As a parent, we can offer our children the world and it doesn't have to cost us a fortune. Children need experiences, time and lots of opportunity to play with ideas, pictures, plants, animals, life, changing colors and so much more. We can and should explore our local woods, wildlife and backyards. We should find local resources, and find ways to involve them in our lives.
We don't have to travel, but if we can, we should. Backpacking, camping and house-trading can be affordable ways to travel. Finding hotels that have kitchenettes (for those with food allergies, this may be a great option since you could cook most or all of your meals), has been a good money saver for our family. We also try to find free activities such as hiking state/national parks, free museums and when we can't do free, we try to prioritize our favorite places. We also pack most of our food so that we can save money during the drive.
Of course, the stay-cation is a great way to explore your community, plan special events, and create memories with your children.
Our most recent trip was to Treasure Island Flordia. We found a hotel that was on the beach, planned our trip for the off season, and spend our days at the beach. We happened to be there during a sandcastle building competition, which included free music and even fireworks. So while it was a little more pricey due to airfare, we did save a lot by enjoying the beach.
I know the experiences my family gave me have stayed with me all these years and I know the ones my children take away from our trips will stay with them just as long.