If the monotony of your daily routine has you feeling stir crazy, you might be ready for a vacation. Don’t let the expense overwhelm you. Chad Cotter, general manager of Cotter Travel, offers several affordable suggestions for your next big family trip.​

If driving is your means of travel, Cotter suggests heading to Branson or St. Louis. Maybe you already have a season pass to Silver Dollar City in Branson and are craving a weekend getaway with the kids. Cotter suggests looking at your destination’s free activities. For example, your family could watch the Branson Landing Fountain shows one evening, take a ride on the free downtown trolley or visit the Branson Centennial Museum.​

If traveling by plane is in your budget, Cotter suggests these locations with great rates:​

Clearwater Beach, Florida – If you’re yearning for sunshine, water and the outdoors, this destination might be a good fit for your family. Head to the Clearwater Marine Aquarium and the kids might recognize Winter the Dolphin from the movie "Dolphin Tale.​"

San Diego – Visit the San Diego Zoo, go whale-watching or take a city tour.

The Caribbean – With great rates and all-inclusive options available, this location is perfect if your family wants to get a little farther away without spending way too much.​

Las Vegas – Vegas isn’t normally thought of as a family vacation spot, but Cotter assures there are plenty of affordable, appropriate, non-gambling entertainment options like Ferris wheels, family shows and roller coasters.​

Cotter also recommends a few simple ways to save money on your vacation:

-- Find a place to stay that includes free breakfast​.

-- Look for free activities, especially with the kids​.

-- Bring your own snacks to the airport or in the car to significantly reduce that food expense​.

-- Sign up for reward programs​.

“I always recommend getting travel insurance, especially with kids,” Cotter says.​