Summer is fast approaching and now is the time to start making plans. With kids out of school, you’ll need plenty of activities to keep them entertained and busy. The challenge is to help your family make the most of their summer without busting the budget. The good news is that there are many exciting and rewarding opportunities for you all to have fun, relax and not spend a whole lot of money.
No other experience screams summer quite like a day at the beach. Whether you live near an ocean, lake, or river, you probably have a fun filled and relaxing day waiting near you. Pack a picnic lunch, towels, blankets and umbrellas. Need something to read? Visit your local library and borrow a book or download an e-book for your reader. Can’t swim? Many local communities offer free swimming lessons every summer.
Summer is the perfect time to be outdoors. National, state and local parks give you the chance to enjoy outdoor activities of all kinds. Spend a few nights camping or a relaxing day of picnicking and swimming. Be sure to check out the parks in your area. They will have a calendar of special events and activities as well as safety and weather information that can help you make the most of your visit.
Every summer and fall, communities across the country highlight the best they have to offer in local fairs and festivals. Want to sample a local delicacy while listening to a free concert? Festivals are the place to go. Some festivals will provide art, music, theater, and other activities while others focus on local foods, sports or history.
Did you know that many factories and farms offer free tours to the public? From ice cream dairies to car manufacturing plants, many companies want to show off their manufacturing capability and regularly open their doors to the public. Often the experience winds up with free samples, though don’t expect a free car at the end of a tour.
There is no other bargain quite like your local library. Supported by your tax dollars, libraries offer everything from books and music, to movies and lectures. Most libraries even offer e-books that you can download and enjoy on your electronic book reader. During the summer, look for summer reading programs designed to entertain both children and adults. Best of all, each of these resources is completely free.
Like the local library, museums can be a fantastic source of free or low cost activities. Even museums that normally charge an entrance fee often offer free days each week or month. Many museums such as art and science museums want to attract local families and provide free children’s activities. National and military museums are funded by the federal government and are always free. Check your local paper or go online to find museums in your area.
Do you have a hobby or interest that you would like to make a part of your summer vacation? You should look around your area and see if there are local clubs that focus on your interest. From art and literature, to photography chances are good that you can find other people that want to share the same passion as you.
Have a travel destination that you would like to experience, but don’t have a big budget?
Many people are now using the internet to swap homes with other people, and saving a lot of money along the way. Home exchanges are not for everybody. However, if you have plenty of time to plan ahead and are open to living in someone else’s home while they are vacationing in yours, then you could save a lot of money. You could even have the use of the family car. Imagine visiting Paris or New York on your vacation while not spending a dime on hotels and car rentals. You can even save money by cooking and eating at your new “home”.
If you would like to explore the idea of home exchanges, simply search the internet and you will find many sites that specialize in bringing vacationers together across the country or around the globe.
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