Inexpensive Family Getaway for Spring Break / Short Vacation

We are still in this never ending season of unemployment. It was a year in February, and it’s been a very long year. We wanted (and needed) to get away for spring break, but we had to make it an inexpensive family getaway.

Plan an inexpensive family vacation at the Shawnee National Forest!

Inexpensive Family Getaway

In the past, we had vacationed with my sister, brother-in-law, and nephews several years in a row, but that changed with my husband’s unemployment. So, I was very excited when my brother-in-law texted me with an invitation for our family to share a huge cabin with them in Pomona, Illinois. This area is set right near the Shawnee National Forest, with many trails for hiking.

I’ll start with the cabin we stayed in, called The Barn. The Barn is one of two rentals with Cornerstone Cabins. It actually was a barn, converted into an amazing home that sleeps 15 people! Plenty of space for our group of 10. They spared no expense when converting this barn into a huge cabin.

Inexpensive family getaway at The Barn - Shawnee National Forest

One of the many exciting aspects of this trip was actually sharing accommodations with my sister and her family. Though we have vacationed together in the past, we have never shared space with them. The kids had such an awesome time being with their cousins, while I loved getting to spend time with my big sister.

My brother-in-law, mapped out some ideas for places to see each day while we were on the trip. Because
The Shawnee National Forest is so huge, we actually drove to each location and then hiked the trails. The trails were spectacular.

Inexpensive family getaway to the Shawnee National Forest for hiking

Some of the trails led up to very high cliffs, which were a little scary when the kids felt especially brave. However, the view was so tranquil – I could totally envision yoga!

Inexpensive family getaway at the Shawnee National Forest.

One of the places we visited is called Cave In Rock State Park, which is still part of the Shawnee National Forest. It was spectacular inside and a great photo opportunity!

Inexpensive family getaway at Shawnee National Forest.

A major town right by the Shawnee National Forest is Carbondale, which is the home of Southern Illinois University. That is where we chose to eat most lunches and dinners. The cabin actually had an amazing kitchen, since the owner is a chef and an Organic Farmer, it was very impressive. However, we chose to not spend the time in the kitchen since we were only there for a few days.

Share one of your favorite inexpensive family getaways!



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About the Author

I am a work from home mom who dearly loves her 15-year-old daughter, 11-year-old boy/girl twins, and husband. I love my life and feel very blessed by what God has provided for me.


  1. We live on the outskirts of Atlanta, so my favorite inexpensive family getaway is just getting out and exploring our city. Sometimes, we stay at a hotel just for the feel of it. When you factor in the savings of not driving or flying, you save a ton.
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  2. What a gorgeous and inexpensive getaway! That’s the type of trip that I like a lot!I take a lot of small and inexpensive trips.

  3. The views from Shawnee look spectacular. It is great that you could get away and share a space wit your sister and her family. Many times you don’t need to spend a lot to do great things.

  4. Lately, we’ve been taking a lot of weekend getaways. A place like this looks like a perfect getaway that respects time constraints and budget.

  5. I would love to stay in the Barn. The cabin looks so beautiful. It would be a fantastic getaways for my family.

  6. I would love to have a getaway. I haven’t really had much of a vacation before. I’d love to be able to bring my family someplace like this. I love that it’s inexpensive too.

  7. Very cool post. We live in northern Illinois and we will have to check out this area.

  8. I’ve spent much time in Carbondale, but never have I seen anything this beautiful! We were normally heading down for church fellowship. Now I have a reason to go back AND an awesome space to stay! What beautiful scenery and a great looking cabin.

  9. I love that this was inexpensive and the barn looks so welcoming, warm, and cozy. I am trying to find different things to do this summer for the kids. This seems like a neat idea!
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  10. If I was closer I’d go asap! This looks like my kind of family that we can do often! 😉

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