Budget Travel Ideas: Summer Vacations Don't Have to Break the Bank (How to Make Affordable Memories) by Dawn Taylor
When the school year ends, we watch other families head to Cape Cod or to Maine for their annual vacation, or they pack up for the summer to go to their summer homes (I don't even own one home, let alone a summer one!). As a single mom of four children, I try to come up with things to do that are within my budget and it isn't always easy.
When my boys were little, long before my daughters were born, I took them on a trip from Southern Ontario to Eastern Canada – a 14-hour drive. My father came along for the trip – both my parents are from New Brunswick – so knowing we had places to stay while we were there played a big part in the decision to visit. It meant not having to worry about expensive accommodations while there.
The Canadian East Coast is beautiful, so it was win-win from a vacation standpoint. Once there, we didn't do anything expensive or touristy, but great times were had. We walked along the beautiful beaches, collecting stones and shells, and inhaled the ocean air. Most evenings were spent sitting at the dining room table, long after dinner ended, listening to my dad and his identical twin reminiscing about their childhood. Priceless.
Last summer my youngest daughter wanted to go see the musical, Hamilton. Way out of my budget. I managed to get balcony seats to a Chicago performance, knowing I could plan a visit to see a dear friend in Chicago. The performance was magical, but the best times were had visiting my friend and her beautiful. My teen girls entertained her toddler while I helped with her baby twins, and at night we played games and ate dinner. I couldn't afford the Chicago zoo or anything grand while we visited, but the joy of being with them was irreplaceable.
Memories cannot be bought – they are made with time spent with people you love.
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