5 Affordable Summer Vacations

Can you believe it’s that time of the year already? School’s out, beach bods are in and the hottest season (literally) has arrived. With the official start of summer just a week away, it’s time to get into planning mode!

Check out these five affordable summer vacations ideal for families, couples and friends alike.

All-Inclusive Resorts

All-Inclusive Resorts are a great, affordable summer vacation option because they give you a lot of bang for your buck. Don’t get me wrong, there are definitely luxurious all-inclusives on the more expensive side as well, however, overall, this can be a relatively inexpensive way to enjoy an incredibly relaxing getaway. There are certainly some attractive summer offers right now, especially in the Dominican Republic & Mexico due to the off-season timing and vast number of options. The best part about these type of trips is you pay one inclusive price upfront, barely needing to give any thought to money once you’re there. All of your meals, even at the specialty restaurants, drinks (yes, the ones with alcohol too), and on-property amenities like tennis, kayaking and even nightclubs are already included.

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Summer Vacation at an All-Inclusive Resort in Punta Cana

Houseboats

From Lake Powell to the Florida Keys, renting a houseboat for your summer vacation is quite fun! If you’ve never been on one, a houseboat is just like it sounds – a house, sometimes multi-story, that floats on calm waters. These are especially fabulous for big family vacations and will save you the hefty cost of multiple hotel rooms, eating all your meals at restaurants as well as daily entertainment. These floating homes feature a full kitchen, living area, multiple bed rooms and full bathrooms. Many even have BBQ grill areas on the deck, water slides off the back and sunbathing areas, depending on which one you choose.

National Parks

Though the National Parks are pretty popular in the summer, they are definitely another affordable summer vacation option. Did you know that there are a total of 417 National Parks across the US? Likely there’s one within driving distance from where you live. Admission fees to these parks are extremely low, especially when you compare it to a theme park ticket. Entrance to Yellowstone, for example, is only $30 for an entire private vehicle for seven days. In comparison, summer entrance fees to the Disney Parks for seven days is $58 per individual (and one day passes cost more than $100 each). Trips to the National Parks are both beautiful and educational. Every time I visit one, I’m blown away by the awe-inspiring nature right in our backyards! You can really get to know the parks in-depth by camping out at one of the on-site areas whether it be in an RV or a tent, and many of the parks have great towns just outside with plenty of lodging options. Celebrate the National Park Service’s Birthday (August 25) by visiting one of the parks, and they’ll waive any entrance fees.

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Cruises

Cruises are another fantastic option for affordable summer vacations as they’re easy to plan and fun for all ages. Similarly to all-inclusive vacations, cruises are paid upfront and include all accommodations, entertainment and cuisine while onboard. Typically, alcoholic beverages are only included with the addition of a drink package (which is definitely worth it if you plan on drinking more than a few drinks and/or sodas per day). Another great perk of cruising, is that you’ll get to enjoy virtually endless amounts of entertainment for the price you already paid to get onboard. Besides the typical laying out by the pool, most ships have nightly live shows, casinos, fitness centers and coordinated entertainment. Many of the newer ships have even taken things to the next level with sky diving simulators, ice skating rinks, robotic bars, onboard surfing and much more. Toward late summer, you’ll frequently find special deals across the cruise lines that feature onboard credits, half-price second guests, kids sail free or complimentary cabin upgrades.

Road Trip 

Roll the windows down, turn the music up and get ready for an unforgettable ride. Road trips are perhaps the best way to truly get a grasp of the vast number of beautiful destinations readily available to us. Whether you’d like to plan an iconic road trip down Route 66, an incredibly scenic one along Mount Rushmore (like I did a few years ago with my family), or a simple one just a few hours from your home, these affordable summer vacations offer the most bonding time with your travel companions. Stop at AirBnb’s or Bed & Breakfasts along the way to keep costs low and the charm of each area high.

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The earlier you start planning one of these affordable summer vacations, the better. I don’t know about you, but I feel like the summer months are always the fastest of the year. Get the travel plans going and the good times rolling because before you know it, you’ll be winding down with Summertime Sadness playing in the background. Do you have any big plans for the summer? Let me know in the comments below!

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