Financial Wellness and Summer – Don’t take a vacation from your finances

A lot of people are starting to think of summer vacations.  After all, it’s the middle of May and vacation season is starting to heat up with college graduations already started, high school graduations coming soon, and the unofficial start of summer, Memorial Day, is less than two weeks away.

Don’t let summer vacations break your financial plan or and make your journey something you regret when you return home.  Often times, people will take one more “grand family vacation” before their graduate starts their new job from college graduation or before their child leaves for college.  

Here are several ideas to have a great time and create lasting family memories while not spending thousands of dollars.

Visit friends and family

Have friends or family that live out of town or in a different state?  You probably want to see each other more than just at weddings and funerals.  Plan a visit with friends or family and make memories that last a lifetime.  You’ll get to spend time with people you love, instead of wishing you had!

Tour your own city

Many cities have summer outdoor movies, concerts in the park, and other free events.  Visit your cities’ visitors bureau and you can find events that interest you.  For example, there are books for over 40 cities that list items you should do in (insert city) before you die.  Many of these are experiences and events that you may not be aware of.  In every city, thousands or millions of tourists come every year to experience your city.  If you haven’t explored your city or local area, it’s a great way to have a wonderful time and see things you haven’t seen before.

Season passes

Instead of one time admission fees, consider purchasing a season pass.  Many attractions offer season passes.  If you’re going to go to the attraction once, look at the cost of a season pass.  How many times do you see everything on one visit?  If it’s an attraction you will visit more than once (amusement parks, changing exhibits at museums, conservatories, etc…), the season pass is definitely a money saver.

Take a weekend or mid-week trip

If you need to get away, taking a couple days could just be what you need.  Is it as relaxing as a weeklong trip, no.  But it doesn’t cost nearly as much.  If you take a couple vacation days in the middle of the week, the cost can be even lower. Hotels or Airbnb’s are pricer on the weekend.  A quick two or three day getaway can be refreshing and recharge your batteries.

Utilize discounts

Do you belong to a warehouse club?  AAA?  Does your workplace offer discounts for employees?  

You may already have discounts available to you that you don’t know about. Warehouse clubs offer travel discounts if you use their member services.  If you belong to AAA, many discounts are available both locally and nationally just by showing your card.  You may have to ask the vendor sometimes, but most have signs that say AAA discount available.  

Your employer may offer discounted tickets for employee appreciation day at amusement parks or sporting events.  Sometimes these tickets are available all year long.  Check with your HR manager to find out what offers are available.

Make your vacation something to remember and not something difficult to deal with once you get home.

Have additional ways to have a great vacation and not have the bills follow you home?  Post them in the comments below!

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