Saturday, June 30, 2012
Summer on a Budget
Save Money on Summer Fun for any Budget
Saving money over the summer is hard to do when you have a family and everyone wants to do something to enjoy the great weather, but with a little creativity everyone can have summer fun on any budget.
Summer Travel on a Budget
When getting away for fun at the beach is what your family loves to do during the hot summer months, try getting a hotel room that is farther away from the beach. These hotels are much less expensive than ones that are on the beach, you will only have a short walk to the ocean, but you will save at least $50.00 to $100.00 per night.
Meals are a huge expense when you are on vacation. When you eat your meals near the beach, in an amusement park, or directly in the area where you are staying you will most likely pay 2 to 3 times as much for the same food you could find a few blocks away from the crowds. Your family can easily save $25.00 to $50 per meal. When you add that up it can save you hundreds of dollars.You can even pack your own snacks to cut down on added expenses that your kids might want during the day, just stop by a local supermarket and pick up some small items.
You could still have a great vacation with less money. Go over your expenses from your last vacation and see what you spent the most money on, the majority of the spending can be cut in half when you have a few simple ideas, and these tips are a great starting point.
If staying at a hotel is not in your budget, try camping. This is a great way to spend quality time with your family and friends, and the cost of a summer camping trip is not very expensive. If staying in a tent is out of the question for you there are many camping resorts that have cabins for rent. The cabins are still much cheaper than renting a hotel room and you can rent ones that have one or more rooms. At camping resorts, you will find plenty of things to do right in the campground. Most camping resorts have pools, baseball fields, game rooms, lakes, hiking trails and other activities. You will not have to leave the campground to have fun and it is all included in your rental of a cabin, or a campsite for a tent or camper.
When traveling for a summer vacation does not fit into your budget, day trips could be the answer. There are many theme parks where you pay one price for an entire day and night of rides and amusements. Many of the amusement parks now include water parks in the price of your ticket, you can spend the heat of the day at a wave pool or drifting down a lazy river in a tube, and at night you can try all the rides.
These parks are most crowded on the weekends and you could spend much of your time waiting in line.
Some parks have areas set aside for those who want to pack their own food and enjoy a picnic (much cheaper).
Discount coupons most parks are available if you look. You can find many online, at store counters and some are even are soda cans. If you can, order your tickets through the parks’ website, they also give you a discount.
Other good day trips include, museums, zoos, aquariums, the beach, and historical sites.
Free Day Trips
If theme parks or other “pay” day trips are not in your budget, try going on free day trips for summer fun on a budget.
No matter where you go and what you do for any trip remember, food is most expensive when you buy it at your destination. When you go on any summer trip you could save at least $50.00 (depending on the size of your family) when you pack your own sandwiches and drinks in a cooler. Pack the foods that you would have eaten if you stayed home and there is no added expense except the cooler.
are perfect for any day trip, they are inexpensive, and can last the entire
summer when you treat them with care.
Where to go is the question. Day trips can be free when you go to a public beach, park or even a community pool. There are so many free things to see and do in the world but not everyone takes advantage of them.
In the State Parks in this area of the world there are beautiful lakes for swimming and fishing, you can even bring blow up rafts or tubes to float around the water in, or you can go rafting, boating, or canoeing down gorgeous rivers. These free parks even have picnic tables and toilet facilities.
We even have a theme park close by where you can enter, walk around and watch live performers for free, you only pay for the rides you want to go on. There are a great deal of these parks around the country but everyone thinks it will be too expensive when they have to pay for every ride they go on, but that is not true. When you go to an amusement park where you pay one price and ride as much as you want you might find yourself waiting in line much of the time, which does not leave much time to actually ride anything, but when you pay as you go, you know that you will only pay for what you get to ride. If you enjoy the shows and walking around you do not need to spend any money and you can still have a great time on a free summer day trip.
I have searched for other places around the country and every state I checked had free things to do and see. There are probably places like this all around the world. (If anyone knows of any of free places to go please leave a comment and share your ideas)
Summer Fun at Home on a Budget
Many families will be staying around the house for the summer, to some this may sound boring, but there are plenty of summer fun things to do at home too. People tend to forget the simple pleasures of life, sitting on porch at night eating ice pops, throwing water balloons, soaking each other with water guns or the hose, catching fireflies. All of these things are fun for the kids to do, they do not need to go away and spend money to have a good time, in fact most of kids best memories are made right at home.
When I was growing up, my friends and I would play games like Manhunt, Red Light, and Tag. Our parents would cook hot dogs and hamburgers outside on the grill while we splashed around in a kitty pool to stay cool. At night, we would wait for the ice cream truck, maybe play “truth or dare” or “hide and seek” and just sit around and be kids. Our parents would sit outside and talk with the neighbors and we all had a good time. I remember those days to be some of the best times of my childhood and you can make those same summer fun memories for your children without putting a dent in your budget.
All you need to do to ensure great summer fun at home is to have a few things around the house that will not cost very much, change some of what you eat, and where you eat it.
Most things you might want for summer fun are at the Dollar Store, (if you are a follower of mine you know I love the Dollar Store) these are things that can fit within most every budget and are great fun at home. A few ideas are; water balloons, ice pops, plastic forks and knives, hot dog and hamburger rolls, water guns, a jump rope, chalk, and butterfly nets. Your kids will have hours of fun throwing water balloons, squirting each other with the water guns, drawing pictures with sidewalk chalk, chasing butterflies and stopping to eat ice pops. You can even get flashlights for games of hide and seek at night.
Try to cook outside on a grill and remember that more than hamburgers and hot dogs are delicious when cooked over charcoal. Chicken, pork and fish are also good when grilled. Eating outside with your family is another great summer idea, and paper plates with plastic forks and knives mean easy clean up.
Have a movie night and let your kids camp out in the backyard. You don’t need a tent, ask your kids and they will come up with great ideas for making their own.
Use these tips and add more of your own to make summer fun for your family even when you are on a tight budget.
Have a Great and Safe Summer