It’s the Summer of Fun here, ya’ll!
Not only are we planning to fill every available day with some sort of fun activity, we’re finding the best, most creative ways to do out Summer of Fun on a budget. We’ve come up with awesome, budget-friendly vacations to take this summer.
And yes, we’re going to do them all!
The Camping Vacation
Once you’ve put up the money for initial supplies like a tent, air mattress, and camping chairs, camping is an extremely cheap vacation. You can cook the same food that is already on your meal plan – albeit tweak a bit for a campfire – , we wear the same clothes, and renting campsites is super cheap to do. We have actually rarely paid for a campsite, since we usually camp with friends and crash on their site. Eventually I suppose we’ll have to pay for a campsite, but doing so usually costs $20 or less for a 4-day weekend.
The Amusement Park Vacation
If you’re haven’t already heard, springing for amusement park season tickets can actually be a really cost-effective way to enjoy summer. We as a family love roller coaster, and since half of our season passes were paid for by someone else, $64 for an entire summer of fun was a no-brainer. Check into local amusement parks near you and see if they offer reasonably priced season passes, and be sure to find out if they give any discounts to military personnel, or members of certain organizations.
Another thing to consider, if you’re a sucker for amusement park food (let’s face it, I’m one of those people) is purchasing a season meal pass. Our local 6 Flags offers season meal passes for $85, and with how my husband alone eats, that will pay for itself in 2 visits. Plus, then you don’t have the hassle of packing food in a cooler every time you go!
The All-Inclusive Vacation
All-inclusive vacations can be surprisingly affordable, especially in locations like Mexico or Jamaica. For most people, the hardest part of planning a vacation is making sure that all of the components (food, activities, lodging) work together and fit into the budget. With and all-inclusive vacation, not only are there less pieces of the puzzle to make fit, which means more time and less stress so you can enjoy your vacation, but you can often expect to pay less for an all-inclusive package than if you were to buy everything separately. Just be sure to choose an affordable destination, book your vacation for the off-season, and ask about any and all discounts so you know that you’re getting the best deal you can!
We’re planning to head to Mexico, and although the dates are not finalized yet, we’re looking at paying about $160 per night. It may not actually happen until the spring of next year, but we’re definitely planning it now!
The Staycation Vacation
St. Louis boasts an amazing staycation experience, and chances are your city does too! Check out Trip Advisor for great adventures in your city, and don’t forget to check admissions prices. After all, free is always better! If you strike out on Trip Advisor, head over to Pinterest and type “(Your City) Staycation” in the search bar. Someone out there has written an awesome post about staycation ideas for their city, and you can take advantage of their ideas for free!
The Cruise Vacation
Similar to an all-inclusive vacation, cruises can be a great way to see the world for a great price. Of course, if you book during peak cruise season, and for the most popular destinations with the newest ships, the cost of a cruise is going to be pretty expensive. However, if you have flexible dates, travel locations, and can book last-minute, cruises can be ridiculously affordable. Think of booking a cruise like booking a hotel. Waiting until the last minute will get you the best deal as cruise lines want to fill every room on that cruise ship. The closer the departure date, the cheaper the room will be!
We’re planning a 4-day cruise this summer celebrate our anniversary (even though it was in February) and to see if we even like cruising! More details to come, I promise!
The Roadtrip Vacation
All hail the roadtrip! Sometimes a college kids trip, sometimes a family trip, we have our sights set on a shorter, more family-oriented roadtrip this year. Roadtrips have become glamorized somehow, but if we’re being honest here, I’m terrified. We’re thinking probably Chicago, to hit up the 6 Flags there, and see the sights. Chicago is also a good destination for us because it’s close enough that we can travel for about 3 hours a day, stopping to see the sights on Illinois along the way, spend a couple days in Chicago (honestly, who need more than that) and then repeat the same 3-hour travel days returning – all within a week! It will be great teacher and learning experience for us!
Now honestly, at least one of these vacations probably will not end up happening, because that’s just life, but each of these budget friendly vacations, with the right preparation, can be super frugal! No matter what budget vacation we’re talking about, saving money on vacation is all about preparation and timing.
Do you homework, or recruit someone who can, and above all, make sure to travel in the off-season!
What are your favorite budget friendly vacations?