One of my absolute favorite things about summer is all the extra opportunities to create family memories. Summer vacations are a great way to do just that. However, summer vacations can be quite costly, especially if you’re on a budget.
But I have good news for you, even if you’re on a budget you can still take an amazing summer vacation sure to be filled with many family memories. And with summer right around the corner, now is the time to start collecting your summer vacation ideas.
To get you started, here are five summer vacation ideas that will not break the bank, but still allow you to make great and lasting family memories together.
The costs of airline tickets during summer are at their highest, second only to Christmas and Thanksgiving. So instead of planning a vacation destination by airplane, plan a road trip.
You can save significantly on a road trip when you plan your route out ahead of time. Once you’ve planned your route, you can go online and check for deals and coupons on hotel rooms, restaurants, and even where to get the cheapest gas.
Also, road trips allow you to pack a good percentage of your own food. Let’s face it snacks and drinks can be one of the biggest expenses on any vacation you plan. Reduce that cost by stocking up on non-perishable snacks, drinks, bottled water, fruit, bagels, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and other food items.
You can also look up some KOA campgrounds and spend a night or two there. This will be much less expensive than a hotel room and it makes for some fun times breaking up the road trip. Just make sure to pack a tent and sleeping bags.
Speaking of a tent and sleeping bag, why not plan an entire vacation at a campground? There are some wonderful campgrounds that provide many activities for the whole family. A one week stay at a campground will be much cheaper than a one-week stay at a hotel. There are many free camping sites around the country. To locate a free campsite, simply do an internet search for free camping sites.
If you don’t have all the camping gear you need, ask around, and borrow as much as you can. For those items you can’t borrow, you can still get some very good deals on camping supplies at army surplus stores. Another option for discount camping supplies is Craigs List. You can pick up a lot of the items you will need at the dollar store, such as table clothes and paper goods, candles rope
Also, don’t forget the dollar store. You can pick up a lot of the items you will need at there, such as table clothes and paper goods, candles and even rope.
To save on food costs, plan out your meals for the week, the same way you would at home. Look for sales at the grocery store on the things that you will be bringing.
A good tip is to do most of the cooking prep work done ahead of time. This will allow you to relax and enjoy the trip.
Most campsites will allow you to bring your pets, saving you further money on pet sitting fees.
Vacation With Another Family
By planning a vacation with another family or families you can pull your resources together and enjoy a fantastic vacation while staying within your budget.
Last summer we vacationed with my husband’s sister, cousin, and aunt. We rented a beach house, and the cost of the house was split four ways.
Not only did we save on accommodations, but because we rented a house, we were able to cook our meals and split the cost of groceries four ways. When we ate out, it was usually for ice cream or frozen yogurt.
The kids all had so much fun spending the whole week together with their cousins. We made some great memories playing at the beach in the day and playing family games in the evening.
It was a vacation we otherwise could never have afforded.
So talk to your family or friends and plan your vacation together this summer.
Visit Out of State Family or Friends
Here is another great way to take a vacation on a budget, if you have family or friends that live out of state, plan your vacation to go and visit them. You will save on accommodations by staying with them and most people love showing guests around their hometown.
Let them know that you are on a budget and ask where the bargain activities are in their area. Since they are locals, they will a good idea of what activities you can do to save money.
If money is really tight, why not be a tourist in your own town.
You can research activities to do in your own town as if you were a visitor for the first time. Do things you normally don’t do.
One year we did this and went to the local public pool, something we had never done before. We went ice-skating at the local rink, something else we normally don’t do. We even went hiking to a new location.
Do an internet search for your own town and plan some things you would not normally do. Do the same thing in the evening. Plan a backyard sleep out, or make smores in your backyard.
Just remember, no cleaning or laundry. Make sure to keep the tv and answering machine turned off so you can focus on your time together as a family. Take lots of pictures of everything you do, the same way you would if traveling.
Vacation is not about where you go or how much money you spend, it’s about building memories and spending family time together.
about building memories and spending family time together.
Use one of these summer vacation ideas and get started planning today.