Discover 5 affordable ways to make the most of summer

Posted: March 18, 2024 | Word Count: 819

Summer is just around the corner! With the kids out of school, it's the perfect time to plan a trip or two and spend quality time together as a family. However, family vacations can get pretty pricey. With booking hotel rooms, flights and more, a summer trip can put a strain on your wallet.

This summer, you can make the most of the sunny season while sticking to your budget using these five tips.

1. Book early

Don't wait! One of the best ways to make the most of your summer and save is to plan ahead and book early. This is especially true when planning air travel.

According to the Annual Airfare Study, a fare will change 49 times on average from the day the trip first goes on sale. If you want affordable, flexible flights, aim to book your trip 2.5 to 7.5 months in advance.

In addition to flights, accommodations, concerts and activities like summer camp can sell out months in advance. To make sure your family doesn't miss out on the fun, book ahead. Booking early not only secures your spot, but you can also get some discounts.

2. Look for deals

Watch for promotions and special offers on activities, attractions and events. Check an organization or company's websites and social media accounts to make your summer outings more budget-friendly.

Another way to save is to see if any of your existing accounts or services have member perks. For example, T-Mobile customers on qualifying plans now have Magenta Status, which unlocks VIP treatment with premium one-of-a-kind deals and experiences across nationally loved brands. One amazing perk of Magenta Status is getting a special rate at Hilton's 22 leading hotel brands worldwide and automatic upgrade to Hilton Honors Silver status when you sign up for a Hilton Honors membership. Silver benefits include free Wi-Fi, a fifth night free on rewards stays, an all-inclusive spa discount and more. To learn more, visit

3. Explore the great outdoors

Nature offers endless entertainment for free or on the cheap. It’s no wonder that 26% of Americans plan to take an outdoor trip this year, according to Forbes.

For day trips, head to a nearby regional or state park for a hike and picnic or catch some waves at the beach. If you're seeking longer excursions, plan a family camping trip. If you don't have the right gear, don't feel pressured to spend a ton of money. Ask family and friends to borrow tents, sleeping bags, coolers, lanterns and camp cookware.

As long as you pack your snacks, sunscreen and sense of adventure, you can make lasting memories in nature without draining your bank account.

4. Hit the road

Pack the car and get ready for a good old-fashioned road trip! A family road trip can be an exciting and budget-friendly vacation where the journey there can be just as fun as the destination.

Plan a weeklong trip to a historic site, a natural wonder or a city you've never visited. No matter where you choose to go, preparation is key. Load up the car with snacks, games, movies and all your device charging cords. Don't forget to stop along the way. You may be surprised at the hidden gems you discover on the way to your destination.

If you’d like to keep the miles off your car, don't stress! Renting a car with extra amenities is an affordable way to make a road trip comfortable and convenient. If you're a T-Mobile customer, renting a gas or electric vehicle is a breeze. Best of all, you won't have to worry about filling up the gas tank at Dollar or recharging your electric vehicle (EV) at Hertz before returning it.

5. Plan a staycation

Sometimes, the best summer memories are made right at home. Staycations surged in popularity during the pandemic, and an international study found that the travel trend is unlikely to flag anytime soon. A trip where you stick close to home with loved ones can’t be beat for affordability and convenience.

Need some staycation ideas? Turn your living room into a day spa, host a game night, camp in your backyard or plan a scavenger hunt. The only limit is your imagination. If you want to look a little farther afield, use your staycation to explore your town! During the summer, your town or city may host celebrations and festivals your family can enjoy. Find out if local museums, theme parks and community centers offer discounts to children, students and families.

Make a list of upcoming summer blockbusters and hit the theaters. If you have T-Mobile Magenta Status, you can get a $5 movie ticket to a new major motion picture every single month, guaranteed.

With a little creativity, planning and a willingness to think outside the box, you can make the most of summer without putting a strain on your finances.

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