With much higher gas prices in the summertime, more taxes and fees being added onto lodging and airline travel, sometimes family vacations seem more unaffordable every year. But most Moms are already accustomed to finding the best possible deals, whether they’re clipping coupons or looking for the best prices online, they’re the masters at savings, cutting corners and sticking to a tight budget.
Before summer arrives, Mom shifts into high gear and gets the biggest bang for her vacationing buck, by doing her homework before the kids even get out of school. Here’s four ways to save extra cash when budgeting for some summer fun in the sun:
#1 – Big Fun & Less Roughing It
Camping has long been an affordable alternative to a traditional family vacation, but the idea of sleeping on the ground with a bunch of bugs and wild animals buzzing around might not appeal to every working mother. But don’t let a great, affordable, outdoor adventure slip through your fingers without considering many campgrounds also offer cabins, cottages and other more homey vacation rentals for much less than a traditional hotel stay. Look for these less costly camping alternatives in your area.
#2 – Closer & Cheaper Amusement
While Disneyland may be the happiest place on earth, it’s also one of the most expensive as some reviewers are reporting on Trip Advisor. Instead of traveling to Walt’s Wonderland and staying in one of the most expensive resorts in the country, check out your local county and state fairs. There’s plenty of amusement rides at a fraction of the cost for a day trip to Disney and you’ll get a much better community and family atmosphere here.
#3 – Look & Listen
We’ll stick to our California example, just because you’re in the Golden State doesn’t mean you have to part with all your hard-earned green in well-known, SoCal theme parks, like Universal Studios and the over-priced “D-Word.” Travel up to to Northern California and experience the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk, “Where everybody has a good time.”
For those in the know, this popular but lesser known amusem
ent park is home of some “old school” prices during the summer of 2015. Take advantage of some of these off-peak discounts and other special deals:
- Pepsi ® is sponsoring “Retro Nights” on Mondays and Tuesdays after 5:00 p.m. when you can enjoy all the rides, hot dogs and cotton candy at only a buck a pop.
- On Wednesdays and Thursdays, bring in one of their empty soda cans and get unlimited rides for only $12.95 plus tax.
- Costco members can save up to 30% on two all-day wristbands that allow guests to go on unlimited rides and a special bundle of attractions for just $58.99, which includes miniature golf, lazer tag, bowling, bonus points for arcades and games.
There’s also their famous beach and boardwalk and Santa Cruz is home to one of the oldest and coolest wooden roller coasters on the West Coast, The Giant Dipper, which has appeared in such classic movies as The Lost Boys and Dangerous Minds. Take that Disneyland and Hollywood!
#4 – Take a Weekend Instead of a Week
Some working Moms can’t afford or are unable to take an entire week off from work, but that doesn’t mean they shouldn’t take the family on a weekend getaway. If you’re too far inland and there’s no good watering holes around, consider staying at a budget-friendly motel with a pool and hot tub. Mom can relax in the sauna while watching the kids splash and play in the nearby pool.
Check out the nearby sights and enjoy your time away from home. You don’t have to break the bank and bust your budget to spend some quality time with your kids. With a little planning, even the Mom on a tight budget can afford a mini-vacation with their children.