Finding a family vacation destination that doesn't break the bank is tough these days.  Although Disneyworld, indoor waterpark resorts, amusement parks and cruises can be the ideal vacation to some, they can also be out of the budget for others.

Kevin and I love to camp, and our kiddos have followed us in our the love of the great outdoors.  Sometimes however, it's nice to be able to get away and not have to rely on an open campfire to cook our food, and to have such modern conveniences as indoor plumbing and microwaves!  Just a few weeks ago we were blessed with the opportunity to use the family cottage of my dad's cousin in Canada for free.  We had to supply the gas to get ourselves there and the food to feed ourselves, but otherwise the vacation couldn't have been any more frugal!  Perfect for a family on a budget.

We were blessed with this vacation opportunity because we swapped services with my second cousin (my dad's cousin) this past winter.  What a frugal way to relax and rejuvenate!  When on a budget, ask yourself: do I have services or abilities I can offer to others?  Do I own something that can be lent or used to save someone else money?  Budgeting for an extravagant vacation is very exciting and worthwhile, but in the in-between years it's good to be creative and enjoy your family without having to count every penny.  Get to it!  Rack your brain for ideas and ask those around you for some swapping suggestions.  It might not be a vacation you get out of it, but there are plenty of possibilities, to be sure.

Do you have any great penny-pinching vacation ideas?  What are some of your favorite budget-friendly activities?  Any swapping successes?  We'd love to hear what you do with your family.

And of course, here are some of our photos from the trip to Canada:

And you can't expect two photographers to go into the glorious Canadian wilderness (or cottage country, at least) and NOT take scenery pictures!  Kevin took the majority of these images early in the morning (between 5am-6am) - now that's some photography dedication to get up early on vacation!

And, of course, we couldn't miss out on the sunset and night time pictures either.

~ Heather