is a good fun and affordable vacation for a family of 6???
I’m looking for a good affordable vacation for a family of six not too far away from North Carolina(farthest NY).
Maybe something near a beach

Best answer:

Answer by earthshine1
camping in the shenendoah forrest in va

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2 comments to Q&A: What is a good fun and affordable vacation for a family of 6???

  • zolkabir

    Charleston, SC is awesome.
    If you like beaches they’ve got ‘em.
    There are inlets where you can actually swim with dolphins.

    If you like history, it is all over.
    you can take a tour of an old sub or aircraft carrier, take a cruise out to fort sumpter, where the civil war started.

    It’s a beautiful old town.

  • smrardin

    Affordable is a very subjective term. You might get more specific answers if you give a dollar amount you wish to spend. Even high tourist areas can be done on a budget. (We took a family of seven – two adults and five kids ages 6-22 – to Mamouth Cave, Williamsburg, VA and Washington DC and Gettysburg, PA for two weeks for under $ 5000 two years ago. We live in IL in the Chicago area and drove.) A lot depends on what you like to do and the ages of the kids.

    However, in general, the following save money on vacation:

    1) Get a condo or room with a kitchen and eat in at least two meals a day. A lot of money is spent dining out and very few remember where they ate on vacation. Save your bucks for where you will get more bang – on site seeing and the things you make memories with. Also, traveling with smaller children can be very tiring for adults and children alike. So, spending time waiting in line or eating at an expensive sit down restaurant with a long wait is counterproductive to having a successful vacation.

    2) Don’t skimp on site seeing. It is, after all, what you came to do. Look for coupon books (www.entertainmentbook.com) for buy one get one admissions, discount show tickets and free days at museums when you are planning your trip. If you are going to be visiting a lot of national parks or historic sites, look into membership at the National Park Service. A family pass saved us over $ 200 off of the regular admission prices on our previously mentioned trip. Also, the NPS has a Jr Ranger program that is quite good. It serves to teach the kids about each sight rather than just seeing it. At the end of each completed sight, the kids earn a “badge” or other “patch” which then becomes a great souvenir that you don’t have to pay for. Most importantly, they have learned something and have made a memory that will last long after the vacation is over.

    3) Plan, plan, plan. Get a lot of information from the internet, guide books and brochures for the area you have selected. Let everyone in the family look at them and make a list of three things they really, really want to do or see. Then, make your family list from that. If you are traveling with a large age span of children, remember that not every person has to do every single activity. You can still have a family vacation and not spend every single minute together. In fact, you (and your children) will have a better time if you have some space and time of your own. For instance, in Gettysburg, not everyone wanted to spend hours and hours visiting battle site after battle site. The girls (6, 10,12) were much happier visiting with the park ranger and working on their JR Ranger badges and learning about what it was like to live in the town during the fighting. The best vacations for us have been ones where we knew what we wanted to see but did not set specific days to see each. This allowed us flexibility based on how tired the kids were, how they had responded to a similar activity, etc.

    4) Have a rainy day plan or list of activities or two. This will avoid feeling like vacation is ruined because it is raining or too hot or you are sunburned or whatever. It also saves a lot of money because you have a plan and don’t get sucked into a game room or shopping trip to keep the kids occupied.

    5) If your children are small, try to stick as closely to their normal schedule as possible. For instance, if your two year old takes a nap every single day at 1:30 at home, try to plan your vacation so that you are in your room or your car every day at 1:30. This will save you a crabby kid and your sanity. You can still see and do what you want to and you will enjoy it more because you and your children will be rested and less stressed. For us, we found eating a large breakfast early and then returning to our room about 1 to have lunch and a nap or quiet time made the walking around DC and other areas doable.

    6) Have fun! Not everything is going to go as planned. That is ok. Remember, the most important thing is that you are experiencing new (or familiar) places and things together.

    You are withing easy driving distance of a lot of vacation options. i suppose the Smoky Mountains don’t seem like a vacation to you because you live so close but it is one of our family favorites and can be done on a variety of budgets. Gettysburg is a great trip for all ages and can be done quite reasonably if you book in advance or camp. Even Washington DC and Philadelphia can be reasonable if you plan and book in advance.

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