Does the perfect summer vacation seem out of reach for your family this year? Did you forget to save up or had an unexpected expense deplete your vacation fund? No worries! Cheap summer vacations are entirely possible and more attainable than you may think.
STAYING WITH FRIENDS AND FAMILY IS USUALLY FREE!
Have you started to search for the greatest ideas for cheap summer vacations? If family or friends have ever offered you their beach house, lake house, or home in the country, now is the time to take them up on it! If saving money is key, why not call and ask your old college friend to stay in her beach house or pop in and surprise your aunt in the country? People tend to make offers when they are comfortable following through. Staying with family and friends, or at their vacant home, is either very cheap or totally free!
Tip: If you feel funny taking something for nothing, offer to buy the groceries while your family is there or leave money for a cleaning lady, if applicable!
Near or far, staying with someone you know will save your family, tremendously. You will have more money to spend on activities in the area. Even if you have family and friends willing to provide you with cheap summer vacations somewhere other than your dream location- stay with them anyway. Go on an adventure with your family and find fun new things to do. After all, a vacation is staying somewhere other than home. Think of the joy you will bring to whoever has been offering you a place to vacation for years. They will love to show you around their town. Remember- room and board will be f-r-e-e!
Read More: Click here for tips on planning vacations with kids!
SEARCH FOR BOGO DEALS WHILE BOOKING YOUR HOTEL ROOM.
In the event you have no family or friends willing to offer your family their home, be on the lookout for hotels and resorts offering BOGO deals. Why not take the family to an indoor water park? Kalahari Resorts, with locations in Ohio, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, and opening soon in Texas, periodically offer a buy one night and stay the next night free deal. Water park admission is included in the room fare. The best part is the hassle-free check-out process. They merely deactivate your wristband which acts as a room key. You are then free to use the resort’s amenities for the rest of the day. Visit Kalahari Resorts for more information.
THERE ARE PERKS TO BEING FLEXIBLE
A great tip for planning cheap summer vacations is to stay in a neighboring town. If you have a vacation destination in mind such as Mystic, Connecticut, try staying within a twenty-five-minute radius. Popular vacation destinations jack up the prices during peak summer months. It is cost effective to go outside a reasonable distance in order to save on hotel fares. You can also try to travel with other families. Plan a trip with your sister and her family or your kids’ friends and their families. Renting a beach house together with other families you know will help to keep your vacation cheaper.
If you have your heart set on staying at the beach near the water but the peak season prices are not fitting that into your budget- try staying lakeside instead! Some lakefront options end up being cheaper, roomier, and overall nicer than beachfront. Generally, staying near a lake is nowhere near as crowded as if you were to stay on the beach.
Read More: A great way to be flexible is in planning the duration of your trip. Check out these great weekend getaway ideas.
AIRBNB & BUNDLING
Airbnb is a cost-effective alternative to pricey hotel rooms. On the Airbnb website, you can find entire houses available to choose from, last minute rooms, as well as pet-friendly spaces. They offer a “plan your dream vacation” tab. Your dream is to find cheap summer vacations so this is a great place to begin. You should definitely consider Airbnb while searching for your ideal destination. You can literally find a room anywhere in the world. You will also find suggested excursion activities.
BUNDLING CHEAP SUMMER VACATIONS STYLE
While hunting for the right place for your family to stay, consider package deals. Many hotels offer deals such as combining hotel and airfare, hotel and excursions, hotel and park admission tickets, or hotel and car rental into a package deal. Be sure to ask the establishment what they may offer.
Tip: Always call the hotel and speak to a representative (even if you prefer to book online). They often have more information than you can find online. You can also place a special request for early check-in and late check-out with no additional fees.
ARE YOU CRUISING FOR A DEAL?
If a cruise is on your radar, call and ask what deals are currently being offered. Cheap summer vacations are even possible if you want to take your family out to sea. Many cruise lines offer special discounts and incentives all year long. Norwegian Cruise Line often has a promotion that includes the third and fourth passenger sailing for free. You just have to pay the taxes and gratuity charges. Along with that, they offer the choice of onboard fine dining credit, unlimited open bar, onshore excursion credits, wifi, and free or reduced airfare. Prices tend to go down as travel dates get closer. Visit Norwegian Cruise Line to plan your family’s trip. Some cruise lines even offer a kids sail free deal.
BE CONTENT WITH WHAT YOU CAN AFFORD! THINK… CHEAP. SUMMER. VACATIONS.
While planning your family’s cheap summer vacation- think outside of the box. As cliché as that may seem, consider alternatives. Since prices to stay on the beach skyrocket during the summer, why not head to the mountains? Be open to the idea of simply getting away from your home and out of your routine for a few days. Cheaper ideas that can be closer to home include camping, cabin rentals, or even a staycation. Try visiting a museum, national park, fun park, or presidential home in your area. If your budget is very limited, you can always take your family on day trips. Go to a water park, lake, aquarium, seaport, or beach for the day. The right day trip can realistically be within three hours of your home.
Read More: Click for more staycation ideas.
THERE ARE WAYS TO SAVE MONEY, EVEN WHILE TRAVELING.
Regardless of where you ultimately decide to stay, you can make your vacation cheaper by purchasing tickets for aquariums, museums, or amusement parks online. Most establishments offer a discounted price if you purchase your family’s tickets ahead of time online. Along with that comes avoiding long lines. This option is a win-win situation. Not to mention you will be helping the environment by showing your virtual ticket in place of a paper one.
PLAN AHEAD WHENEVER POSSIBLE
Another piece of advice is to plan ahead of time where applicable. You can have a credit card that allows you to rack up airline points. Grocery stores offer gas discounts when you hit a certain dollar amount spent within the store. Road trip, anyone? Store credit cards, such as Banana Republic, offer point systems that turn into rewards. You can earn points on every purchase made with monthly incentives and added points for items such as groceries or gas. In-store points also increase periodically. The best part about the Banana Republic rewards system is that you can use them at Old Navy, Athlete, and Hill City. You can use the rewards to purchase vacation clothing for the entire family!
If you are planning ahead, search the sales racks when you have time. If you do not have time, make the time! End of season sales can be incredible! Buy larger sizes for your children to grow into. You can find amazingly cheap summer clothing for the following year at the end of the season.
REMEMBER TO READ THE REVIEWS!
One final piece of advice is to always read the reviews! Yes, you are on the lookout for cheap summer vacations, but you also want to be able to relax and enjoy your trip. Make sure to read reviews written by parents, specifically. They will give you the most accurate point of view pertaining to families.
Tip: Cleanliness and comfort is not an area you want to skimp out on.
DIG OUT YOUR LUGGAGE & GET PACKING!
It is important to remember that cheap summer vacations are possible! Be open-minded and creative. Your family will have a blast doing whatever you plan! Use your community resources. Most libraries have popular museum, aquarium, and theme park passes available for check out. If unavailable at your local library, they can direct you to the regional office for guidance. A free family pass covering admission is the perfect way to save! In addition, it never hurts to call the hotel or establishment directly and ask any questions you may have. Most places grant early check-in or late check-out upon request, if available. That always helps when traveling a far distance. Be sure to mention any special needs your family members may have. Bon, voyage!
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