Creative Ideas To Family Vacations On A Budget

Camping lantern

Ask any parent about planning a family outing, and invariably they will tell you making every dollar count are what family vacations on a budget are all about. With today’s economy getting the most for your money is important, and that doesn’t mean scrimping on your vacation plans, but rather researching the available options to get the best deal possible.

Depending on your vacation budget, there are many low-cost ideas that can remove the need for air travel, and if you live in one of the larger cities within the U.S. such as L.A., New York, or Chicago, then consider a close to home destination that will reduce travel time by renting a mini-van if need be. If that sounds like a possible option for you and your family, then maybe also consider a camping vacation in a National Park, or popular mountain area. The cost of renting a tent and camping equipment such as a camping lantern is far less expensive than hotel rooms for 4 or more family members. Wintertime could offer budget ski vacation packages that can help the little ones learn to ski or snowboard, and if you choose the right area, dad may be able to sneak in some ice fishing as well. The most obvious summertime destinations are beach vacations. The kids are sure to have a great time at one of the local State Beaches or parks located within the State Park, such as Doheny State Beach in Dana Point California. If you do a bit of research on your surrounding areas, you are sure to find some good spots for a family vacation on a budget. Affordable family vacations can be a lot of fun when planned properly.

An important key to family vacations on a budget is taking advantage of every possible resource in saving money and getting the most bang for the buck. Memberships with the AAA, other auto clubs, groups, or associations can be valuable sources for discounts. Remember to ask for family discounts and deals when booking your trips. Seeking the best rates for lodging is relatively the easiest part of your arrangements. Many of the more popular chains offer discounts for children and you should also look for hotels where kids stay free. Even if you have to, you can opt for a folding cot, or maybe bring sleeping bags for the kids. You will be surprised at how many inexpensive vacations you can plan when you are a little flexible.

Another area of concern is dining; saving money on this part of your vacation is easy to manage with a little pre-planning. Look for restaurants where kids eat free, and if you are on an extended stay, then get a room with a refrigerator and stock up on snacks and lunch items that you can store in the room and take with you. Bottles for water and other drinks will help reduce hi priced beverages while in amusement parks and other places. Creativity, coupled with research and pre-planning are the golden keys to family vacations on a budget, and with a little patience and flexibility, you are sure to have a truly fun and memorable time together.

A new way of taking Selfies

DJI Spark

Everyone loves taking selfies, even if they don’t like to admit it. And if you’re looking to take those snaps of yourself to the next level, DJI’s new, cutesy Spark drone may be just for you. The company’s latest drone is designed to fit on the palm of your hand and can be controlled with motion gestures, letting you take some over-the-top pictures and videos without much effort. You can wave your hand to have move it up or down, right or left and pull it toward or away from you, while a quick gesture that resembles you taking a picture will trigger the camera’s selfie mode. The only drawback to this is that the Spark can only go up to 10 feet away from you, and that’s where the Spark’s companion app and remote control come in.

The smartphone application will make the overall experience better, as it increases the drone’s maximum reach to about 300 feet when you’re controlling it this way. Not only that, but the app will let you choose between a few different shooting modes: Quick Shot, Dronie, Circle and Helix. Quick Shot, for example, turns the Spark into a camera operator of sorts, as its main goal is to take cinematic videos of you. The feature locks onto a subject, follow them for around a minute and then turns that footage into a 10-second clip that you can share with your friends.

Meanwhile, the analog remote lets you have control of the drone for roughly 1.3 miles, though it doesn’t feature a built-in screen like the model included with its sibling the Mavic Pro. DJI says the idea with the Spark was to make a drone that was all about simplicity, which could help it in its quest to reach mainstream audiences. Up until today, the only drone really like the Spark has been Zerotech’s Dobby, but that drone depends on a smartphone to control it.

As far as specs go, the Spark features a 12-megapixel sensor (1/2.3-inch), mechanical stabilization and a GPS GLONASS sensor, as well as a 3D depth-sensing and vision-position systems that can detect objects and environments for up to 16 and 96ft, respectively. All in all, the Spark has the potential to be a great little drone, but we’ll have to put it through its paces before we can fully judge it. You can pre-order it today starting at $499 in a variety of different colors, such as sky blue, metal green, alpine white and lava red, and awesome goodies, all included inside the DJI drone case.