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Cheap Vacation Ideas

Summer is in full swing and there's no better time to plan a (cheap) vacation. Whether you have a week off work or just a weekend free, there are plenty of cheap vacation ideas so that you're not spending a ton of money on vacation this summer. Here are a few ideas to help you save on vacation:

  1. Go to the beach - spending a day at the beach is so relaxing, and we're fortunate in Florida to have many beaches to choose from. Just pick the east coast or the west coast and head to the beach! Don't forget to pack a cooler before you leave home so you're not tempted to eat out. I recently saw a cute idea called the "snacklebox." Basically, you take a small tackle box with dividers and fill it with yummy treats your whole family will enjoy. Just toss your snacklebox in your cooler before you head to the beach and you won't miss eating out one bit.

  2. Go camping - there is no cheaper vacation than camping. Whether it's in a tent or a camper, there are plenty of ways to save money. Camping allows you to get away from it all and get into nature. Don't forget to meal plan before you leave home so that you have some easy camping meals ready to go. This frugal teacher camps all the time and our favorite camping meals are hot dogs, ham and cheese sliders, and foil packets filled with sausage, chopped-up potatoes, and veggies. Remember to bring plenty of snacks and drinks so you’re not tempted to eat out.

  3. Travel during the week, not the weekend - booking your vacation as a Monday through Friday trip can really help you save money. Everything from hotel rooms to gas prices can be cheaper during the week. Try to plan your vacation well in advance to save even more money by taking advantage of cheaper weekday rates.

  4. Use Groupon - download the Groupon app if you don't have it already. You simply put in the city you'll be vacationing in and search for local deals to save money. This frugal teacher recently went to a water park and bought tickets in advance on Groupon for $26. If I would've waited and bought the tickets at the water park on the day of, the tickets would've cost me $43. That's a savings of $17 per person!

  5. Do your research - use an internet search to find free or cheap things to do in the city you'll be in for vacation. The more you plan and research, the more chances you have to save money. Simply searching "free or cheap things to do in..." will give you a jump start on planning your vacation without breaking the bank. This frugal teacher has found everything from free museum days to free chocolate factory tours simply by doing a little bit of research beforehand.

Well, there you have it. I hope these cheap vacation ideas will help you and your family save money this summer. If a vacation just isn't in the cards right now, try adding a line item to your budget to start saving for a future family vacation. Even putting aside $10 a week will add up fast and allow you to get away for a few days. Remember to leave the credit cards at home and only bring cash and your debit card with you on vacation. That way, you won't come home to a bunch of credit card bills from splurging on a poorly planned vacation.

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