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Four Fun Ideas for a Budget-Friendly Summer Vacation

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Community Content Team
Jul 19, 2019 in: Budgeting

If you believe everything you see on Instagram, it might feel like you're the only one not taking high-dollar vacations this summer. Scrolling through picture after picture of tropical resorts, luxury lake homes, and international excursions is a surefire way to give yourself a terrible case of Travel FOMO. As if that wasn't enough, the prospect of spending thousands of dollars on a summertime getaway can be even more frustrating if you're trying to save money and stick to a budget.

Whether you're just daydreaming or seriously trying to make plans, you've probably asked yourself whether it's even possible to take an affordable summer vacation. It might take a little more creativity than booking an expensive trip, but you can enjoy some much-needed time away without breaking the bank.

  1. Stay with Friends or Family
    Hotels can be pricey. But who doesn't love hanging out with friends or catching up with relatives? Not only will you get to spend some quality time with those who know you best, but you'll also get the added benefit of local recommendations from someone with firsthand knowledge. And if you want to be a gracious guest and treat your friends to a meal or two while you're there, you can rest easy knowing that it's still cheaper than paying for a hotel room.
  2. Plan a Day Trip or Two
    One of the best things about vacations is that they give you a chance to break free from your everyday routine. Believe it or not, you don't have to travel far to get the refreshing benefits of a vacation. Planning an enjoyable day trip is as easy as looking at a map, finding a destination that's within two or three hours from home, and picking a few events or activities to enjoy while you're there. Get up early. Come home late. You'll save the money you would have spent on lodging, and there's an excellent chance you'll make some of your favorite travel memories along the way.
  3. Get Back to Nature
    When it comes to natural beauty, you'll find some of the country's most scenic settings right here in the national parks of Washington state. And with a variety of campsite rentals for under $20 per night, you can create incredible vacation experiences with just a tent, a backpack, and a healthy sense of adventure. If you want to boost your vacation savings, even more, plan your camping trip for August 25th, the National Park Service's birthday - one of a handful of entrance-fee-free days during the year.
  4. Fix Your Own Meals
    Whether you stay in a hotel, camp in a tent, or crash with friends, meals can be one of the most expensive parts of any travel plans. If you dine out for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, the costs can add up quickly. To make your vacation a little more affordable, plan to make most of your meals instead of heading to a restaurant every time you get hungry. If you pack your groceries (or buy them when you get to your destination) and limit yourself to one restaurant meal per day, not only will you reduce your food expenses, it will be easier to treat yourself to some truly delicious dining experiences as well.

Have you discovered any travel tips that saved your vacation plans and your wallet at the same time? If so, we would love to hear them! Share them in the comments below!

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Community Content Team

BECU's community content team writes about personal finance topics like budgeting, saving and building credit to help you reach your financial health goals.