Enjoying and immersing yourself can be a great, inexpensive way to have some family fun. I promise not to use the word “staycation” during this post, especially since it’s something you can do all year ’round, not just one week out of the year. Here are my top five tips to enjoy your local community and culture and save money.
Get annual memberships
I love getting annual memberships. At most places they pay for themselves after two visits and often entitle you to food and gift shop discounts or special members only times and events. When we get a membership, I try to get there quarterly. The kids don’t get bored and neither do I; a year actually goes by very quickly and I find myself wanting to visit again. You can make the most of going on non-crowded days and when the kids are off from school. With annual memberships and knowing I can return any time, I don’t feel the pressure to “do it all” in one day, thus possibly exhausting myself and the kids right into meltdown phase!
Subscribe to some local cities for the daily deal sites
Many now have family-friendly specific email lists, so you can weed out what is not applicable. Although not as popular as they were a year or two ago, it can still be a good way to save money and try a new spot. Make sure you read the fine print and pay attention to expiration dates.
Seek our fairs and festivals
Around here we have the huge Mushroom Festival every September, but there are many smaller fairs and festivals that still have a lot to offer. We’ve been to the Polish Festival down in Wilmington, the Cinco de Mayo festival, various apple festivals at the local orchards, fishing derbies held every spring and many others. There are wine festivals, restaurant weeks and so much more. Use a special event, fair or festival as a reason to go, because venues often put their best foot forward during these events and there are often discounts.
Go on off days
Use your child’s off days for conferences or in-services, or take advantage of their educational travel days and go during the week. Weekends are the most crowded times for just about any venue, so going during the week is often cheaper and since it’s less crowded you can make the most of your time there and not be waiting in line. Milburn Orchards is known for all of it’s autumn festivities, but when we went in June there were no crowds and we didn’t have to pay an admission fee.
Use the internet and apps
The internet can really be your friend for travel. Some places give a discount for purchasing tickets online. Others give a discount if you “check in” to the place with your smart phone or show them something on your smart phone when you get there. Look at their website before hand to see what you can take advantage of to defray your costs.
With admission fees for an entire family and then adding in a meal, a simple local day outing can quickly add up! Use these tips so that can enjoy the most of what your local community has to offer, without breaking the bank.