Financial Thoughts

Summer on a Budget: Spend Your Vacation Well & Don’t Go Bankrupt

Summer on a budget

Summertime gives us a thirst for adventures. The weather is warm, the kids are out of school, and there’s a possibility to spend your free time in the air. We all want to enjoy every drop of sunshine and do all the activities we don’t have time for during the rest of the year.

But what if you are on a tight budget? That doesn’t mean you can’t have a great time.
Following are some tips & ideas for cheap summer fun.

1. Set a Strict Budget For Summer Activities

No matter what activities you ultimately decide to do, at the start of summer, you should set a budget with a spending cap. Plan ahead to make sure that anything you do will fit within that budget.

2. Save For Summer Throughout the Year

One of the best techniques to save during the summer is to keep for it in advance. Work overtime if you are allowed during the rest of the year.

Set the extra money you earn aside in a pile labeled ‘Summer.’ Then, do not count that money as ‘yours’ when you do your accounting. Think of it as already spent. That way, when you get to summer, your expenses from that pile are stress-free.

3. Enjoy Leisure Activities in Your Area

No matter where you live, there are probably numerous fun activities that you can enjoy without having to take an overnight trip and pay for a hotel. Some ideas include mini-golf, museums, fairs, historical sites, and so forth. Try and see your locality through a tourist’s eyes perception. What would a traveler want to see and do? You get to do it for free!

4. Visit Free or Low-Cost Parks

If you live in a rural area, there are probably some free state parks you can drive to. If you live close to a National park, consider getting an annual pass to save on entry fees. In an urban area, there may be parks where you can enjoy nature for just a few dollars. Some cities have free parks as well.

5. Go Camping

While a day trip to a park can be fun, staying overnight can also be a fantastic experience and a great way to get away from it all without blowing your summer vacation budget.

In many parks, there are sites where you can pitch a tent or unroll a sleeping bag and spend the night for a small fee. Some parks also provide affordable lodgings in yurts or cabins. This option puts a roof over your head but keeps your experience rustic and inexpensive.

6. Take Weekend Trips in Your Region

If you have sufficient budget for a few nights in a hotel, you can consider planning a longer trip further away from home. But that does not mean you need to travel across the country or abroad. There may be exciting experiences waiting for you in your state or in neighboring states, which you can experience during a weekend.

This also prevents you from having to take time out of work. You will learn more about the region where you live at the same time, which is another benefit that contributes to your life not just over the summer, but throughout the year.

7. Stay in Hostels

If you are under 30, you may be eligible to stay in youth hostels. These tend to be very affordable, especially if you are willing to share a room with a fellow traveler (who could be a stranger staying in the same hostel). Hostels often provide kitchen and other facilities as well, which can further keep summer vacation expenses to a minimum.

Summer on a Budget Can Be Fun If You Plan Ahead

Summer vacation on a budget can be tricky, but it is far from impossible. With a little advance planning and creativity, you can enjoy everything that summer has to offer without draining your bank account.

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