Stretching Your Summer Adventure Budget

Summer is a time for adventure, but unfortunately, adventures are expensive. And if you’re not careful, a few spontaneous weekend trips can get expensive.

Consider these tips on how to budget your summer adventures and stretch your summer budget.  

Weekend Getaways

Whether it’s just a change of scenery or a weekend getaway or a weekend wedding, a weekend getaway can either be a cheap excursion or quickly become a money pit.

Hotels: Watch out for online scams. There may be some great deals online, but an estimated 15 million “bad bookings” are linked to phony websites and call centers, according to the American Hotel & Lodging Association, an advocacy group that represents the hotel industry. Check reviews and success rates on coupons and deals.

Alternative housing: Tried renting a house yet? If you’ve got a large crew and hotel options seem too expensive, try living like a local with AirBnB or Vacation Rentals By Owner. Many people have vacation rentals so you can enjoy a home away from home. You can often find a home away from home for a good price with anything from one-night rentals to extended stays. Staying in a home can also reduce your eating out costs if you find a home with a kitchen.

Go Outdoors: Camping is an inexpensive option for weekend housing. Take advantage of the good summer weather and sleep beneath the stars. Tents are relatively inexpensive and can be used again and again. Some national parks even offer camping tent rentals. You can bring your own food or shop at the grocery store to save on food. Many campgrounds have additional entertainment like kids activities or hiking trails. Before you go and when you get there, check out available sites online or at the visitor’s center to scope out amenities and activities.

Make the most of your purchases: If you’re a big traveler, consider getting a card that rewards your purchases with adventure. Lots of credit card options let you earn miles for flying, hotel points, or reward you for filling up with gas. Using a rewards card throughout the summer or the year can help you double-dip, getting points that you can use on vacations throughout the year.

Check out the free stuff: If you’re adventuring to a city, check out what free festivals or events are going on while you’re visiting. Or consider visiting (relatively) free destinations, like National Parks. 

Make a Vacation Fund: Talk to your bank about creating a vacation fund, or if they have a rewards system for a savings account. Don’t have a bank? Talk to my friends at Bank VI in Salina, KS.