Archive for June, 2010

How to Vacation When Your Budget doesn’t Allow Travel.

Vacation at Home without breaking the bank

Summer Fun can be Cheap

Everyone wants their family to have fun during the summer. If you can’t afford to take your kids on a week-long vacation to Disneyworld or the beach, you can still have a good time without overspending and make it a summer that they will remember.

For much less money than flying or driving your family cross-country for a summer getaway, you can explore your own backyard by becoming a tourist in your city. With a little effort you can get out of the rut of watching TV all summer and being immersed in your daily routine and instead see the adventures around you with new eyes.

Your town may have certain days during the summer that offer free admission to the zoo, museums, arboretum or botanical gardens. By doing things close to home, you can offer your family an entire summer’s worth of adventures instead of just a week away. Your kids will enjoy spending more time with you and being able to do many different things. When staying close to home, it is possibly to make every weekend a “staycation.”

If you have a camera, let your child take photos of the places you go. There are always coupons for photo processing that will let you print pictures for pennies. If you don’t own a camera, buy a disposable and let your child take a few photos at each place you visit. Give them a notebook that they can journal in. At the end of the summer, they can turn the journal entries and photos and create a scrapbook of their summer fun. They won’t feel left out when they go back to school and the teacher asks everyone, “what did you do for your summer vacation.”

Resources:

  • Do an internet search for your city or county to find the official government website. On the website for your city, you should be able to find links to interesting events and free summer activities.
  • Do an internet search for “your city” + day trips. You can find interesting places to explore with your family that are a short drive (2-3 hours at the most) from your town.
  • Visit your public library and/or bookstore and ask if they have a “local” section. Many times there are books featuring day trips, hiking trails, outdoor excursions, and interesting locales that are near you.

Do’s

  • Encourage your kids to help you plan where to go. Get them excited about vacationing close to home by getting them involved in the process.
  • Pack a lunch. If you’re taking a short drive for a day trip, or visit to the arboretum or park, pack a cooler with sandwiches, snacks, and drinks. Eating out is expensive, and food kiosks at the zoo or other spots can be particularly pricey. Make it fun by having a picnic outdoors on a bench or under a tree. Don’t forget to pack plates, plasticware, and a trash bag!
  • Explain to your children why you can’t take a traveling vacation this summer. If they understand that money is tight they will be less likely to pout and more likely to get involved with the summer plans.
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