It’s finally summer break! You’ve worked hard and you deserve to have fun, but can you do it without breaking the bank? In these hard times, we all have to watch what we spend, even on things we might have splurged on in the past. However, there are tons of options out there, one for every budget; sometimes you just have to get a little more creative.
For those of you with a smaller budget, think modest. Surely by now you have heard the term “staycation.” A staycation refers to saving money by taking your vacation locally and enjoying what your own city (or the city closest to you) has to offer. Sure, you may be experiencing the “been there, done that” feeling. But there must be things out there you haven’t yet experienced, and who knows, they could end up surprising you. Try using Google to look for new options within driving distance from your home, or pick up your local newspaper and search for events. Try visiting your local parks and museums, or perhaps a local festival or concert. Mix it up! The main goal is to just take a few days off from work and school to have some fun and experience something new.
If you can afford to splurge a little, try taking advantage of possible connections. Ask around and see if anyone you know has a room you could rent near an ideal vacation spot. You never know what might be available if you don’t ask. If you can’t find any good connections, see if any of your friends are interested in travelling with you and splitting the cost of a hotel room. Chances are that some of your friends want to get away just as much as you do. Just remember to include all expenses when calculating the budget for your trip, including gas, food, and activities.
If you have bigger vacation dreams, along with some money in savings, try booking a package deal. Websites such as travelocity.com offer last minute packages (which include flight, room, and rental car if needed) that can be very affordable. Statravel.com and adventurestudenttravel.com also offer package deals and discounts for students, youth, and teachers. Bargain shop! Take some time to compare prices of similar deals on various Websites—it could turn out to be well worth the extra planning time.
It may sound lame, but if you have the opportunity, don’t be shy to take your family up on the offer to tag along on a family trip. Sure, you’re older and may prefer to do things on your own terms, but you never know what kind of experiences you could be missing out on if you turn them down.
Feeling adventurous? Maybe couch surfing is right for you? Surprisingly, there are tons of people all around the world who are willing to offer to let you crash at their place for absolutely free! Couchsurfing.com verifies the locations of their members and gathers references and feedback in order to make the process as safe as possible. Not sure if it’s right for you? Check out their Website, which features lots of information as well as thousands of testimonials.
Being flexible, creative, and open minded can help you make the most out of your summer vacation. Don’t let this summer pass you by without a few fun experiences to remember. Do your research, calculate your budget, and start looking forward to good times!