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10 Budget Family Vacation Ideas


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Homecoming Weekend at the Alma Mater
Even if they're too young to understand the intricacies of football, kids will love the air of excitement at a homecoming game. (But bring a kit with a few backup activities just in case.)
Even if they're too young to understand the intricacies of football, kids will love the air of excitement at a homecoming game. (But bring a kit with a few backup activities just in case.)
iStockphoto/Thinkstock

Going to your alma mater's homecoming festivities is another way to get your money's worth (or your spouse's) from a pricey college education. Check the schedule for family-friendly activities like picnics, parades, petting zoos and kid-friendly theater performances. Let early education majors entertain the kids with face painting and crafts while you relive memories with college pals. Teenagers may enjoy a peek at college life with a campus tour or bookstore browsing session.

For meals, you can support the next crop of grads by buying food from student groups' concessions. If you're culinarily inclined, pack some goodies for tailgating. Schools typically have hotels hold a block of rooms for alumni at reduced rates. Local merchants often have special promotions and events, especially in college towns.

One priceless bonus: You can impress (or embarrass) your kids with pictures of yourself in your Greek days, by playing in the alumni softball game or joining in a chorus of your college song.

Speaking of songs, our next tip has us humming that popular tune of yesteryear: "We'll travel the road, sharing our load, side by side."


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