Are you ready for some lazy days in the rays but don’t have the funds to travel? If so, don’t feel alone. Almost a quarter of Americans can’t afford to take a summer vacation. Another 23% say family obligations or work make a vacation an impossibility. But a lack of money doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy some relaxing beach time.
In this article, we’ll share all the shortcuts that will get you one of those cheap summer vacations—all without emptying your savings. Don’t be so quick to assume the beach is out of your budget or that a grand getaway will never be a part of your future. These seven life hacks will get you packing your bags in no time:
- Regional Beaches & Stays
Chances are there is a water source near you, whether it’s a lake, the ocean, or a waterpark. You don’t have to travel out of the state for some fun. Book a stay at a nearby hotel or cottage and take your family or friends with you.
Groups are excellent for this cheap summer vacation because you can split the cost of renting a cottage or room. Through Airbnb, for instance, you could have your own private apartment in Punta Cana for $80 a night. Split that four ways and you’re paying $20 a night. That’s exactly what my boyfriend and I did when we went to Punta Cana last Spring. We decided not to do a resort to save money and instead did a beachfront Airbnb in Bavaro, Punta Cana for less than $80/night.
Can you say “inexpensive”?
- Stay with Relatives and Friends
Another inexpensive option is to stay with friends and relatives. Have an uncle in Florida? Ask if you could relax at his house for a week. What about that bestie in Oregon? Politely inquire if you wouldn’t be too much of a bother.
For the most part, you’ll find family members and friends are thrilled to accommodate you for a short stay. Further, these individuals have an insider’s perspective about the locations, activities, and more around the area. They’ll tell you exactly where you should go and where to stay away from.
And the best thing is you won’t have to pay for lodging; you can spend all your hard-earned cash on better things, like amusement parks or dining out.
- Go Camping
Camping offers a summer getaway that is easy on the wallet and fun. You can have a primitive tent camping site booked for about $20 a night. Some locations are even 100% free. Not much of an outdoors person? Consider reserving an “electrical” tent or, if you own one, using that beat up RV.
Camping is an excellent activity for families and friends because it encourages social interactions and requires less reliance on technology for entertainment. Do all the cliche stuff and more: roast marshmallows, tell scary stories, and take relaxing walks along the trails and beaches.
You’ll come home feeling refreshed without the guilt associated with expenditures.
- House Swap
It’s a real thing, but you do have to be comfortable with others rooting through your possessions and staying in your home to partake.
Those interested in house swapping place their home or apartment online, then wait for offers from those in desired locations to swap residences with them. Most sites charge yearly fees of about $150 to partake in this activity.
However, as one participant giddily reports, it also means you can swap out your tiny apartment in New York for a four-bedroom house in France. Sure, travel expenses might pile up, but you don’t have to reserve a house in France for a quick getaway. Instead, look to your home nation or consider a stay that’s only a several-hour drive away.
If you’re uncomfortable doing a house swap with a stranger, you could consider doing a house swap with a friend who lives in a different area. If you live in NYC and you have a good friend in LA, swapping homes for a week or two would be a great idea for you both to take a break without spending anything on lodging.
- House Sit
Chances are, someone you know will take a vacation in the next year or two. Make it known that you could house sit for them free of charge. It’s a cheap way to get out of your own abode for a bit and, if you’re lucky, into an entirely new region. Spend your days relaxing on the couch or exploring the city and the countryside.
You’ll also have a general idea of what type of house you’ll be staying at, unlike with house swaps. If you dislike the idea of staying at a stranger’s, then, this is ideal for you.
For the homeowners, it’s an excellent way to relax while on vacation because they won’t have to worry about their possessions back at home. This could include taking care of their pets as well.
- Last Minute Cruises
Do you want something a little more grand? Cheap summer vacations that are anything but underwhelming are within your grasp if you’re quick. Check in with cruise lines to see if any vacations are coming up soon. Then, book at the last minute.
Almost all cruise lines lower prices on last-minute tickets because they would rather make some money than none at all. This is the perfect time to snatch your cheap summer vacation.
And if you want grandiose, this is your best bet. You can explore different regions of the world through vacations such as an Amazon cruise or a Caribbean cruise.
Alternately, you might consider booking far in advance. Cruises tend to be cheaper the further away they are as well!
- Stay Home
But for many people, cheap summer vacations may not even require leaving the house. Take a week off of work to relax and stay at home. It’s amazing how many individuals haven’t explored everything their nearby cities have to offer. This is the time to take advantage of what you haven’t seen.
Plan out your week and make a list of activities. Look at places you’d like to visit within a few hours of your home and create a travel agenda to stick to through the week.
Pack Your Bags
Pack your bags because these seven cheap summer vacations offer something for everyone! Regardless of where you stand financially, you can have a break from the daily stresses life offers. Those beaches aren’t going to escape, and your wallet won’t suffer because of it.
But don’t forget vacationing does require a bit of planning. Are you considering swapping a house with someone in another nation or traveling abroad? Then check out our article that breaks down that long list of “to-do”s for you.
Sunshine and waves, here you come!