When kids come along, it can be tempting to plan family vacations to death. But it really isn’t necessary, believe it or not. In fact, it can be a lot of fun for kids to enjoy the excitement of an impromptu vacation. Really, just be sure some of their typical routines can be maintained (such as a specific bedtime, or having a special stuffed animal).

Last Minute Family Vacation Idea #1: Just Go

Last Minute Family Vacation Idea

One way to really go last minute is to just go. This isn’t a great idea on holiday weekends, and is actually a better idea on weekdays. Get a map or a GPS unit, pack your bags, plug in your mp3 player or pop in a CD with some upbeat road music, and hit the road. Go until you see something that looks interesting.

A good way to figure out what interests you is to keep an eye out for street signs teasing to attractions or hotels. Watch for signs directing you to An even better way is to hit a highway or local visitor center. Peruse the brochure racks until you find something you’ve never seen before. You can also frequently book a room directly in a visitor center.

Last Minute Family Vacation Idea #2: Camp Out

If the weather is mild, there is almost always a campground within an hour or two of driving. The great thing about camping is that campgrounds often have some spots available. With the exception of holidays and extremely popular capgrounds or destinations, most have enough space for you to pitch a tent.

The other bonus of the last minute camping vacation is it’s extremely inexpensive. If you already have the gear and bring your own food to prepare, you can literally getaway for the weekend for maybe $20-30 per night for the whole family and the cost of a full gas tank.

Last Minute Family Vacation Idea #3: Last Minute Deals and Packages

Last Minute Family Vacation Idea #3: Last Minute Deals and Packages

You don’t need to be confined to road trips or even nearby destinations for a last minute family vacation. Believe it or not, you very well could whisk the family off this weekend to some amazing destinations such as major U.S. and European cities.

There are many sites that are specifically devoted to last minute hotel, airfare or package deals. You also might consider searching for deals at individual airline web sites.

If there is a hotel you’ve always wanted to visit, check out their web site or even call and see if they can provide your family with a nice deal. A phone call can even go a long way since they would prefer booking a discounted room to leaving a room empty.