Summer is coming and you are living on a budget. That doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the warm and sunny days of June, July and August. With proper planning and patient searching, you just might be able to look back in September at some of the fun you had, rather than wishing you had the money to have a good time.
The biggest key to having a fun, guilt-free experience is planning. It may be, that after all your planning you discover you just don’t have very much to spend on fun outings. In that case, plan for what you can afford.
The first thing you should look for are things you can do for free. This will likely mean you will be staying at home, though later we’ll discuss a way you can stay away from home for nothing. Every place has something nearby that can be memorable as a day trip that doesn’t cost anything. Along the coasts, it can be the beach. Elsewhere, it can be scenic hikes. Check out the buildings in your area that have unique character, or find local places that offer free tours.
If you do have a little bit of money to spend, figure out exactly how much that is before you start looking for ideas. That way you are less likely to get your heart set on something you would have otherwise said was off limits. Once you know your budget, look for the deals on sites like Groupon. There you might find inexpensive tours or excursions.
If you have enough money to travel to somewhere, but perhaps not enough to stay in a hotel, consider the sites that let you trade homes for a certain amount of time. Many people travel to foreign locations and trade homes for a week or two. If you’re living on a budget chances are you won’t have the money to go to a foreign destination, but there are opportunities to trade housing within the United States as well. If you are renting, you will want to check with your landlord before you pursue such a venture. And it’s also a good idea to do as much due diligence as you can about who you’re trading with. But a successful trade could mean an inexpensive way to visit a place you otherwise thought you could not afford.
Other ideas to save on travel include carpooling with others to get to a destination, staying in hotels during the week in scenic getaway areas and on the weekends in cities and taking short vacations close to home, but far enough away to feel like you’re not home.
Again, the key in saving money is planning. Find out what you can afford, then begin to make your summer one you will remember.