Want to save money on vacation? I know I do. Saving money while you are on a trip is hard. Gas costs so much money that when you arrive at the destination, you hardly have enough to make the adventure worth it. But you can drive and save. It seems to be that times are getting to the point where doing things for recreation outside of the home requires a month of saving and pre planning. This should not and does not have to be. There are plenty of ways you can have fun and not go broke in doing so. Here are 5 ways to making fun memories on a dime.
- Get outside
One of the best ways to make a memory is to do just that- get out! Make a memory! Granted, plenty of memory making moments can and have occurred indoors- first steps, birthday parties, and intense conversations. But there is something to be said for getting out into the fresh air and nature. Don’t just be a side liner on your cell phone while the kids run about-join them! Toss them into the air, blow some bubbles, draw with chalk or teach them to toss a football or jump rope. Start a rousing game of tag or a quick game of hide and seek. It’s been my experience that children are like flowers- they need to be out in the fresh air and sunshine to thrive and while their indoor bound peers are becoming video game zombies, they (and you) will always remember the time you shared in the great outdoors.
If you are like me, you love to travel. The adventure of going somewhere you haven’t been (or haven’t been for awhile for that matter) can be daunting at times especially when it comes to rising costs of admissions into potentially educational and entertaining places. Enter CityPass. How Citypass works is this: Choose from 11 destinations (Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Hollywood, Houston New York, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Seattle, Southern California, or Toronto)Once you have decided where you want to go, you order however many of these coupon sized booklets as there are travelers in your party. These booklets contain actual admission tickets to the top 5 or 6 most popular attractions in that particular city. You have 9 days from the first day of use to use the other tickets (except for Southern California where you have 14 days). CityPass is wonderful in that you will spend less money buying these booklets than you would ordering individual passes online or at ticket counters. Also, because you will receive your CityPasses well before you leave for your destination, you will be able to skip most long entrance lines! Some of the memory making attractions you can visit are:
- The Philadelphia Zoo
- The Seattle Space Needle
- The Royal Ontario Museum
- Madame Tussauds Hollywood
- The Metropolitan Museum of Art
Nothing brings a family closer together than to give of themselves- their time and their efforts. Volunteering puts into practice all the lessons that would otherwise be regarded as lip service. “Do unto others” takes on new meaning when you are serving up meals at a homeless shelter. Understanding God’s care for even the animals comes with planting trees and gardens (aka wild animal habitats) in your local zoo or park, or even by walking and interacting with the animals in an animal shelter who are awaiting their “fur-ever” homes. A good friend of mine was taken to a rescue mission for a field trip when she was in 4th grade. She interacted with the residents and served up meals to the hungry. 21 years later that memory, she says, is forever embedded in her heart as one of the best feelings and most important moments her life ever received. She gave of herself, but got back so much more in return. That is a memory worth making.
What better way to make a memory than to capture one for all time? In today’s world, almost everyone has the tools at hand to create and/or capture a moment in time and freeze it for generations. That tool is the cell phone. Most cell phones today come with picture taking capabilities so that one could literally go from calling their child’s friend over for a play date, to seizing them in midair on the trampoline! Even if you are one of those who either do not have a camera built into their phone (or maybe choose not to expose yourself to different radioactive waves and refuse to even own a cell phone) you can still use a digital camera- or heck, even one of those point and shoot disposable cameras…if you can still find one! Photography leads to reminiscent discussions of sweeter days gone by, scrapbooking and even our last point…..story telling.
- Story Telling
Who doesn’t love a good story? Yes, reading is very important and can lead to some serious memory making. But can anything compare to having your children gathered around you while you tell them true stories of when you were their age, or even your own works of fiction as bedtime stories? Story telling not only creates memories, but binds parents to their children and those children to their grandparents and other ancestors. With story-telling, there is no right or wrong ending; just however you want the story to end. When you tell your children stories, you are creating a link between their pasts and their futures and making some creative memories in the process. As you can see there are numerous ways to have fun while making lasting impressions on you and your child’s minds. And although there are many wonderful yet expensive ways to do so, there are many more equally wonderful and inexpensive ways to do the same thing. I’ve listed only 5 here, how many more can you discover?