Taking your family on vacation is fun but if its a big family it can get frusterating and EXPENSIVE..Meagan Francis wrote this article for Yahoo and I had to share with you. There are ways you can do it for less...enjoy!
Indoor Waterpark Resorts
Yes, we've been to every Great Wolf Lodge within a 300-mile radius several times. Indoor waterparks allow big siblings fun and freedom - but not too much freedom - while parents are freed up to keep a closer eye on the little ones. Every Great Wolf I've been to (and most of the independent water parks) have an excellent lifeguard presence, so you can feel comfortable around all that water even when you've got a large brood to keep track of. Look for family-friendly suites that allow you to squish in a little (which most big families are used to anyway) and if you're on a budget, check out deals and off-season pricing. Hint: bring your own food. On-site restaurants tend to be full of expensive junk food, but your hotel room is very likely to offer a fridge and maybe a kitchenette.
Traveling by Train
I dare you to board an Amtrak train - especially right after you've flown - and not drool over the amazing leg room and comfort. It's also a great way to take in your surroundings and truly embrace the "getting there is half the fun" attitude I grew up with. Train travel is surprisingly inexpensive with children, even with the addition of a sleeper car. Plenty of room to stretch out and walk around means happy kids. Plus, no gas costs and we can sleep on the train that first night rather than paying for a hotel. Economical and efficient!
I love to camp, but sometimes, tent camping with a bunch of little kids is less than fun. Like when it unexpectedly starts pouring, at dusk. That's why we've been eyeballing RVs - either a rental or finding a good deal on a used one - as a solution. Having a place to contain the masses (and stay dry) would make any camping trip less stressful, and it's also a great way to avoid the expense of multiple hotel rooms on longer trips. If you don't consider yourself the camping "type," you might want to check out the interiors of some of these trailers and RVs. The Jayco Eagle pictured above has a fireplace inside ya'll...not exactly roughing it.
One of the biggest obstacles to traveling with a large family can be the accommodations. Getting two rooms for every night of travel gets expensive fast, and even if you're OK with sneaking half your family in the back door, that stops working as well when the bigger kids get to be teens. Swapping homes with a family in another destination is a flexible way to find living and sleeping space on the cheap. Here's a comprehensive home-swapping tutorial that will give you all the ins-and-outs. Just think, you could stay on a beach paradise without having to pay through the nose (or at all!) for lodging.
The staple of my childhood, road trips don't have to be a drag. Just keep your destination within a few hundred miles - or plan plenty of stops for leg-stretching and burning off energy. I'm glad we started road tripping with our kids young; they're used to it by now, and are all excellent car travellers. Our favorite part? Creating the family road trip playlist on Spotify!
A Family Cruise
It sounds like a dream: all your kids contained in one place, professionals providing them with fun activities from dawn 'til dusk, and you're free to eat, drink, and be merry in peace. All for insanely reasonable prices - even better if you live within driving distance of a port! Yes, cruise ships have had a bad rap lately, but incidents are extremely rare and the Disney Cruise Line - pictured above - has an excellent safety record.
The Hotel Pool
Remember how I said that sometimes you have to get creative about what counts as a vacation? One thing I've learned in fifteen years of parenting is that however much I pack a day with entertainment and enrichment opportunities, the hotel pool always wins. So during a long weekend or stuck-at-home school holiday, it's worth it to see if you can get a killer deal on a decent hotel near you. Smaller towns or areas where there isn't much tourism or business travel have the best deals. The picture above is from an impromptu "vacation" weekend our family of 7 took with my brother's family of 5. The rooms were $50 a night. The fun? Free.