Last-Minute Weekend Family Vacation Tips

summer vacation guide

family vacation tips

Photo from Crystal Golf Resort

It's hard to get away. Well, the actual act of going on vacation is easy and fun! But family trips can be hard to plan and expensive. Though they don't have to be!

Go on a daycation or even a staycation -- but if you have just a little money to spare, try a one- or two-day family trip that will feel like a week.

OK, how do you do that? I've got some tips on how to stretch your buck, get in some good family time (and alone time, too), and get the best deal. (Plus a discount code for select hotels just for CafeMoms.) Read on....


  • Choose a hotel that is less than two hours from where you live so you're not spending the best part of the day getting there and coming home.
  • Look for something with a lot of fun (and free) activities for the kids.
  • Request a room with a balcony so you can sneak out for a glass of wine and/or cuddle time with your partner after the kids have gone to bed -- you can even bring a candle from home for some romance.
  • Bring a small cooler bag with juice boxes, water, and snacks to the pool for the kids so you're not spending $3 for a bottle of water every five minutes.
  • Try finding a hotel that is flexible about using the facilities before check-in and after check-out.A hotel with locker rooms complete with showers can allow you to take advantage of the pool and other facilities before check-in on the day you arrive after check-out on the day you're leaving. It will make a one night stay feel like a weekend.

These tips really help you get the most for your money!

family vacation tips

Photo from Crystal Golf Resort

The Crystal Golf Resort in the Kittatinny Mountain range of Vernon Valley, New Jersey, wants to give us discounts on their two hotels -- Grand Cascades Lodge and Minerals Resort & Spa.

Minerals is perfect for a family getaway with seven indoor/outdoor swimming pools, a sprinkler park, and basketball, racquetball, and tennis courts. They have free activities for the kids including water balloon fights, arts and crafts, face painting, outdoor movies, and make-your-own ice-cream sundae.They even offer nature excursions to see owls and bald eagles.

Check into Grand Cascades to check out the underground aquarium and biosphere pool complex, complete with 150 foot slide. They also have a Wine Cellar with over 64,000 bottles of wine and fantastic spa services -- great for some alone time with your partner. 

Interested in this New Jersey getaway? Use code PR2009 for a discount.

You will get special weekday rates from $149 at Minerals Hotel and $229 at Grand Cascades Lodge. Weekend rates from $199 at Minerals and $274 at Grand Cascades Lodge. 

*Rates not valid for holidays. All rates include a complimentary late check out, a $50 value. Not valid on Friday or Saturday checkouts.

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