Summer is here for kids all over the country. Cue the pool time, water guns, summer camps, and warmer-weather fun!
Of course, many military families still have to adhere to a strict budget, meaning lessons, camps and other kid favorites may be out of the question. The good news: An enjoyable summer doesn‚Äôt have to be expensive.
If you‚Äôre not PCSing this summer, and a family vacation isn‚Äôt in the budget, we put together a few ideas to keep you and the family busy.
StayCations: We know ‚Äì you were expecting this one, right? But talking about a staycation and actually going through the efforts to plan and implement one are very different! Put a few hours into researching all the fun things in your community or perhaps within an hour or two drive. Gather coupons, online deals, maps, sunscreen and local tour guides and experience all the things you‚Äôve been missing. Then, plan for a few nights of take out for dinner and treat yourself to a visit from a housekeeping service. Total cost: maybe a couple hundred dollars. Much cheaper than a vacation, all in the convenience of your hometown.
Camping: If you‚Äôve never tried it, now might be the time. And, did you know the MWR rents out camping equipment?
Free for Kids: DO a little research and find those kid-friendly activities and restaurants that won‚Äôt charge you for your little ones. Museums, parks, free concerts, petting zoos and even movie theaters are a good place to spend an afternoon and not spend a lot of cash.¬†
Consider Investing in Memberships: Although the initial price tag on passes to parks, museums and aquariums are hefty, they can be an excellent money-saving tool and brilliant way to pass time each day. Do some simple math and make some attendance goals to make sure you get the most bang for your buck. You‚Äôll be glad you made the decision when the weather gets unbearably hot and you have a place for your kids to run around indoors. Also, don‚Äôt forget, passes often come with free admission to sister sites in other cities.
Don‚Äôt forget your free National Parks Pass for Military families!