Save Your Summer Vacation
In a bad economy, a summer vacation for the family can be one of the first luxuries to go. It doesn’t have to be if you follow these tips to afford a summer vacation.
In some cases, limited finances just won’t allow a vacation at all. But a summer vacation can probably still be saved. Here are tips:
Start a Spare Bill Jar to Save the Vacation
One way to get money for a vacation that might be more effective than you think is to start a spare bill jar. Even with as little as cash is used these days, throwing in an extra dollar bill or $5 bill in a big jar on the kitchen counter can accumulate pretty quickly (especially if you don’t make it a slush fund).
Now that we use less cash in general, also consider opening a savings account online that is connected to your checking. Every time you notice you have even $5, $10 or $20 extra, forego the latte or the lunch out and transfer it to your travel savings fund.
Summer Activities for the Family
Go Camping to Save the Vacation
Camping is both family-friendly and inexpensive. Even if some people in the family aren’t the camping types, there are many ways to keep camping affordable while making it less rugged. For example, many campgrounds rent out cabins or RVs so that you have a real roof on your head, have a bathroom, have running water and power, all the basics.
Beyond that, however, there are often many fun activities to do right at the campground, especially for the kids.
Watch for Hot Deals to Save the Vacation
The one positive for travel during a bad economy is that you can find some unbelievable deals on everything from airfare to hotels to getaway packages to attraction tickets (some will even allow you to upgrade to an annual pass for next to nothing, something to consider if it’s a frequent destination). Sign up on popular travel deal sites to get email notifications when a hot deal surfaces.
Visit Family or Friends to Save the Vacation
Visiting family or friends can save you hundreds on lodging and food (even if you buy some groceries to contribute to the food, since home-cooked food is much cheaper than restaurant and hotel room service food). If you visit family or friends near a fun destination, all of you can do some sightseeing just like any vacation.
Beyond that, it can be even more fun that traveling to a strange place where you know no one as a family. You will have free local tour guides, for one thing. You’ll also have hosts to take you where the tourists don’t know to go, such as undiscovered attractions and wonderful restaurants.
Family Summer Fun on a Budget
With gas prices rising and people’s pocketbooks getting smaller and smaller, it is no wonder that many people are canceling large family vacations that require traveling by car. What’s a family to do if going on that much-needed family trip isn’t an option this summer? How about having fun in your own backyard? Yes, you can do fun things with your family and not break your budget.
For those of you not wanting to travel this summer, how about checking out local parks in your area with the family? Many city and state parks are great places to spend the day as a family. No, it isn’t a big trip to Disney, but it can be fun and isn’t a budget breaker! City parks often have great swimming pools or aquatic areas for the entire family to enjoy. State parks often offer lakes to swim in, boat rental and even cabin rentals, all without having to drive too far, thus saving on that expensive gas!
Try taking your family to the park. First pack up the picnic basket with all of your favorite junk food and then spend a day together, swimming, boating, and pigging out. If your budget is up for it, and your state park offers them, why not rent a cabin for the night? Spend the night roasting marshmallows, playing games and staying up late. If the park allows, take the little ones fishing and watch their faces delight in catching a fish. Your family can make its own fun at the park, without breaking your budget!
Are state parks out of the question for you? Have you hit all of the city parks in your area? If so, why not make a day of water fun right in your own backyard? Yes, you can design your own family water area and keep your budget in check also! Do you have a Slip and Slide? If not, you can purchase one for a very reasonable price. Get the Slip and Slide out, fill up that pool (even if it is just a wading pool), and turn on the sprinkler. Viola! Instant water-park for you and your family!
Make sure to bring your beach towels and sunscreen for your family’s day at your water-park. How about also setting up that sports net and playing some badmitton? What about getting out that croquet set that is gathering dust in the garage? After all, nothing screams “family get together” more than playing croquet! Make sure to also purchase some water balloons so that you and your family can enjoy a great water balloon fight. Family fun in your own backyard! It can be done!
Is it too hot outside for you and the family to be outdoors this summer? If so, why not start a family movie night. Set a weekly night where the entire family must be home for movies, food and fun! Each movie night let a different person pick what movie will be watched and let them also choose what foods to serve. Pile everyone onto the couch with the food, turn off the lights and enjoy some family time together while watching a great flick!
Is your budget to the breaking point this summer? Did you have to cancel that family vacation you were looking forward to this year? If so, it is understandable to be upset. You can have fun and enjoy your family and stay close to home to boot! You just have to learn to make your own family fun to save your budget! Try some of the ideas in this article and see just how fun it can be to spend time with your family and keep that budget from breaking!
Free Family Activities for Summer
Summer provides the perfect opportunity for families to get out and get active together. Parents can enjoy and encourage family fun this summer, and, with a little research, do it without breaking the bank.
Visit a Museum
Figuring out how to spend your summer days often depends on the weather. Hot and humid days are perfect occasions for indoor family fun at local museums. Everyone will appreciate the air-conditioning, and museums are a great way to keep your kids learning while they are out of school for the summer.
Many museums also offer hands-on activities and interactive exhibits for children. Before departing on your day of family fun, find out when the museum offers free admission. Bring lunches and snacks to keep your expenses down.
Take a Hike or Ride a Bike
If you want to encourage an active lifestyle for your kids, family fun should mean group walks, hikes and bike rides. These family fun activities don’t cost anything. They also promote a healthy, active lifestyle, and provide opportunities for family fun outdoors, allowing you to explore your natural surroundings together.
