As summer begins to come to a close, you may think it’s too late to get in a summer vacation, especially on a tight budget. Fortunately, there are some great options for short, last-minute getaways that can be taken on a meager budget. Here are some ideas:
State and National Parks
If you enjoy the great outdoors, consider taking a visit to one of the beautiful state or national parks closest to you. They are located in every state and most within a maximum of one day of driving distance. The entrance fees are very inexpensive, typically less than $10 per day for an entire vehicle. While you are there, you can explore nature trails, have picnics at one of the pavilions, and swim in the lakes or beaches nearby. Some parks also have splash pads, which are a great relief on hot summer days.
If you enjoy camping, throw your tent in the trunk of the car and spend the night. Depending on the location of the park, you can spend a night or two at state or national parks for a very small fee. Check with the park ahead of time, however, to make sure the park has a camping spot available. Many people take off to the parks at the end of the summer to have one last trip, so you should try to plan ahead.
Explore Your Area
Unless you travel your state on a regular basis, chances are there are plenty of places right in your area that you have not yet visited. Many states have some hidden gems that are not too far away where you can go for a day trip. In Louisiana, for example, there are plenty of plantation homes that are open for tours.
Southeast Texas has a beautiful coastline that you may want to visit for a day. Check out your state’s website to see some of the options and choose some that are near you to visit. If you live close to your state line, consider traveling to another state to visit attractions in those areas. You can make it a one-day trip or you can check for inexpensive motels where you can rest at the end of a long day of sightseeing.
Beach or Lake Day Trip
If you live near a body of water or can drive there within a few hours, a day trip is a must for the end of summer. A beach day is a great way to celebrate the closing of the summer season. This is a very inexpensive outing for your family that is guaranteed to be a ton of fun. Pack your beach towels, sunscreen, sand toys, a nice lunch in the cooler and you are all set. To ensure you are saving money, make sure you are visiting a beach area that does not charge you to get in. Some public beaches will require you to pay a parking fee or an entrance fee, so be sure to find one that is free to visit.
Visit Family in Another City
Do you have family living in another city that you want to visit before the summer is over? Why not make plans to visit their home for a few days? This is a great way to get out of the house and do something fun while also spending some quality time with your loved ones. Be sure to bring what you will need to stay there so that you do not overwhelm your hosts. Consider bringing your own linens, air mattresses, and anything else you will need to sleep comfortably.
Also, plan to bring along some meals or grocery items so that you can contribute to the meal times while you are there. The cost of food and gas is going to be the most expensive part of these types of trips. Try to get out and do some activities with your family members while you are there. If there are some free or inexpensive activities, especially in larger cities, this can be a really great getaway on a budget.
Getting in one last trip for the summer is a great way to bring the season to a close. For more tips on traveling frugally and finding other money-saving tips, be sure to visit the iRazoo blog daily.