Summer vacation is almost upon us and now is a great time to plan for some frugal fun for you and your family. An infographic by Ultimate Coupons that is published on InfographicsArchive.com revealed how important it is for consumers to go on a vacation every now and then. 53% of those who are employed said that they feel more reconnected with their loved ones after going on a vacation with them. 34% said that they feel good about themselves and their jobs after returning from these breaks. They also said that they become more productive. 32% of men and 53% of women who vacation on a regular basis are less likely to develop a heart disease.
This is a good sign for you to start planning some fun activities for the family. But although we want what is best for everyone, there is one thing that dictates how we should spend our vacation: our finances.
Although consumer confidence is at its highest, that does not mean you can relax and keep on spending to your heart’s content. It also does not mean you should use debt to pay off your expenses. If there is one thing that you should learn from the last recession, a strong economy and abundant personal income are no reason for you to be reckless with your spending.
You want to let your family enjoy their summer vacation, but you also need to know how you can do while being smart with your money. Here is where a frugal budget can help.
8 ways your family can have fun this summer while being frugal
A frugal budget is not about deprivation. The key to a frugal fun summer is to know your budget limitations, what makes your family happy and the cost friendly alternatives to satisfy everyone. As long as you know your limitations, it should be easy to plan your summer vacation without overspending.
There are many ideas to have fun despite a frugal lifestyle. Here are 8 suggestions that we have for you.
Go local. Staycation is one of the best and cheapest ways for you enjoy the summer vacation. Look within the city limits to see the attractions that you can visit. There are local museums, parks and public beaches that you can look into. Scheduled one visit every weekend. That should give your kids something to look forward to. You spend the day together and still stick to your budget. You do not have to pay for board and lodging and your travel costs will not be as big as it should be.
Check out local community events. In most cases, the local government have planned events for residents and visitors alike. It can be a weekend market or a musical event. It can also be special sports or artistic event. Inquire first before you make any plans. There may be activities that you can enrol into.
Stay with relatives or friends. If you have close relatives or friends in the State that you want to visit, you may want to visit them and go to local sites together. If you bunk over with them, you can save on hotel room costs. That can be a huge budget saver. Best of all, you get to reconnect with people you rarely see because they live far away.
Plan vacations with friends and other family members. Another option to have some frugal fun and save on lodging expenses is to plan vacations with other people. If there are 2-3 families going on a vacation, you can rent a whole house and split the costs amongst yourselves. Not only that, you can avail of discounts for group rates. If you are driving out, you can all go in one car to save on gas. The sharing of costs is only one of the benefits. Having more people is also fun for everyone and will make the vacation more memorable.
Check out memberships that you keep and see what you can use. If you maintain memberships, there may be freebies that you can avail. Try surfing their websites to see how you can avail of your member benefits.
Look at rewards from your credit cards. The same is true for any rewards that you can avail from your credit cards. This is one thing that you can enjoy. If your card offers discount on travel expenses, you can plan your vacation around that promo.
Find cruise promos. Cruise liners usually have summer promos that you can avail. Since these ships travel from one place to the other, you get to visit a lot of great locations. A ticket typically include your board, lodging and meals. They also have entertainment activities every night. There is always something for everyone so check out your options. If you can book with other friends, that is also a good idea. You may be able to get additional discounts.
Search for resorts with all-in packages. A survey done and published on Orbitz.com revealed that in 2013, 45% of travelers plan to go on a beach trip in the summer. They prefer the combination of the sun, sands and seas. If that is where your family would like to go, make sure that you book with resorts that offer all-in packages. That way, you don’t have to keep on spending and you get to plan the cost of your trip easily. If the resort offer tour packages, you may want to grab that too. Sometimes, these resorts have partnerships with local destinations and that can easily get you a discount.
How to travel on a frugal budget
Frugal fun is not at all that difficult if you only know where to find the best deals. There are two keys to help you travel this summer vacation while sticking to your frugal budget.
Get an early start.
Booking and reserving tickets early is a great way for you to pay for vacation expenses at a lower price. It will also allow you to research and choose the options that you have. It is important for you to start months ahead of the actual summer vacation so you do not have to rush through things. Another benefit of getting an early start on your vacation plans is you can prepare your finances slowly. You can save up for the expenses slowly each month. That way, it will not be too tight on your budget when your vacation is near.
It is also important that you plan your itinerary thoroughly. If you are planning to go somewhere, you have to know what you will do while you are there. That should be done while you are looking for tickets and reserving your accommodations ahead of time. It will help you consider tour packages or other promotions. Not only will this help you with your frugal fun plans, it will also ensure that your vacation will be a smooth one. According to statistics found on USTravel.org, social media and mobile devices are becoming more popular sources of travel information. Destination sites are also popular with 10% of travellers visiting them for information. When planning their vacations, 23% of consumers relied on their friends and relatives while 31% relied on their past vacation experiences.
When paying for your bills while on vacation, it is advisable that you avoid using cash to keep your money safe. While it will keep you from overspending, it poses a higher risk of theft. It is always a good idea to use either a credit or a debit card to pay for your frugal fun activities. To know the difference between the two, here is a video from Bank of America that will help you decide which of the two you should use.