College is expensive, so paying for it often means sacrificing some of the more pricier things we love. This is especially true during summer break, when temptations like nightly ice cream cones or that road trip to a beach destination may seem out of reach. Luckily, there are ways to live it up in the sun without dropping hundreds of dollars a week to make those memories. Here are our eight favorite top tips for saving money over summer break.
1. Check Out the Community Calendar
If your community is like most, it probably has a calendar full of awesome activities you’d love to try. For example, many fair-weather towns do movies in the park, where they show classics under the stars. It beats hitting the theaters for $10 tickets and $5 popcorn when you can do it for free on a picnic blanket.
2. Cost Compare Transportation
If you’re hitting the road for a trip with friends, check out a transportation calculator to determine if you’re really getting the cheapest deal. Train tickets, for example, can cost less than the price of gas and get you there – and comes without traffic or headaches.
3. Don’t Buy — Make
When it comes to summer food, you’d probably be happy just hitting up food trucks every day. But instead of putting good money down on a hot dog, make it yourself! There are tons of awesome summer recipes out there from strawberry pies to homemade, vegan banana “ice cream”.
4. Vacation at Home with a Staycation
Avoid the noisy airports and the hot car by sticking to your hometown this summer. Create a dream staycation including an inexpensive new lawn chair, unlimited lemonade, an inflatable pool, and a new bathing suit. All of those things cost far less than a trip to Cabo.
5. Split the Cost
If your ideal summer is amusement parks, museums, sporting events, etc. try cutting your prices in half by splitting season tickets with a friend you trust. Most places allow you to add several names to your ticket membership, meaning you could get in for less if you plan it right.
6. Clip Those Coupons
If you’re leery about splitting a ticket cost, coupon it instead! Many amusement parks or attractions have coupons out there on the Web, which you can find with a quick Google search. But plan ahead as tickets at the gate are usually way more expensive than if you buy online and with a promo code.
7. Use Your ID Everywhere
You have one of the most valuable coupons right there in your wallet! Your college ID can get you in lots of places for less thanks to student discounts. This includes riding Amtrak for nearly half, scoring discount plane tickets, and getting into movies for less.
8. Find the Free
Sometimes finding free over cheap is necessary, but that doesn’t mean you’re stuck doing boring things. Instead, get out of the house by geocaching, going on a nature hike with friends, taking up biking or soccer, or volunteering in your community. With a little ingenuity, you can find plenty of awesome ideas that can make your summer fun cost less!