7 Frugal Summer Vacation Ideas
We’re about halfway through summer and gas prices are steadily rising. If you’re one of the many Americans who decided to nix the vacation this year due to a tight budget, perhaps consider one of the following vacation ideas before summer completely passes by. Here are 7 frugal summer vacation ideas.
Camping is one of the cheapest family vacation ideas. You can find a campground in most cities; there are tons of state parks and 58 National Parks like the Grand Canyon, Yellowstone, Yosemite and the Everglades. Passes and fees to camp are very inexpensive and you save a ton on food since you pack (or catch) your own. Plus sitting around a campfire, enjoying nature is a great bonding experience whether you’re with the whole family or just your significant other.
Jump on last-minute deals
With less people traveling this summer, many cruises, flights, hotels, etc. have a lot of vacancies, meaning cheap last-minute deals for you. Websites like Expedia and Cheap Tickets have pages devoted to last-minute deals, and you can use sites like Airfarewatchdog and Yapta to alert you when prices drop. Of course you will have to be flexible and already have some money saved up, but planning a last-minute vacation can be done very inexpensively. And who couldn’t use a little spontaneity in their lives?
Take a road-trip
Yes gas prices are rising, but an old-fashioned road trip can still be inexpensive. If you don’t have kids, invite some friends to split the gas. If you do have kids, limit the stops at corner stores and pack a large cooler and snacks instead. The fun is in the adventure, tell stories and sing cheesy songs along the way. You don’t have to travel cross-country, maybe combine it with a camping vacation and head to a National Park.
Visit friends and family
Do you have friends and family who now live in other states that you haven’t seen in a while? Well, plan a trip to visit them. Some people avoid this kind of vacation because they don’t want to be seen as a hindrance or a mooch, but if you call up your friend or family member and ask if you can crash at their place and show you around town they may be delighted. However, make sure you’re a good houseguest. If they’d like to show you around but don’t have room for you look for free lodging by using groups like CouchSurfing, Servas or Tripping.
Consider a house swap
House swapping was made famous by the movie The Holiday with Cameron Diaz. Websites like International Home Exchange Network and HomeLink International allow you to speak with other families and swap houses for a week or two.
Take a Staycation
If there is no way you can get off of work for too long, enjoy a nice and relaxing Staycation. Turn off your phone and computer and set an auto-reply on your email, then relax. Do all of the things you’ve been wanting to but haven’t had the time for. Movie marathon on a Tuesday night- why not? Maybe you can rediscover your city and go on some touristy activities. Check out this 2013 Frugal Staycation Guide and Daytrip Ideas from Mommy Savers. Casey with My Money suggests organizing a block party and Geocaching also.
Explore a city near yours
Whether you hop a Greyhound or take a road-trip, exploring another city can a great frugal vacation. Use the 2013 Frugal Staycation Guide above to see what other cities have to offer and some of the sites above like CouchSurfing or Home Exchange Network to find free or inexpensive lodging instead of spending on a hotel.