in Search

Money Coach

Some Ideas For A “Budget Friendly” Family Summer Vacation

How to have fun while remaining budget-conscious and financially responsible ...

If you are like many Americans, the past few years of economic turmoil have taken their toll on budgets and bank accounts. Chances are, your family – especially your kids – are looking forward to a break from school and some fun times … Here are some ideas to help make planning summer fun more enjoyable, less stressful and less of a strain on the budget!

Even if your available budget is a concern when planning your summer vacation … you can still have a great time! There are many things you can do while remaining on a budget - and you can still have fun while being financially responsible.

First, take a look at your budget and savings. Decide how much you can afford to spend on family activities with your family. Ask your family for ideas. This will help you narrow down your choices as to activities. Turn it into a fun, brainstorming activity – pay attention to all suggestions - the kids may suggest going swimming or fishing to the zoo. Some of the ideas that are suggested may surprise you – and some of them may not cost very much!
  • Based on suggestions made during the brainstorming session, ask your friends for ideas on where to go. Use the Internet to research ways to make some of the ideas a reality. Look for options close to home if possible to save on travel costs.
  • Consider combining your vacation with close friends or extended family members. This can bring down the cost of accommodations as well, as you can negotiate for lower hotel rates.
  • Check out internet sites like to search for low-cost deals.
  • If you've chosen a pricey destination, consider reducing the number of days that you spend at your destination. Instead of a full week, consider a four-day weekend or a three day stay.
  • Visit family or friends. This can help you save on the cost of accommodations at your chosen destination.
  • Look for activities at home. Sometimes there are well kept secrets nearby – just waiting to be explored. Find out if your home town or city has a zoo, check into a summer membership at a local pool or visit those tourist sites nearby that usually get overlooked in favor of more exotic (and expensive) destinations.
  • Check with your local Chamber of Commerce, local schools or the tourist board for a list of summer activities.
  • Free is a really good price. Check out the newspaper, local radio station and the internet for a list of free events in your area.
  • Stay at home, but go on vacation mode. Plan for a "camping" weekend - put up a tent in the backyard and grill outdoors. Play games  on the lawn. Roast marshmallows at night over a campfire. Your kids will love it!
  • Plan pizza and movie nights.
Not every vacation idea has to cost an arm and a leg. You can have a fun vacation even without blowing the budget. Be creative – sometimes the best ideas are the ones that generate great memories of time spent together, regardless of the price tag.
Published Mar 31 2010, 10:07 PM by moneycoach
Add to Bloglines Add to Add to digg Add to Facebook Add to Google Bookmarks Add to Newsvine Add to reddit Add to Stumble Upon Add to Shoutwire Add to Squidoo Add to Technorati Add to Yahoo My Web

This Blog