Fun and Affordable Summer Vacations

David Sung | April 7, 2014

Summer is just around the corner, meaning it will soon be time to soak up some rays, relax, and spend quality time with family and friends outdoors.  Taking a summer vacation doesn’t have to be expensive or even mean traveling to faraway places.  This year, save money and plan an affordable summer vacation by exploring your own city, going camping, or turning your home into paradise.

Go Camping

Camping teaches unique skills, it builds courage, teaches us to appreciate the comfort we live in daily, and it can open people up for new experiences.  Even if you have never been camping before, everyone deserves to take a break from bustling city life.  Leave the electronics behind, and find a camping ground near you.  Nature’s a beautiful thing that we often forget about. So, go to a campground at a lake and take out a kayak, go swimming, or try your hand at fishing.  Grab a pot for some baked beans, some hot dogs, hamburgers and of course – s’ mores, and roast them over an open flame!  Many national parks are open to the public for camping, and if you’re lucky, they might even have natural caves open for amateur spelunking.

Local Events

Have you ever taken the time to be a tourist in your own city?  Act like a visitor and dig into what your city offers, thinking about the places you would take visiting friends or family: zoos, museums, art exhibits, or parks.  The summer is a great time for block parties and art festivals, so grab a blanket and snag a seat on a grassy hill and enjoy the live music.  Do you remember when drive-in movie theaters were popular?  Well, they’re back and better than ever!  Round up the family and arrive early to get prime real estate.  Get in the know about what’s going on in your city – just type in your zip code at Patch.com and explore what your hometown has to offer.

Staycation

A staycation is a vacation from work that you get to spend at home – willingly and without involving home improvement or other work.  The key to a successful staycation is breaking away from your daily activities and relaxing at home.  This means no laundry, no chores, and if you think you can handle it, no emails.  Try to replicate things that you would normally do while on a vacation, like going out to dinner, reading a book on the patio with a hot cup of coffee, or watching all the movies you’ve been missing.  Even though you’re at home, you’re still on vacation, and this means relaxation.  The best part of any staycation is that there is no travel involved – no expensive airplane tickets or gasoline, no lines, no canceled flights, and bad weather can’t get in the way.

A Mini-Vacation

Travel doesn’t have to come with a huge price tag, either. There are plenty of ways to get great deals on airfare if you need to get away for a weekend.  There are quite a few airfare aggregators online that collect prices on every route from the different airlines and combine them so you can see them in one place and compare their offers.  If you’re flexible with when you can leave and come back you can try playing around with departure dates to get better rates.  According to a study done by Texas A&M University, the best days to book a flight are Saturday and Sunday, and the best days to depart are Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Saturdays.

Whichever fun and affordable summer vacation you opt for, make it as enjoyable as possible and limiting your stress by planning ahead.  Bonus relaxation points if you are able to shut down the computer and stop responding to emails. That can wait until the next Monday when you’re fresh and ready to go.

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