With kids at home and the prospect of family vacations on the horizon, the summer is often a very expensive time for parents. The summer does not have to put as big of a hurt on your budget as you think though. Here are some ideas to help you save money.
Plan Your Vacation Before You Leave Home
If a summer vacation is in the works, extensive planning is the key to success. Planning your vacation before you leave home is the best way to ensure that you will have a relaxing, enjoyable time and spend as little money as possible.
Planning your vacation before you leave home can be a daunting task, but it doesn’t have to be. It doesn’t matter if you are traveling for business or pleasure, there are some things that need to be prioritized and others that can be left until later.
The most important thing to do when planning your vacation is setting a budget and sticking with it. This involves working out what you can afford and what kind of experience you want; whether this means luxury hotels or budget hotels.
Once you have a budget in mind, you can choose a destination that fits your price range and be realistic. Planning a trip to Disney for 2000 dollars is probably not going to happen, but you can certainly hit a national park or something similar for that price tag.
Searching For Deals On Hotels And Airfare
This is an area of your vacation planning where you can really save big. The trick is to plan well in advance, at least two months. The further away from the vacation, the better the deals will be. This is especially true of destinations that are unsure about the level of post pandemic consumer interest. They will offer deals in advance, until they start booking up.
There are many ways to find deals on hotels and airfare for your next vacation. You can use travel websites like Expedia and Travelocity, which provide information about the prices of flights and hotel rooms from different companies in one place, so you don’t have to search all over the internet for deals. You can also use social media sites like Facebook where you might find an advertisement for a travel company with great deals on hotels or flights that ft your budget. Social media is also a great way to network with others looking for deals, so that you can team up.
Getting Around Your Destination With Public Transportation
With public transportation, you can explore a new area without worrying about the high cost of rentals or Uber rides.
The cheapest way to travel is by bus, but in some areas, you might need to book your tickets in advance or else they will be sold out. Trains are also a good option because they are usually cheaper than buses and offer more comfort at night.
The great thing about public transportation is that you save money and get a feel for the local culture. Where a taxi or airplane might leave you isolated, a bus or train will immerse you in the culture.
Playing Outdoors Games & Activities With Your Children
But enough about vacations, what about all of that free time at home during the summer? One cheap way to pass the time over the summer months is by playing outdoors as a family.
Playing outdoors is a great way to get some exercise, spend time with your kids, and enjoy nature. Here are some of the best outdoor games and activities for children.
1) Hiking: Hiking is a great way to explore the outdoors with your kids. You can choose from short hikes or long hikes depending on how adventurous you want to be.
2) Geocaching: Geocaching is a worldwide treasure hunt where you use GPS coordinates to find hidden containers filled with items. This game can be played by all ages, and there are geocaches in almost every country in the world.
3) Camping: Camping is one of the most popular outdoor activities for families because it’s inexpensive and easy to do almost anywhere in the world!
How About A Road Trip
The classic family road trip might seem like a potential nightmare for some parents, but if you pull it off you can save a lot of money over other vacations. Plus, it can be a whole lot of fun and will create memories for the ages.
Packing For Your Trip
Packing for a road trip can be a stressful process, especially when you are packing for the whole family. It is important to pack wisely and take into account the length of your trip, the weather and your destination.
Some people find it helpful to pack using a list. This can be done by writing down everything you will need on a piece of paper and then checking it off as you pack. You may also want to include items that are easy to forget such as toiletries or baby wipes. It is best to pack as completely as possible to avoid unexpected and expensive stops along the way.
More Cheap Things That You Can Do With My Kids
There is a lot of time to kill over the summer, so the more ideas that you have up your sleeve, the better.
One thing that you can do with your kids is to take them on a walk. This is a great way to get exercise and spend time with your children. You can also go swimming or play catch in the park.
It doesn’t have to be expensive to have fun with your children. With planning ad research, you can plan excursions for the whole summer that don’t cost more than 250 dollars in total.
Mom & Dad Don’t Need To Be Left Out
It is important for parents to have time to themselves so that they can maintain their sanity and so that they can make time for their partner. What this means is that you need a baby sitter. Ideally, you would turn to family for a free source of child care, but if that is not an option, you will have to spend a little money.
The cheapest way to do that is with Parents Night Out events. These are often held by local cities and kid gyms and can cost as little as $20 for a night. Not a bad deal for parents and much cheaper than the 100 dollars a babysitter might cost for just a few hours of time.
Many parents are also turning to online platforms like Care.com, which has a wide range of babysitting options from nannies to grandparents, and even college students.
In-home childcare is a popular option, especially with official services that provide some level of accountability. Is it expensive? It can be, but the money spent will be well worth it when you get to relax with your partner alone.