I think it's so important for people who live in the USA to actually see it. You really do miss out on all the wonderful things there are to see and do right here in our own country.
If you look for bargain priced flights and plan your vacation time around those choices you can save a lot of money and have a little extra money for doing the activities and eating at the places that are native to that area.
People from other countries come and see the USA all the time, why should you miss out on what they get to enjoy. Be a tourist yourself right in your own country. Start with your own backyard (your city) if you don't have a lot of money. Take the kids and the hubby too, to do some of the activities see the monuments, visit an art gallery for the opening show and museum as well. Teach your children to value the things in their environment and community by showing them the significance of things you yourself usually take for granted.
If you're short on having the same day or very few days off, make the best of the time you do have and still travel. Take a day trip by train and ride to a city 2 hours away and walk or take a taxi to the significant thing there is to do there that makes that city stand out if nothing other than the mall. Have a lite lunch or dinner with the family as the main event. Then return home by train. Be sure to take photos even if it's only of the family meal or sitting in the seats of the train. This will be a memory your family creates that will be hard to forget. It's a great scrapbooking theme too.
It really doesn't matter where you go, just go as a family!