The weather is getting warmer, trees are starting to grow leaves and officially - spring has sprung. That means that summer, in all its vacation glory, is almost upon us. Don't let a tight budget make summer vacation a thing of the past. You can still spend a summer break outside your cubicle and focused on a memorable vacation that you and your wallet won't regret, you just have to get a little creative about it.
Take Luxury Down a Notch
If you are used to taking lavish vacations in luxury resorts during your summer vacation, you may still be able to do this even if your budget is much lower than it was in prior summers. The trick is to enjoy your luxurious stay for only a short period of time. By choosing a two- or three-day stay midweek instead of an entire week-long vacation, you can take advantage of lower rates while also reducing the overall cost. If you stay in a luxury resort that's close to home, you'll also save on travel expenses.

Break Your Vacation Up
If you have a week's vacation time coming to you, but no money to go away and no desire to sit at home for seven days, then reconsider how you allocate your time. If your employer will allow you to break the days up you can take one day off per week for five weeks. This will give you more than a month of extended weekends to relax and you can enjoy them without feeling as though you are missing out or wasting vacation time sitting at home. It also allows you to spread out vacation spending so it isn't hyper-focused on a single week.

It's All About the Schedule
Many cities host different festivals, carnivals and events to celebrate summer. These events offer cheap and no-cost ways of having fun and breaking out of your daily rut. Whenever possible, schedule your vacation during a week when your area has many free events. Then, you can stay home during your vacation, take advantage of all the free and cheap fun and still feel as though you had an eventful week off.

Learn Something New
Vacation doesn't have to be about lounging by the pool in order for it to rejuvenate and reinvigorate you. Instead you can consider immersing yourself in educational pursuits during your time off. You could learn a new language, study history or art, or focus on any subject that has interested you for years, but that you've never had time to dedicate toward learning. This can even open up new career possibilities by increasing your skills. Look into cheap and free classes locally and take out library books that help support your lessons. You can even create a schedule for yourself with educational goals and accomplishments if that helps you stay focused.

Focus on Simple Pleasures
Vacation doesn't have to be lavish and flashy to be worthwhile. Simply having time to sleep-in, take walks in the park, grab a mid-afternoon cup of coffee a with friend, and enjoy your children can be more valuable than an expensive trip to a tropical island. Use your limited budget on vacation as an excuse to reinvest yourself in the simple pleasures around you and think about how you can incorporate them into your everyday life.

The Bottom Line
You can't wait until you have money to enjoy yourself. Putting your life on hold until your budget allows you to devote more toward discretionary spending is an irresponsible way to treat yourself. Instead of focusing on what you can't do during your vacation, learn how to be creative about what you can do and develop a different kind of dream vacation - one that's all about quality of life not quantity of money.

Related Articles
  1. Personal Finance

    Seven U.S. Destinations You’d Swear Were Overseas

    If you can't stop thinking about safety (or your budget) as you plan your vacation, try these seven very-exotic-feeling places right here in the U.S.
  2. Personal Finance

    Oil Prices Are Down, Airfares Aren't. What's Up?

    Oil is down to $30 a barrel. But consumers are still hit with fuel surcharges on airline tickets.
  3. Investing

    7 Creative Ways to Save for an Early Retirement

    Take note of these out of the box steps you can take towards securing yourself an earlier, more comfortable retirement.
  4. Personal Finance

    5 Places Where Your Travel Dollar Goes Furthest

    The dollar is pretty strong right now, but where is it strongest? Canada? South Africa? Europe? Here are five places to travel to right now on a budget.
  5. Retirement

    Birch Box Review: Is It Worth It?

    Learn more about the convenience of the subscription beauty box industry, and discover why the Birchbox company in particular has become so popular.
  6. Savings

    Solution to Stingy Airline Awards: Cash Back Cards

    Many frequent flyer program members are having trouble redeeming flights. A sensible alternative is to use a cash back card to accrue money for travel.
  7. Personal Wealth & Private Banking

    Women, Invest In Your Financial Literacy

    Becoming financially literate should be on the to-do list of anyone who is not.
  8. Savings

    How to Save Your First $100,000

    Saving your first $100,000 requires the discipline to put money away and control your spending. But just remember – the savings get bigger as you go.
  9. Retirement

    7 Fun Spring-Break Family Vacations for Retirees

    Now's the time to plan a spring-break vacation and bond with the grandkids. Here are seven great family-friendly vacation ideas.
  10. Retirement

    Philippines: A Friendly Country for English Speakers

    Read about one of Asia's top English-speaking countries, and learn about the government policies that have brought English to its students.
RELATED FAQS
  1. Why are most airplane tickets nonrefundable?

    Airplane tickets are generally nonrefundable, because the majority of tickets sold are discount tickets. In exchange for ... Read Full Answer >>
  2. How does a bank determine what my discretionary income is when making a loan decision?

    Discretionary income is the money left over from your gross income each month after taking out taxes and paying for necessities. ... Read Full Answer >>
  3. What is the range of deductibles offered with various health insurance plans?

    A wide range of possible deductibles are available with health insurance plans, starting as low as a few hundred dollars ... Read Full Answer >>
  4. How do I know how much of my income should be discretionary?

    While there is no hard rule for how much of a person's income should be discretionary, Inc. magazine points out that it would ... Read Full Answer >>
  5. What proportion of my income should I put into my demand deposit account?

    Generally speaking, aim to keep between two months and six months worth of your fixed expenses in your demand deposit accounts. ... Read Full Answer >>
  6. How do I use the rule of 72 to estimate compounding periods?

    The rule of 72 is best used to estimate compounding periods that are factors of two (2, 4, 12, 200 and so on). This is because ... Read Full Answer >>
Trading Center