It’s really important to take time out and have a family vacation each year but when money is tight, having a break can be difficult. Here are four ways to stay on a budget and still have a great time on a dime.

Sharing a Piece of History

Why not add a little history to your family vacation? One of the big attractions of a vacation in Washington, D.C. is the number of places that are free. The kids will love the museums, especially the Smithsonian National Natural History Museum and the National Air and Space Museum. They can walk along the National Mall and see the famous White House and Capitol Building. If you book in advance via your member of Congress you can get to tour the White House and see some of the famous rooms. And sites like Orbitz and Priceline are constantly having deals on hotels and flights to D.C., so take advantage.

Enjoy the Beauty of National Parks

In Wyoming there are miles of countryside and national parks. Take a look at Teton National Park or even Yellowstone. As a visitor you can observe animals in the wild and go on some beautiful walks amongst mountain scenery. You’ll get fit too, and as some added adventure, why not try some camping here. The night sky is particularly impressive and costs nothing to observe.

Try Your Own Backyard

Well, not literally your own backyard. If finances are tight, you can get to know your own town in a completely different light. Staycations are really popular and it is possible to have a relaxing time.  Switch off the computers and get to know where you live. You can discover your local swimming pool and take a guided tour downtown. Why not create a quiz for the kids asking them to find out something new about their home town. With picnics in parks and museums to enjoy you’ll be surprised at the amount of free entertainment in your own neighborhood. You can also check out deal sites like Groupon or LivingSocial to see if there are any cool activities or events in your own neighborhood.

Give Back

For something completely different, take a look at vacations where you volunteer on a community project. The accommodation will be basic and cheap but you will find a great sense of camaraderie and adventure. Projects are located all over the USA and overseas and you’ll be amazed at the opportunities to have a good time volunteering from conservation to community initiatives.

Cheap vacations can often be some of the best and a whole lot of fun, if you use your creative side and are open to new experiences.