Summer activities and vacations can take a huge chunk out of your family’s budget. However, with a little care and planning, you can have memorable experiences without draining your bank accounts. Here are just a few ways to have some summer fun on a budget.
Avoid Extra Expenses With All-Inclusive Packages
Sometimes, what appears to be a great travel deal turns out to be a lot more costly than you anticipated. Avoid all of the extra small charges with an all-inclusive travel package. They may seem more expensive up front, but you won’t get hit with fees for food, drinks or activities once you are there. Some even include childcare that provides an enriching experience for the kids and a chance for you to get in some real relaxation.
Cruises have long lead the pack when it comes to this type of trip, especially when it comes to tons of family-friendly activities. Plus, they let you see more than one destination without having to worry about changing planes and hotels. Check out one of the great cruises from California to see new places, stay active, and not have to worry about paying for things once you get aboard.
Explore Your Hometown With Staycations
You don’t always have to go far away to have a truly amazing experience. More and more people are finding new and exciting things to do close to home these days. By staying within a day’s drive, you’re eliminating the need for costly hotels and plane tickets.
Staycations can be both affordable and memorable. If you don’t know where to start, think about an up close and personal experience with farm animals, mining for gems or panning for gold and visiting museums and other cultural attractions for the day. If you prefer more adventure, check out state or national parks within an hour or two drive for hiking, camping and biking. Some may even have cabin rentals to help you try it out without investing in a lot of new gear.
Add a Theme To Make Your Summer More Meaningful
Using a theme has several advantages when it comes to planning. For starters, you can reuse many of the same toys, equipment and gear. That alone can be a huge savings! It is also a great way to encourage family members who have a special passion. What themes can your summer take on? Here are a few ideas to help you think out of the box:
- Space exploration: You can hold stargazing parties, build “spaceships” out of household materials and screen a few space-themed movies or select a few of these other space-themed activities to keep it fun and exciting.
- Fun at the beach: Even if you can’t travel to the beach, you can still bring the fun home. Have a yard or two of sand delivered to make a natural area for castle building and sand art, challenge each other to flip-flop races, and break out the volleyball net and beach ball for active fun. Visits to aquariums to learn more about marine animals and watching a pirate movie or two can all tie into this theme.
- Sustainability: Kids are becoming more involved in the environmental movement, and summer is a great time for the whole family to learn more about sustainability. You can plant a garden to grow your own food, conduct litter clean-ups at local parks and make crafts with repurposed items to get into the mood. Look into visiting local recycling centers or other environmentally-themed businesses to expand your knowledge base.
Take Advantage of Discounted Rates
Sometimes all you have to do to save is look for discounts. Even if you don’t see any, it never hurts to ask. Many businesses offer discounts to members of associations and clubs, so now is a good time to take advantage of that alumni association you belong to. Check for online discount codes before booking any hotels or tickets, too.
A little planning can go a long way to making your summer memorable on a budget. Try using themed activities, stay close to home and consider using all-inclusive accommodations if you do go away.