“A job fills your pocket but adventure fills your soul.” I’m pretty sure I’ve spent a better part of the last 18 years thinking about my next adventure. And I’m not just talking about jumping on a plane and flying south (but I do think of that often too). I mean all the adventures: big AND small, far AND near. The monthly and the weekly incisions of fun, new, and exciting things. I need adventure often. It fills my bucket to the brim. So how do we do it? How does my little family make adventure happen on a regular basis AND afford all that comes with it? Here are my top ten tips to frugal family adventures:
1. Consider Adventures By Foot. Some of my favourite adventures have been hiking, backpacking, trail running or biking. 1km to 365km: distance doesn’t really matter. There is just something to be said about covering km’s with your own two feet and saving your gas money all at the same time.
2. Start Small. If your current family schedule doesn’t contain any adventure don’t start with a month long south east Asian adventure. Rather start with a few hours once a month in a new park. Get your family accustom to the new routine and get the experience first-hand finding out what works and doesn’t and just how much money you need to put aside (if any).
3. Stay Local. Adventure can be found close to home. It’s all about new places you have never been. It’s all about exploring. Build a few hours adventure filled with movement, outdoor time, new restaurants or coffee shops, scenic drives, walks or conservation areas. Some of our best days have been a mere 20 minutes from home.
4. Camp, Use Cheap Motels, Or Utilize Air BnB. For those wanting to extend their adventures to overnights or multi-days there is no need to always use expensive chain hotels for your accommodation. These days the options are plenty for more affordable accommodations. We love using air bnb or vrbo for lengthier stays, campgrounds during the summer and cashing in points for hotel stays in the city.
5. Go During The Week. I know this option isn’t for everyone. We are lucky to have flexibility in our schedules to make most of our ventures during the quieter days and off-season periods. Consider taking vacation time and mental health days during the week verses on weekends and the deals will be a plenty and the crowds will not.
6. Bring The Cooler And Eat In. We almost always eat breakfast and lunch on our own and save dinner for eating out. This saves bundles on food costs and picnics are seriously where it’s at.
7. Self-Guide. Tours are overrated. And there is nothing more adventurous then getting lost. Ask us. We are pros at it.
8. Find The Discounts. Scourer the internet before you leave. I promise they are there. The deals on all the parks, attractions and everything in-between. All the 2 for 1’s and 10% offs will add up over the course of the year.
9. Backyard Adventures. When I say start small and local, there is nothing more fitting then your own backyard. Set up a tent and a fake fire and make smores in the oven. Be creative and get everyone evolved. With a little imagination, it’s amazing what your yard can be turned into.
10. Stargaze/Night Walk. We often forget about how much can change when we turn off the lights. Try planning a nighttime adventure and I promise your kids will never forget it.
Life is an adventure not a tour package. Get off the beaten track. Explore new places. And get some regular adventure into your life without breaking the bank!