If a ten day vacation with the family to Walt Disney World just isn’t possible this year, you may be wondering how you’re going to keep yourself busy without blowing through your savings over the summer months. You don’t have to spend every paycheck or stay locked in your house in order to have fun from June to August. Instead, consider these affordable ideas to make the best of this too-short season.
Camp at the Beach
Not everyone has access to a beach, but if you do, see if you can pack up the car and camp there for a few days. Camping isn’t very expensive in general, especially if you already have all the equipment you’ll need. Plus, the weather’s usually a little more breezy and cool when you’re by the water, so this is an excellent way to escape a heatwave. Not near the ocean? Research camp sites in your area – many of them are close to a lake, which is the next best thing.
These seems like an obvious activity if you happen to have a pool in your backyard, but if you don’t, you’re not completely out of luck. Most communities have public pools that you can use. Or, you can pay a small fee to use a private pool. Another perk to doing laps in a refreshing pool is that you’ll get a workout without overheating. If you live close enough to a lake or the ocean, you can relax on the sand for the day, which truly feels like a summertime indulgence.
Support Local Businesses and Events
If you know where to find your county’s calendar of events, you’ll be shocked at how much you can fill up the summer with free and cheap things to do. This time of year, towns and cities have tons of fairs, carnivals, festivals and concerts, many of which cost very little, if anything. Get out your calendar, scribble down a few dates and head out to support your local economy. The more active you are in your community, the less you’ll feel like you’re missing out because you can’t vacation in Paris this August. On the same note, visit area parks and historical sites – you can picnic or hike for practically nothing.
Take a Stay-Cation
Between flights, hotels, food and all those surprise hidden costs every vacation seems to come with, it might not be in your budget to get out of town for a couple of weeks. Don’t overlook the perks of taking a stay-cation, though, or even taking a trip to somewhere relatively nearby. Figure out how to stay home and disconnect from the rest of the world or hop in the car and head to a beach, mountain range or new city for a long weekend. You’ll have that invigorating getting-away-from-it-all feeling without the high price tag.
Vacation on a Budget
Think you can swing an airline ticket and a hotel for a few days? You can still be smart about your money even if you’re splurging on your destination. First, make sure to plan before you leave home. That way, you won’t get stuck making on-the-spot decisions and paying top dollar for activities that are cheaper right around the corner. Secondly, don’t bother getting the presidential suite in the area’s nicest hotel. Odds are that you’re going to do little more than shower and sleep in the hotel room. Third, pack your own food and only eat one meal out a day – this is easiest if you’re able to get a hotel room that has a small kitchen area.