10 Budget Friendly Summer Vacation Ideas

When you think of summer break from school, most people think of family vacations and big trips. But realistically, there is not always money to fund an elaborate vacation. So what can you do when you have more summer days than money? Of course, I’m not going to ask a question like that unless I have some great ideas for you and your family. Here are 10 Budget friendly summer vacation ideas that you can tweak to create some great family memories.

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10 budget Friendly Summer Vacation Ideas

10 Budget-Friendly Summer Vacation Ideas

Go to the Kentucky Horse Park:

Each summer you can go to the Horse Park for FREE! Hats Off Day is the only day of the year an entire family can enjoy the Kentucky Horse Park and all it has to offer, at no cost! Click here for more info on Hats Off Day.

Be a tourist in Louisville:

One month a year, Louisville is offering significant discounts on many of the local attractions. Get more info about Hometown Tourism Month!

Go Geocaching:

We’ve been on several geocaching hunts and they are always a great adventure. Just download the free geocaching app, create your account and look for the caches near you.

Visit your favorite National Park for FREE:

Check out the= National Park Service Free days where they waive the fees for parks that normally charge a fee.

Jr Rangers at the Springfield Armory

Go Fishing:

If you have been fishing in the past, you know that fishing requires the proper license. If your budget can’t afford the license, and you don’t have your own private pond, then check out your local free fishing weekend options. Each state offers a weekend where you can fish for FREE! (Kentucky free fishing weekend is the first weekend of June!)


Kids Bowl Free

If you love to bowl, then you know it can get a little expensive. But all summer, kids can bowl for free! Kids Bowl Free Summer program gives each child 2 bowling games a day for FREE. Talk about something perfect for hot summer days!

kids bowl free

Get a FREE Round of Golf on your Birthday:

If you are a golfer, then you can sign up for a free round of golf on your birthday with many golf courses. Just do a quick internet search for free golf on your birthday and you may find a course near you!

Go Camping:

Camping can be a great low budget summer activity. You can borrow a tent from a friend or pull your old tent out of the garage. No time to go to the mountains or money to go to a campground? Just find a friend with a farm or a back pasture and ask to camp out there. The fun of camping is not dependent on the location. It’s the adventure of being outdoors! Even a backyard campout can give you all the excitement of the real deal with the added bonus of having indoor plumbing just steps away!

Visit a Museum:

September 23 is Museum day across the country. Many museums will be participating in the free admission day. http://www.smithsonianmag.com/ But if you can’t wait till September 23, many museums have free admission on certain nights or days. Speed Art Museum offers free admission every Sunday!

Walk a Bridge:

There’s something pretty unique about touring a big city on foot and crossing over a bridge on foot. Many cities like Louisville, Cincinnati, and Chattanooga have walking bridges that give you a great view of the city skyline and offer a great experience for free.

There are so many amazing adventures you can have right in your own backyard. If you can’t go on an exotic vacation this summer, then be creative and get started planning the best summer vacation in your own home state! I can’t wait to hear about your summer adventures!

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  1. Since an expensive family vacation is out of the picture this year, we plan to visit the zoo and other local attractions that don’t cost a lot of money. Instead of going camping, we’ll probably pitch the tent in the back yard & cook dinner on the grill.

  2. We love the summer breaks kids home vacation time swimming just enjoying the simple things in life memories

  3. Probably the funniest thing we do during the summer is create a mini obstacle course in the back yard and have the kids vs. the parents races every couple weeks then at the end of the summer who ever wins the most gets a treat

  4. These sound like great ideas. We love visiting the library and just started Geocaching last summer.

  5. Great suggestions! I love that most of these have free admission 🙂 We also like to take trips to the library, go biking and hiking.

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