I love summer and I know I’m not alone. The longer days give us more time to squeeze in activities, even for those that continue to work a 9 – to – 5 job. But what I find is that I spend more money over the summer! Vacations, visiting family, and splurging on little excursions here and there can add up.

Yet, it needn’t break the bank. Here are a few ideas to reduce the costs:

Keep it Close to Home

Instead of taking an extended and expensive vacation, choose a couple of shorter trips that aren’t as far away.

  • Take a train to a nearby city. Spend a day or two exploring a neighboring city, short train rides are less expensive than airfare and can be a great way to relax. My personal favorite is taking the train to Santa Barbara for the day.
  • Go camping. I recently wrote an article about camping. It’s a fun and frugal mini-vacation that anyone can enjoy…and I mean anyone. 🙂
  • Rent a boat for a day. Just don’t forget to use common sense and wear a life jacket!
  • Spend a weekend at a location within driving distance. Save money on airfare and book a hotel in advance in a town you’d like to check out. Don’t forget to check for the best rates!
  • Host a B-B-Q! Invite friends and family over to your place and host a B-B-Q with the guests bringing side dishes. You can pick a theme for your party or go casual-style. Don’t have a yard? Check out a local park.

If you’re traveling farther than a few hours drive, then….

  • Check internet sites for smokin’ deals. Sometimes, you can find great last minute deals to vacation destinations.
  • Ask for discounts where ever you go. If you’re in the military, a AAA member, or work for the government, most hotels, restaurants, and theme parks offer discounts.
  • Combine activities. Visiting family that live near a point of interest can make the most of your vacation experience.

This summer, I’m staying close to home. Camping, biking,  a train trip to Santa Barbara and finding fun and frugal events in my area will be what my summer consists of this year.

What about you? Big trips planned? Or a stay-cation?

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