Taking a summer vacation doesn’t have to break your budget. Consider these options for creating a healthy, relaxing summer break:
- Sleep at home. If hotel or rental prices are more than you can afford, consider a vacation comprised of local day trips. Sleeping in your own bed could substantially decrease your vacation costs. You’ll save money if you eat breakfast and dinner at home, too.
- Camp. Camping is another way to save money on lodging costs. If you don’t already own camping equipment, check into rental options. You could also look into renting an RV.
- Pack a cooler. A cooler is an essential tool for road trips. Not only can you bring your own food, but you can save leftovers for later. If you are staying in a hotel, look for one that has a refrigerator and microwave. Pack some paper plates, silverware, and a microwave-safe dish so you can easily warm your leftovers.
- Use a gas app. Apps like GasBuddy or Gas Guru will help you determine where gas is cheapest along your route. If you belong to a gas rewards program, choose gas stations where you will receive points or discounts (when possible).
- Find free activities. Odds are you will have at least a couple of expensive “must do” activities on your vacation list. Pair these with inexpensive options such as going to the beach, taking a walk through a park, or visiting a free or low-cost museum. Take advantage of senior or student discounts where available.
- Maintain a manageable schedule. Packing your vacation with wall-to-wall activities is expensive — and exhausting! Instead, limit your schedule to one or two activities per day. This will leave time to explore the area you’re visiting, have a leisurely lunch, or take an afternoon nap. Building downtime into your schedule is especially helpful if you are traveling with children.