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Briefs | Travel

Use your imagination and save some money

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  • BRUCE ASATO / 2017

    Every third Sunday of the month, the Bank of Hawaii Foundation presents Family Sunday at the Hono­lulu Museum of Art free of charge. Families gather at tables in the museum’s Palm Courtyard while participating in an art activity.

A family vacation doesn’t have to include fancy flights to far-off places or ritzy resorts to reap meaningful rewards. So clear the calendar and consider these five ideas that won’t break the bank.

1. Go for it

Plan to participate in a half marathon, hike the canyon or camp in the backcountry. This is the year to research, plan and execute that big idea you’ve been talking about but never had time to organize. Declare it a family affair and make the training and preparations part of the fun.

2. Trade houses

Find a friend or family member in a nearby neighborhood who is willing to join in the fun. Think about it: new toys in closet, bikes in the garage, playsets in the backyard and snacks in the cupboard. (Agree upfront on what is included in the deal.) Trade information about local walking paths, parks, museums, restaurants and movie theaters. Then enjoy the new view.

3. Commit to a weekend “away”

Part of the holiday mindset includes saying no to checking work email, sending text messages or posting on Instagram. If not for a week, agree to make family the focus for one whole weekend. Visit a new restaurant, go to a ballgame, take a long bike ride, float on the river in an inner tube or play board games at home. Check out the local farmers markets for fresh food or trek to the newest ice cream shop for a special sweet treat. If duty calls, let folks know your family is on vacation.

4. Focus on free

Museums, festivals, lectures, parks, concerts and libraries are all sources of family fun where the admission is often gratis. Check local websites and create your no-cost itinerary for the length of your “vacation.” Organizations like Free Tours by Foot offer guided tours in cities across the country at no charge. You have the option to compensate your guide based on your satisfaction with the experience.


5. Book last minute and local

Check travel websites for last-minute deals in your hometown or in a nearby city. Without air and significant gas charges, taking advantage of these down-to-the-wire deals can be worth the minimum expense. You’ll enjoy the travel treat knowing you’ve kept expenses in check.


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