Summer break carries the temptation of expensive vacations for any family including lots of kids and fun-loving adults. School-age families might take the opportunity for that trip to Disney, while college students dream of a week in a sunny local like Cabo or Miami.
A good vacation is important to overall performance, physical health and building relationships with those closest to you — but it doesn’t have to break the bank. Instead of a flight+rental car+hotel spending spree, consider these alternative adventures for this year.
This doesn’t have to mean visiting grandma, or even a blood relative. Simply spend this summer break visiting a loved one in a distant town. You get to catch up, you have a local guide, and you don’t have to spend money on a hotel.
The summer weather is perfect for being outdoors and many campgrounds are open and ready for business. The money you save as compared to a hotel room is only one benefit of this kind of vacation. Campfire ghost stories, complaining about the pit toilet, and building s’mores all build memories you’ll share for years to come.
Any metropolitan area will have a smorgasbord of activities during your summer travels. Some will specifically target students with time on their hands, while others are just part of the city’s seasonal calendar. Hitting a new activity every day makes for a varied and interesting vacation without having to leave home.
A service project can make this time away enriching and fun. Depending on your budget, this might just mean going to local nonprofits for the day. With a little money and forward planning, you can get involved in service travel — a growing industry where you can volunteer to build homes in a new city, work on an archaeological dig, or load supplies in a developing nation.
This choice works best for adult children or families with newborns and toddlers. Tell everybody you’re leaving town for the week, then lock your doors and turn off your phones. Use the week — or even a few days — to recharge your batteries and relationships with an orgy of home cooking, rented videos, board games and chatting.
Summer travel on the road costs a little for gas and lodging, but shared between a handful of friends the total is relatively small. This is the stereotypical adventure for a reason — it’s cheap and interesting, and you get to know your friends and family better during the hours spent in the car.
What’s your favorite vacation activity? Share a few of your favorite cheap and fun travel ideas.
Photo Credit: N1NJ4