Summer is the time for rest and relaxation, and if you are lucky you can throw in a couple of vacations with friends and family. However, depending on your occupation and where you work, it can be difficult to schedule summer activities. Another thing that can make enjoying your summer more difficult is being on a budget.
Social media would have you believe that if you are not spending weeks in Europe, or at a tropical resort you can’t have a fulfilling time this summer. That’s just not true. There are many activities you can do this summer that are well within your budget, or even free! Here is my list for budget-friendly summer staycations!
Visit your local parks:
This is one of the more obvious summer activities to indulge in but is often overlooked because it is so accessible. Most city and local parks are free and grant access to certain amenities such as picnic shelters and grills. Your local government website should have details regarding rules and access to the parks in your area. You can spend the day with your family at the park and not break the bank. Also, national parks are often just a few dollars and offer a lot of history and beauty to enjoy as well. If you’d like to visit your closest national park of one of the Free Entrance Days, you'll need to go on:
August 25- National Park Service Birthday
September 28: National Public Lands Day
November 11: Veterans Day
You can also visit www.nps.gov for more information on our national parks.
One of the great things about summertime is that it is fair and festival season! Depending on where you live there are tons of small and large festivals to enjoy with low or no entry fees required. You may even be able to bring outside food and drinks to keep the costs down.
Even if you are only able to camp in your backyard, camping is a good opportunity to switch up your summer routine and get out of the everyday ordinary. If you don’t already have a tent, you can search for cheap equipment on websites like craigslist, offerup, and even Facebook Marketplace.
If you live near a lake or river, floating is a summertime must-do. You can buy a tube from Walmart for just $5 and spend the day relaxing on the water.
Visit a farm
If you are relatively close to rural areas, it can be fun to visit a local farm! Being in nature can help you relax and can be positive for your mental health. Also, if you decide to spend money at a local farm by picking produce and enjoying an onsite petting zoo, you are more than likely helping a farmer keep his farm going which is a reward in itself.
Themed food night
Who doesn’t love food? Take your love for all things tasty and have a themed night in. Try out a new recipe and decorate your kitchen to reflect whatever country or area your dinner originated. This is a good way to try something new and not spend an arm and a leg at a local restaurant.
Have a kick-back
One of my favorite summertime actives is having a backyard kick-back. A kick-back is basically a barbecue or cookout but is more of an all-day event. You can have each person you invite to bring one thing to keep the costs for everyone down. Good food, good friends, and good weather is all you need to have a great time.
Fishing licenses in most states are pretty reasonable to purchase and in some cases last multiple years. If you are in an area with lakes or rivers, or even ponds, you can spend the day catching fish and even have a fish fry for dinner!
No matter what you decide to do to fill your time off during the summer, you should never feel bad because you can’t afford extravagant trips or fancy cruises. There are so many budget-friendly opportunities for you to choose from where you can have just as much fun and make memories with your family and friends. You have nothing to prove to the world, but you do owe yourself a good time for all of the hard work you put in.