It seems like we were just experiencing blustery winter weather, but summer will be here before you know it! With the kids and their friends home from school, you’ll need to come up with some fun and inexpensive activities that will keep everyone entertained. The cost of trips to the amusement park will quickly add up, so here are some tips for making the most of your summer without breaking the bank.
Outdoor activities are the best and easiest ways to entertain young children. Grab a bike and explore new parts of town, or go for a walk. Start a garden so you can enjoy fresh produce over the next few months. If you live in a neighborhood with lots of kids, summer is a great time to get everyone together for a friendly game of softball or kickball. Speaking of sports, search online or in your local newspaper to see if there are any minor league baseball teams in your area. They offer the same fun experience as Major League games, but tickets cost about half as much.
Find free or discounted activities!
We’re going to let you in on a little known secret: there are plenty of places out there – museums, libraries, bowling alleys – that offer free summer activities. Not to mention, many restaurants have “Kids Eat Free” nights. Going out to eat for dinner can be a great way to add some variety to your family’s summer routine. On the occasional rainy day, take a trip to your local movie theater and take in a matinee movie. Daytime tickets are often cheaper and, if you plan ahead, you can go on a day when the theater offers free popcorn and drink refills, or discounted snack items. When the weather is nice, check out your town’s website for any upcoming festivals or activities, like a Movie under the Stars event, or an Arts and Crafts Festival.
If you’ve got your heart set on vacation, plan ahead and budget wisely.
Transportation, food and lodging are the three biggest areas where you’ll spend money when you go on vacation. If you start planning your vacation far enough in advance, you may find cheaper airfare and hotel rates. Even though it might seem silly to start planning a summer vacation in December, your wallet will thank you in the end. The best way to budget for these things is to make an extremely detailed plan and itinerary. Will you ever need to pay for a taxi, or an airport shuttle? It’s these little details that will quickly eat away at your budget. Before leaving for your trip, consider what souvenirs or special activities you might want to splurge on and be sure to account for these in your budget. Don’t be afraid to enjoy yourself on vacation, just be sure you have a realistic expectation of how much money you’re going to spend. This USA Today article
has more great tips on how to plan a vacation on a budget.
Summer is a time for making memories with your friends and family, so whatever you end up doing, just have fun and enjoy each other’s company!
Article submitted by Jeff