Making Cents Blog

5 Summer Vacations (or Mini Getaways) That Won’t Break the Bank

Alliance Credit Union - 5 Summer Vacations (or Mini Getaways) That Won’t Break the Bank

It’s no surprise that vacation expenses can add up quickly. Between paying for flights/gas, meals, lodging, and entertainment, it’s easy to find yourself wondering where it all went when you get home. Despite the costs of travel, especially during the summertime, there are ways to enjoy a summer vacation that won’t leave you cringing at the sight of your account balance.

If you’re looking for a simple getaway, check out these five summer vacation options for you or the whole family.

National Parks
There are a total of 401 national parks in the United States, and many of them are often overlooked. Depending on your location, our national parks are typically easy travel destinations and offer a fairly cheap way to see and do a lot in one trip.

The parks boast a variety of outdoor activities, including hiking trails, awesome waterfalls, or biking trails. Some parks also offer fishing, horseback riding, and optional boat rentals. You can find a park either near or far by using the National Park Service park finder, which allows you to search parks by location and activity.

Yellowstone and Yosemite National Parks are the most popular, so if you’re making your way to a common destination be sure to make lodging or camping reservations ahead of time. Entrance fees are either free or reasonably priced, ranging from $10 – $20.

Point Reyes/Tomales Bay
Point Reyes and Tomales Bay are located just north of the San Francisco Bay, providing some of the best hiking trails and lush scenery in Northern California. If you enjoying being outdoors and tasting good food, you’ll enjoy this pick.

There are a lot of recreation options to choose from, including kayak rentals and group hiking trips. And if you’re a foodie, you can check out the cheese farm or head over to the oyster farms near Tomales Bay to shuck your own oysters.

Local Day Spa or Resort
If you’re looking to relieve a little stress from the hustle and bustle of everyday life, it’s sometimes easier (and even more relaxing) to stay close to home. There’s no harm in treating yourself or your family to a day or two at your local spa.

Spas always range in prices and services, so with a little research you’re bound to find a spa that is affordable for you. They generally offer a range of services – just to name a few: massages, facials, skin treatments, saunas, and nail care.

Planning a spa day can be fun for you and your significant other, or simply go solo for the ultimate “me” time.

Camping is a sure way to save some money on hotels and food. Sure, it’ll take a little planning and gas money, but it’s worth the cost if you’re taking the whole family or going with a group. Whether you camp near or far from home, the fresh air alone can provide you with the right amount of time away. If you’re camping in tents, spots are available for very little in many areas.

First, do a little meal planning and grocery shopping and pack a cooler full of meals and snacks. Also, don’t forget the entertainment!  You can bring things like cards, kites, bikes, or water rafts (if there is a body of water nearby).

Weekend Road Trip
It seems as if people either enjoy or dislike road trips. If you’re one of those people who enjoys them, take advantage of the time off and spend it sightseeing along your ride.

Stop off in different locations along the way, or taste your way to the end destination. You don’t have to go far to have a good time or do new things. Road trips are a simple way to make what you want of a vacation – so go to your favorite spot, or somewhere new, but don’t forget the snacks!

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