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A smiling family waving from their car as they drive to their summer vacation destination.

Balancing Your Budget This Summer

Just because the summer is winding down doesn’t mean there’s still not plenty of time and opportunity to make the most of the sunshine. Whether you’re trying to plan for family travel on a budget or looking for a budget-friendly option family vacation that’s close to home, having fun doesn’t have to equal spending a lot of money. In fact, there may never be a better time to explore your own city. Let’s look at some of the many ways you can make the most of your summer break without breaking the bank.

Explore your city.

Cheerful parents with two kids running with kite in the park on a sunny day.

There’s no time like the summer to explore your city, especially if there are local attractions or institutions like museums to support. Make day trips to parts of town you don’t regularly get to visit and choose to eat at new restaurants. Plan outdoor activities in city parks, visit your local pool, and don’t forget the best part: saving cash by not having to pay for travel or lodging.

Stick close to home…more or less.

Staying home during the summer can be a great way to save money, but you shouldn’t feel trapped by your surroundings. A great way to break up time spent at home is to plan a series of smaller getaways. Look for nearby cities and places of interest that are less than an hour or two from your home. Day trips can still offer a lot of enrichment for your family. Some of the pros of these “hour away getaways” include less money spent on gas or lodging. Plus, you don’t have to budget an entire day for travel.

Consider camping.

A happy family camping and looking birds with binoculars.

For those who want to embark on an outdoor adventure, camping can be a great way to see nature, spend time as a family, and save money. While there’s no shortage of high-end gear to be purchased for a camping trip, you can still have a good time with a tent, some sleeping bags, and a nearby campground. To make the most of the experience, look for campgrounds that offer staple amenities such as showers and bathrooms.

Out of State Travel

If you really need a change of scenery, you can still find ways to maximize your budget and travel out of town.

Seek discounted flights.

The best way to save money is to shop smartly, and that means looking outside the box for affordable flights. Expedia, Travelocity, and other popular sites are all owned by the same company. Opt instead for Google Flights, which aggregates pricing, or Kayak. Pay attention to the best days to shop for flights, too.

Check tip sites and discount ticket brokers.

If you’re looking for ways to save money and visit a theme park, tip sites such as Undercover Tourist are a great way to find discounted tickets. In many cases, these sites will offer the same tickets that you could buy at the gate for lower rates.

Also, unless you’re truly going during a peak season, you can probably skip the ride passes. Getting to the park early, parking, and walking quickly to your favorite ride makes a lot more sense than shelling out hundreds of dollars for the chance to stand in a shorter line for rides.

Stay in a rental and buy groceries.

One of the most expensive things during a vacation is food, and most of that cost comes from dining in restaurants. If your family is staying in a condo or rental with a kitchen, it can make more sense to purchase groceries for your stay. Lunching on sandwiches and eating fast breakfasts, such as oatmeal or fruit, can help save money and free up funds to really splurge at dinner (or on souvenirs).

Resist the temptation to go overboard on souvenirs.

There is a good chance that the t-shirts or hats you buy from the gift shop will disappear in six months. The memories that come from spending time together, however, will linger much longer.

If you’re concerned about overspending while on vacation, mobile banking options from Landmark National Bank can help you keep track of your money while having plenty of fun.

Plan ahead for your next adventure with Landmark National Bank.

If you feel like you’ve missed the chance to head out on that big family vacation this year, don’t let it get you down. Spur-of-the-moment trips are great, but with money management tools and savings accounts at Landmark National Bank, preparing for your next adventure is simple. We’ll help you save for your dream vacation, whether that’s an RV trip across the western United States or a week at an all-inclusive resort in Florida.

To learn more about how to start saving for your financial goals, visit your Landmark National Bank branch today.

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