Backyard Vacations

I know it’s a sore subject, especially with me. But have you looked at the price of gasoline lately? As of the writing of this article, it is over $3.50 a gallon and summer is still over 3 months away! Worse yet, I live in Missouri, a state with some of the lowest prices in the US.


So what is a family to do in times like these? You can’t just work and work and have no fun time at all. You have to have time to unwind and enjoy the family. Reconnect and get to know each other again. The answer?

Take a Backyard Vacation!

Don’t get too worked up. I am not suggesting that you pitch a tent and build a small campfire in the backyard of your home. Though this is certainly a great idea for families with younger, adventure-minded children, you can take a bit of a drive from home.

Backyard Vacations are where you stay fairly close to home (or stay at home if you like) and be as conservative as you can. Normally when taking a vacation like this, you would go only a few miles from home, say 50-200 miles. When you do this you save on fuel costs so you can enjoy some other great activities. Here are a few suggestions for you to consider.


  1. Travel to a state park near your home. You can spend the day or camp overnight. Many parks have cabins for rent. Don’t watch television. Instead, pack some games or jut go explore the trails. Live simple for a night or a few days. The time you spend will allow you to reconnect with your family like you really need to do.
  2. Travel to a metropolis or larger community and discover the great museums there. Where I live, I recently discovered that one of our local colleges have some cuniform tablets that are 4000 years old, and they will let you hold them. Talk about neat! Science museums are of particular interest to children. When you take them, be sure you watch their eyes grow wide and light up. This is one kind of trip you will really appreciate
  3. Theme Parks are always a great way to have fun. With admission prices relatively low, you can enjoy a day of pure adrenaline and fun. These days many theme parks allow you to buy multi-day passes for just a little bit more than a daily admission. Plus, many parks have started to add water parks, giving you a great way to have fun and save money.
  4. Geocaching. This relatively recent type of fun allows you to combine technology with a treasure hunt. There are a few great sites that will give you more information, but this is like using your GPS to follow clues and find a “treasure”. Your family will have a great time doing this and there is a booming community that regularly post local hunts. You will be surprised at what kind of hunts are near you. Visit www.geocaching.com for more information

Use your own imagination to come up with more great ideas. The main focus is to spend quality time with your family without breaking the bank. Trust me, you will build some great memories with your family and they will love you all the more for it!