How to Have Summer Fun While on a Budget

Are you ready for summer? For many, summer is a time to let loose and have fun. But with the sun shining, many families tend to ramp up their spending. Whether it’s on days out, activities for the kids, or vacations, summer can be an expensive season.

What if you’re on a budget? If you want to save money this summer, don’t worry. There are plenty of ways to have fun while keeping costs low. We put together a list of ways to save this summer while still taking advantage of the warmer weather.

6 ways to have fun and save money this summer

1. Be a tourist in your own town

Have you ever really explored your own town? Many of us take the areas we live in for granted and never truly experience everything our town has to offer. 

It may feel strange at first, but imagine you were a tourist visiting. Where would you go? Are there any public parks or outdoor activities you’ve always been meaning to try out? What about museums, libraries, or even national parks nearby?

If you usually drive around your town, try taking everything in on foot instead. You could find your next favorite spot just by wandering around.

2. Take a road trip to your nearest national park

While it may cost a bit of money in gas, visiting a national park is a fantastic way to spend a day with family or friends. 

Visiting a national park is one of the best summer vacations on a budget you can take since many offer reasonable entrance fees and even campsites to stay overnight. For example, Yellowstone National Park lists their entrance fees as $35 per car or $20 per person on foot (both of these are valid for seven days). There are also plenty of campgrounds available to make it a real vacation. 

To keep costs low, another great money-saving tip for visiting national parks is to bring your own food and cookware rather than visiting one of the snack shops or restaurants in the area.

3. Visit your local park

If visiting a national park is not possible, check out any local parks in your area. They may not be as awe-inspiring as some of the national parks but they’re still a great way to get some fresh air. 

Check if there are any community events being held in your local park this summer, such as festivals, live music events, or other types of shows.

If there are a lot of local parks in your area, why not create a park bucket list? Make it your aim to visit as many of the local parks as you can this summer and tick them off as you go.

4. Give hiking or cycling a try

If you are looking to get fit this summer, why not have fun while doing it? Rather than buying a gym membership or expensive equipment for your home, give hiking or cycling a try. 

Dig out your old bicycle and hit the road. It’s also something you can do as a family or with a group of friends.

5. Try camping

If the expensive summer vacation is on hold this year, a great budget travel alternative is to try camping. If you have or know someone with a tent, camping is a great way to spend a summer weekend. 

There are many great camping spots across the country where you can spend time in nature and just get away for a few days. 

6. Plan a movie or gaming day

If the sun isn’t shining where you are this summer, some fun indoor activities can include hosting a movie or gaming day.

Visiting the movie theater is always great, but if it’s a bit out of your budget, a movie day at home is the next best thing. Try to create a cinema-like experience at home by dimming the lights, drawing the drapes, and loading up on popcorn and snacks. 

If games are more your thing, dig out your old board games and have a gaming day. If board games aren’t for you, you could try online co-op games instead, or even a quiz night to see who in your family will be crowned champion.

Ready to enjoy summer savings?

Saving money this summer while also having some fun might take a bit of research and planning, but there’s still plenty to do. While there are summer vacations on a budget you can take, to really save money, try out some free summer activities in your local area first.

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