Summer Break on a Budget: How to Spend Less Money

Schools out and Summer break has begun!

If you are anything like me you are relieved that you don’t have those extra early mornings where you have to get up super early to get kids dressed, lunches packed, and teeth brushed.

But now you have kids who are anxious for some fun.

My kids have mentioned everything form Lego Land to Los Angeles. 

First question is who has the money to fly a family of six to either of those destinations? Because I sure refuse to drive with four kids.

Not I! Which is very reasonable in my opinion.

If you have adventurous kids like myself who are dying to experience something different. You would be surprised at what your children would enjoy and you don’t even have to travel far and spend a fortune.

How We’re Spending Our Summer Break on a Budget.


Weekends with friends/family

 We have quite a few friends and family that live out of town, and Summer is the perfect opportunity for us to spend a weekend with them. We have family in Memphis, Charlotte, Chicago, and Atlanta. Which all happen to be within driving distance. The thing about visiting family and friends is that It’s much more affordable than a normal weekend away since we stay with friends, and we can usually splurge on restaurants and places that we can’t experience at home. These little weekends away are my favorite mini-vacation when we don’t have anything major planned!

Going Camping

Definitely not for the faint of heart.

Camping can be a lot of work for the parents, but oh the memories that are made are priceless and worth it!  It’s a fun activity that works for any budget and a great way to unplug! Don’t want the hassle, just camp in the backyard! 

Embracing the laziness

With no weekend homework or projects to ensure is being done.

You better believe this will be done the most! Sometimes it feels pretty luxurious to close all of the blinds, stay in our pajamas, and have a movie day! We love going out but sometimes turning off our cell phones and being hibernators for a day (or a weekend) feels like a mini vacation! Just don’t do it for too long because you may just end up feeling groggy so a day here and there is best.

Hiking and Picnics

Hiking is free and you have to eat anyway, right?Why not do it in the great outdoors? And you’d be surprised the appetite your littles will have developed after a nice walk. Try your local trails and reservoirs for fun kid activities and nature hikes as well.

Mini road trips

This is another of my favorite ways to spend a day! We took a trip out to Columbus to go shopping and go to the Zoo, and we’re planning to take at least one or two more quick little trips to places a couple of hours away before the summer is over. It’s fun to travel somewhere where we can go there and back in a day, and it always feels like such a satisfying way to do something without going too crazy. We never end up spending too much money, kids come home exhausted and sleeps great, and we usually join them :).

Water Fun

You don’t have to pay to get into a water park to enjoy the H2O! Run through the sprinklers, have a water balloon fight, look for free splash pads in your area (love these for toddlers! Heck, if you’re really daring, let your kids dig holes in the dirt, turn on the hose, and have some GOOD, WET, MUDDY FUN!

Just Driving

When you feel like it’s time to get out of the house and you have no clue what to do get the kids and go for a drive! There is just something about getting out of the house that works wonders for everyone! You’ll be surprised how many places you will pass that you have always said “I want to stop there one day.” Well now’s the time.

Looking for free activities near you

We have the Hula Frog blog that is constantly listing tons of ideas for fun things to do with kids that are either cheap or free. We’ve gotten so many ideas from that blog over the years and it always leaves me feeling so inspired to try something new. I’m always shocked by how many awesome different events there are that are close to us and totally free, and they’re all kid-friendly. I think most major cities probably have a similar blog or website – find yours and use it!

There are so many more things you can do besides the few things I have mentioned. Such as:

  • Visit your local library
  • Find a local community center
  • Go swimming at Public pools and rec centers
  • Have cookouts
  • Arts and Crafts

You don’t have to spend a fortune to make your kids Summer Vacation fun. Get creative, plan ahead and don’t forget to budget. 

What you and your family plan on doing this Summer?

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