Create experiences, travel and explore more! Here are 10 ways to have more family adventures this year!

Last year, we made it a priority to change the way we did things. We wanted to create experiences, and travel and explore more – rather than spending our money on the stuff that seemed to clutter up our lives.

Life changing is an understatement, and we spent the year travelling and exploring (a lot of it local, and on the cheap, since we stuck close to home).

Make a List

First and foremost, make a list of the things that you want to discover. We sat down as a family and listed the places that the kids wanted to discover and the places that we wanted to explore, and camp. Not everything made the list but it gave us a starting place to explore.

Cut Your Costs

Find ways to trim the budget to put more money into the travel and adventure fund. For us, that means getting take-out less often and only buying things if we really need them. So we try to consider the things that we’re buying, and scrutinize all of the things we bring into our home now, trying to live more minimally.

Travel Around Festivals

Planning travel around festivals, like Jasper in January, through the winter months, can give you access to free things to do at your destination. This adds more experience to your travel, and gives you more bang for your buck.

Put Adventure in the Budget

Plan ahead and stash away a bit of money into the vacation fund, every month. Plan the time off, and make it part of the budget so you can get away on that adventure. Not only does this help to cover the cost of the adventures, but it will also help you to block off that time.

Find Cheap Accommodations

Camping, KOA, cabins, all of these are cheap ways that you can stay on summer adventures. Get on the list for promotional deals from local hotels, and check out Groupon and other similar sites for half price hotel deals. Swap houses with friends, share a house or condo rental with friends on an adventure – and get creative when it comes to the ‘where to stay’ on your adventures.

Start Close to Home

If you’re starting on the trail of ‘experiencing more’ rather than ‘buying more’, it can feel like the exploring can get expensive. Start close to home with day trips or overnight trips, before you venture into week long trips and additional family vacations. Day trips will have you home at the end of the day, in your own bed and there are no shortage of places to explore in Alberta – just check out our Alberta Bucket List!

Use Long Weekends

I work from home, but Tobin has a set amount of vacation days. We use long weekends as a time to travel because it means he’s using fewer of these vacation days.

Don’t Skip the Road Trip

Packing your own snacks and finding cheap accommodations mean keeping road trip costs low. Once you’ve got a few kids (and one of those kids is no longer free to fly), road trips are a great way to explore – and really, are pretty painless when you follow our tips for road easy road trips with kids.

Gift Experiences

For Christmas this year, we received a generous family gift for the kids and ourselves, and it’s fully going toward a family vacation. We’re letting the kids decide on the destination, and they’re currently trying to decide between a white sandy beach or the blue lagoon. Ask for experiences for Christmas.

Make it a Priority

Adventure has to be a priority – and it’s become the fuel around here for the ‘Do I really need to buy this?’ because when it comes down to it, adventure creates a childhood of memories for children – not having seventeen princess dresses, and take out a few times a week. Adventure became a priority for us, and it’s changed everything about how I think.

Use Points

Airmiles are one of our current favourites, with credit card promotions, buddy-fares and the easy ability to earn points at the grocery store (I earned 700+ on a recent trip to Sobeys) – we save them for travel and flights, because it goes further than cashing them in for ‘stuff’.

What are some of the ways that you are going to work more adventure into your year?