9 Cheap Summer Vacation Ideas

How to Plan a Cheap Family Vacation

Summer is a great time to travel and enjoy a family vacations. School is out, the weather is nice, and there are so many activities to be enjoyed. With all of this comes the good old summer vacations! Vacationing can come with a price tag so we are here to help with tips and tricks to ensure you find great cheap summer vacations.

Whether it’s spur of the moment, or a long-planned vacation, you don’t want to come home to an empty bank account! We are here to help and give you some cheap summer vacations ideas.


Budgeting before your vacation is a great way to ensure that you have money to spare once you get home.

First, you should be realistic about how much money you have to spend. Figuring out this number before you even start planning your destination is a great way to stay within your budget. Even though a spur of the moment trip may be exciting, a well-planned trip is exciting and economical.

Figure out what’s more important to you. For example, would you rather spend less on food and get a nicer hotel? It is very important to stick within your budget.


Once you know the amount you are able to spend, you can then choose a destination. Figure out what activities and items you want to save money on, and what you are willing to splurge on.

While planning, keep in mind that often the best vacations are more memorable when the focus is about family time spent together, not about how lavish the vacation is.

Some people would rather spend more money on their accommodations, while others prefer to spend the majority of their money on entertainment. Either way is fine as long as you stay within your budget.

Look For Deals

Once you have a destination and an idea of activities you’d like to do, it’s time to start making your plans more concrete. Spend some time doing a little research.

You can call your local travel agent, search the internet for travel deals and specials, or look at web pages of your destination. If you are willing to put in the effort, you can find very good deals.

Packages and Specials

Many hotels and vacation sites offer package deals if you stay with them. These may or may not be a good deal, but if you are doing your research before you go, you will know the difference.

Some of these package deals may be all-inclusive, meaning they cover the cost of your hotel, food, and a few activities as well. These packages can be very beneficial in saving you not only money, but time and energy planning activities once you arrive. These packages and specials can make for a great cheap summer vacation.

Book Activities in Advance

Some activities or excursions can be cheaper if purchased in advance. Research for early bird deals. Likewise, there may be some activities that may not even be available unless you book in advance.

Skip the Hotel

If your family enjoys the outdoors, then ditch the hotel and stay at campgrounds near your destination instead. Campsites are much cheaper per night than a hotel room and camping is always a good time!

Stay Local

Another great idea is to plan a local vacation close to home. Chances are there are plenty of exciting sights and attractions nearby that you haven’t explored yet! Staying local is always one of the best cheap summer vacation ideas.

By staying local, you will save a lot of money on travel. Jump in your car and explore that museum that has always caught your eye.

Book a Room with a Kitchen

If you are willing to buy some groceries and cook, you will save a lot of money! Even if you only have a refrigerator and a microwave in your room, you can at least store and warm up your food and/or restaurant leftovers.

Travel Off-Season

Once school is out, parks, beaches and resorts are packed with families. If you can travel while school is still in session, you may be able to avoid the crowds! As an added bonus, many attractions and activities may be discounted since it is a slower season for them.

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