Getting out of the house and enjoying a change of scenery is something you really just have to do every now and again. Leaving your typical surroundings behind for something more exotic, breathing some fresh air and feeling the emotions you don't access sitting behind a desk at work is just good for you.

Traveling is expensive, though. Particularly if you've got a family, planning a trip everyone will enjoy is daunting. You don't want to overcommit yourself and come home lamenting one fun weekend that left you broke. So, where can you go have a good time affordably? Here are five ideas.

1. State and National Parks

Regardless of where you live, there's almost certainly a state or national park you can make it to in a day. The United States is home to more than 50 National Parks - it's one of the only countries with a program like this that protects our nation's most scenic places. Entry tends to be cheap, so you can take the whole family and enjoy a day of hiking, sightseeing and visits to historical sights. To be extra frugal, bring your own snacks - they'll come in handy on the trail!

2. Historical Landmarks

National parks are a great place to visit, but sometimes, we forget how impressive what's in our own backyard can be. Take a day and visit the historical landmarks of your town! Whether it's city hall, a famous house with historical significance or a local greenspace, you won't have to spend a lot, and it's great to get time away.

3. Local Museums

Sometimes, you can find them in the parks themselves, but local museums are quite affordable and frequently hold special events for children and families. You can take the whole gang out for a night on the town, and it might be an educational experience for you as well as the little ones!

4. The Garden

The art of gardening has been around for centuries, and there are still many places you can appreciate the beauty and craftsmanship that goes into a scenic garden without spending a penny. Many universities offer tours of their gardens, or you could pay a small fee to attend a home or garden tour. It's a peaceful way to spend a spring or summer day with a loved one or your whole family.

5. The Zoo or Aquarium

These options might require you to pay a small admission fee, but when you consider the experience that comes along with it, maybe that's justified. For kids and adults alike, these wonderful venues are the only place you'll get the opportunity to view some of nature's most spectacular flora and fauna. You'll learn about new species and the efforts preservationists made to protect them in the wild.

Day trips are something every family should get to enjoy. No one wants to spend their life cooped up in front of a TV all the time, and cost really shouldn't be a limiting factor. You can and should get out to see all of the interesting sights and experiences around you. It's never too late to start, so make some plans with your friends and family today!

Scott Huntington is a writer from central Pennsylvania. He enjoys working on his home and garden with his wife and 2 kids. Follow him on Twitter @SMHuntington