Find a national park, hiking or biking trail, or nearby lake or beach that would make for a decent day trip; pack the car; and head out for a day of family fun. Keep costs down by choosing a location within 30 to 60 minutes of your home. Pack your own cooler with lunches, drinks and snacks. Choose a day that isn’t unbearably hot if you want to keep children and teenagers happy.
Summer means beautiful flowers, fresh fruit and vegetables, and a well-maintained garden, especially when your family gets involved. Make gardening one of your “go-to” family fun activities.
While you’ll need to spend some money in late spring to get the garden started, maintaining it and eating the fruits of your labor saves money in the long run and provides hours of family fun. Set aside time during the week or weekend for family gardening. Give everyone a special task. Make a game of it to keep gardening fun for younger kids.
Family fun in the water is one of the most popular ways to enjoy summer. Beaches and some public pools often have free admission. Take advantage and enjoy these great ways to cool off from the summer heat.
If you’re concerned about money, take day trips to local beaches instead of staying overnight. Visit pools during free or open days instead of spending money for each entry. If beaches or pools are not an option, make your own water park for some free family fun. Get out the sprinkler and let the kids run through; set up a small plastic pool for the little ones; and let the adults have a go at the Slip ‘N Slide.
The entire family can enjoy a homemade water park in the comfort of your backyard.
Fun Free Activities for Kids to do in the Summer
Children can often find themselves very bored by the second week of summer vacation from school. There are things that kids can do free of cost to keep them occupied and out of trouble.
Children don’t have to sit idle all summer trying to figure out what to do with themselves when there are so many things available in nearly every town across America.
Vacation Bible School
This activity is completely fun and nearly every church has one. It’s a time for kids to learn about God and it’s done with fun activities that your child will love. There is singing, games and snack time. It is one of the most fun activities for children to do during the summer. Find out when your local churches are having Vacation Bible School and sign your kids up today. You don’t have to be a member of the church for your kids to enjoy this free fun activity.
Many local libraries have fun free things for the kids to do all summer. One of the most fun free things for kids to do in the summer is go to story time at the local library. These readings are held once a week or so and the kids will look forward to going. The children will also learn when they attend children’s reading hour. Take this activity into consideration when your kids say they are bored. It could be just the thing to keep their minds occupied.
Local bookstores, much like libraries, often have free activities for children. Barnes and Noble, for one, has great story times with a theme built around the story. It isn’t just story time but a time that children are able to be creative themselves after hearing the book reading. Check your local bookstore to see if they have such activities and get your children involved in it. You aren’t losing anything, including money because it is all free of charge.
Schools/Local Fire Departments/Police Department
All of these places often have activities for the kids to do during the summer but you have to know when those activities are. Pay attention to when one of these places has something going on for kids to teach them about safety and other things while they have fun. They all want your kids to be safe so they have programs that run throughout the summer.
Check into your local boys/girls clubs to see what activities they have happening this summer. Kids can keep busy all summer long with these activities and many of them are free. It’s a great way for kids to keep busy during the summer and meet new friends as well.
These are just some of the free activities that are available for kids during the summer. Keeping the kids busy will keep them off the streets and out of trouble. They are well worth looking into and you won’t hear the kids constantly saying how bored they are.
Summer vacation from school looks good to kids in the first week or so. After that, they walk around aimlessly trying to figure out what to do and that is when they get into trouble.
Free and Cheap Summer Activities
With summer quickly approaching, many parents are wondering how they’ll spend hot the hot summer afternoons. If you’re like many parents, you won’t want your child wasting hours of valuable daylight time in front of the television, playing video games or texting until it’s dinnertime.
There are many options available that are free or affordably priced that will allow kids some time to exercise, learn and expand their interests. With a little looking, and perhaps convincing, your son or daughter could have a safe, nurturing summer ahead of him or her.
One popular option is to spend time swimming. There are an abundance of swimming locales available to you. If you’re looking for outdoor swimming, one suggestion is to use your state’s Department of Natural Resources website. Once you search for your state and DNR using a search engine, you can simply look up rivers and lakes near your home. The site will provide information about access, fees and even boating and fishing opportunities.
If your family isn’t keen on the possibility of seaweed and wildlife sharing your swimming area, you could consider visiting a local pool. By logging into Swimmers’ Guide website, at www.swimmersguide.com, you can easily search for public pools in your area. The website offers information on locations, admission fees, hours and even reviews from people who have used the facility.
To completely avoid the sunshine and possibility of sunburn, you might consider a family outing to a movie matinee. Not only are the theatres far less busy during the afternoon hours, but most offer a decent discount before peak hours begin. Show times are likely printed in your local newspaper. They can also be found online, by looking at your theatre’s website. One commonly searched site is www.fandango.com, which offers a search option and online ticket purchase.
An enriching activity to encourage your children to partake in is reading. What better way to encourage them than by example? Make it a weekly outing! All you need is an hour a week to share your love of reading and learning. You can search for your public library’s hours of operation by using www.publiclibraries.com. Many local branches have their own websites that advertise hours, offer online book requests and a calendar of events.
As you can see, there are several opportunities to spend quality time with your kids this summer. Don’t waste the summer by filling it with hours of television and dozens of “I’m bored” statements from various family members.
Make it a summer to remember!