Now that summer’s here, many of us have a part-time or full-time job. Whether you’re saving for post-secondary or just earning a bit of spending money, we kinda get that you’re probably not keen on the idea of blowing all your hard-earned money in just a few months. Here are a few ways to have a great summer that’s not only fun, but won’t leave you with a dust-laden wallet.
1. Be One With the Sun
I can honestly say that more than 80% of my time spent during the summer is in front of a computer or television screen being a major couch potato. So many teens and young adults spend summer vacation inside rather than outside—why not start off your break by getting in touch with nature? I recently started waking up at 5:00 a.m. and going on long walks with no real destination in mind. Let me tell you—it feels good to just walk. There’s no rush to be anywhere or see anyone. All of your attention is focused on the beauty of the natural world that we so often ignore on account of our busy schedules. Ask yourself when the last time you saw the sunrise was! It may be hard getting up early in the morning, but it’s totally worth it to improve both your physical and mental well-being.
Don’t know a nice place to go walking? Well, Ontario has some beautiful places to watch the sunset, not to mention that British Columbia is blessed with mountains, oceans, and many, many beaches. The views you can find are breathtaking and relaxing. Most importantly, walking is free! Plus, it’s a great way to warm up for some more intense exercise.
2. Go on a Road Trip
Okay, okay—this one’s a bit of an exception to the “free” part, and you’re probably thinking that road trips aren’t even cheap. Well, normally you’d be right, but a road trip can be affordable if you go with a large group of friends, pool enough money for travel, food, and activities, and travel for a few days to a (relatively) nearby area. The fun factor of a road trip will be so worth the price you’re spending. If you or your friends don’t drive, I suggest taking Greyhound buses to reach your destination. If you want to save money, research the cheapest travel times. Ticket prices are often expensive during the first few weeks of July and last few weeks of August, so aim to travel in between. Don’t forget to look up attractions near your destination; there are plenty of national parks, waterparks, and hiking areas to explore. Instead of spending a bunch of money on food while you’re abroad, pack some homemade meals and snacks. You’ll save money and eat healthier. If you find one, you could even hit a berry farm for some healthy snacks!
3. Plan Get-Togethers
With all your friends free from school and homework, why not plan something to do together every week? Summer harbours the perfect weather for picnics, sports games, outdoor movie nights, and barbecues. You’ll stay connected, have fun, and make your summer extra memorable. Have your friends bring food or sports equipment to your hangouts so there’s a variety of things to do. You can also make it a little more interesting by setting up your backyard with tents and camping equipment! If you aren’t the outdoorsy type, it’s always fun to set up a few blankets and chairs in your living room. You know… to make a fort.
4. Tour Your Own City
“Walk around the town I grew up in all day long? Sounds boring.” That’s what I said when my friend first suggested the idea. I thought I’d already been everywhere in my town, but I was totally wrong. There were so many parks, gardens, and historical sites that I’d never visited before, and the experience blew my mind. I had no idea how much I was missing, and you’ll never know either until you step out and explore your home! A major tip for this one is to research your area and visit your city’s website. See if there are any museums or cute parks to check out. You’ll be amazed at the possibilities, and what’s even better is that most of the places you find will have free admission.
5. Have a “Me-Day”
I know this may sound strange—chances are you have plenty of days to yourself during the summer already. But why not jazz it up a bit and make those days extra special? Make a giant list of things that you would love to do but rarely have time for during the school year. For me, that lists consists of reading for hours on end, taking a nice bubble bath, binge-watching old cartoons, and gaming on the computer. No matter what’s on your list, take the day to do everything. Pamper yourself. Pretend you’re royalty. Appreciate and love yourself; you’ll be surprised at how great you’ll feel when you do.
Got any tips for having fun in the sun on a budget? Let us know in the comments below!
*Opinions expressed are those of the author, and not necessarily those of Student Life Network or their partners.