Bella Outdoors,  Featured

Save Smarter: 4 Ideas for Financially Savvy Summer Fun

Summer is in full swing, and you’re ready to make memories—but preferably, without breaking the bank. Being on a budget shouldn’t mean staying home all summer. We’ve got four ideas to help you make this vacation season your most fun and frugal yet!

1. Say yes to a staycation.

A staycation could mean playing tourist in your own city. It could also mean a day trip to somewhere within driving distance where you can scratch the travel itch without paying for a hotel. It all depends on your budget! Either way, Virginia’s Blue Ridge Region has so much to offer when it comes to summer fun. There’s culture (think of all the historic sites in our area, like Monticello), plenty of festivals (like Floyd Fest and Ramble Weekend), and of course, more outdoorsy activities then you can shake a stick at (hiking the Blue Ridge, kayaking the James River, etc.). 

2. Be an event VIP (Volunteering Important Person).

It may not get you in to Coachella, but at many festivals and events, volunteering is a great way to experience the fun for free. Regional festivals especially tend to rely on volunteers to help make the magic happen. Search your dream event’s website for volunteer opportunities. Don’t see any right away? Try contacting community groups that benefit from the event to ask if there is a need for volunteers there instead! 

3. Embrace your inner nomad. 

This one is for the more free-spirited among us. But if “gypsy soul” is more than just an Instagram aesthetic to you, you can score some great deals by being adaptable with your dates and even your destinations.  

Know where you want to go but have some flexibility with your plans? Shop for flights using search options like “flex dates” and “nearby airports” to find the cheapest choice. 

Use the “Anywhere” search option on, the “Everywhere” search option on, or the “KAYAK Explore” feature on if you just want to get away on a budget and are open to considering various locales. It’s not quite as poetic as going wherever the wind takes you, but it’s pretty close (and almost as cheap). 

4. Get ready for more fun next year!

If your ultimate bucket list vacation wasn’t in the budget for 2019, try not to be too disappointed. That just gives you something to look forward to for next year! Start planning now to make your dream destination a reality. Two tips: one, you can often get a better price on event tickets and hotel rooms when you purchase them in advance; and two, start budgeting now with a dedicated savings account. Set up your account, name it something like “Caribbean cruise” or “Roman holiday” to keep your eyes on the prize, and automate monthly deposits from your paycheck for painless saving. You’ll be booking that 2020 flight—without busting your budget—before you know it.

Article courtesy of Member One Federal Credit Union