Summer holidays are rapidly approaching. Some parts of North America are already enjoying their summer holidays. As I write this there are probably thousands of kids saying: “I’m Bored” and thousands of moms thinking what to do with their kids for little or no money.
Having two school children of my own and two school-age nephews I will be facing same summer holiday boredom blues in a few weeks myself.
Summer holidays are about fun and being carefree. Summer is about having fun while still learning a thing or two.
……..Summer Break is 9 weeks long…..long…..long………..
Many of us have planned a week or two of family summer vacation, but what about the remaining 7 or 8 weeks of summer?
There are families who can’t afford a family vacation in this economy never mind 9 weeks of keeping children entertained with activities that cost money like amusement parks, weekends getaways, shopping trips, excursions.
Fortunately, with a little bit of planning and a few resources, we all can help our kids to beat the summer boredom blues and ensure that they have the most wonderful summer holidays yet. This year you can have summer on the budget.
There are many activities that are free to entertain children throughout the summer. There are also activities that cost a little bit but guarantee tons of fun and lots of great memories.
I made a list of few free activities and ideas to keep kids busy and moms sane this summer:
- Free Art Classes – check with your local museum or art gallery. Many places offer free art classes once or twice a week for a couple of hours.
- Free Story Time at Library – most local libraries offer summer reading programs and story and activities time.
- Free Church Day Camps – check with your local churches if they are planning to offer free day camp. Some churches offer sports day camp, drama day camp or fun day camp. They usually are only 1 week during the summer Monday to Friday for a few hours.
- Free Waterpark (splash park) and Picnic – pack up a picnic basket and head to your nearest free waterpark for the day.
- Beach Day – nothing gets kids more tired and happy then a busy day at the beach. Bring some card games, have a sand castle building contest. Don’t forget the sunscreen.
- Free Museum, Zoo or Pool Day – check your local newspaper for free activities happening in your area. Many places have a free admission day a few times during the summer.
- Theme Days at Home – plan different theme days in case of rainy days. Have kids to plan their costumes, ask them to decorate the house or yard. Let them plan the activities and menu. You can have Reverse Days, Breakfast All Day Days, Cowboy and Country Days, Board Game Extravaganza…..
- Free Festivals – summer is time for lots of festivals that offer free entertainment and activities for the whole family. Take advantage of that just stay away from the overpriced concession stands (few treats won’t break your budget).
- Exploring Your Neighborhood – take a hike, bring a camera and have kids start a scrapbook of adventures.
Many summer activities require a little bit of money, but they give you lots of fun and bonding with your children:
- Theme Pool Days – our local pool hosts special theme pool days every Friday throughout the summer. Kids get to dress up. Enjoy special (cheap) snacks and activities provided by the pool staff. All it cost is an admission to the pool.
- Movie Matinee – check with your local movie theater. Many movie theaters have matinees throughout the summer for half of the cost of regular admission.
- 2 for 1 coupon – many businesses, parks, amusement centers offer 2 for 1 coupon during the summer. The economy might be bad, but the deals are great. So take advantage of it.
- Day on a Farm – spend the day picking fruit or berries, hiking and having a picnic on one of your local farms. It will cost you only the price of the fresh fruit and vegetables that you take home with you.
- Camping – doesn’t have to cost a lot. Staying at forestry or free campsites is so much fun. Roughing it is part of the adventure. Nobody ever talks about the “perfect” camping trip.
All you need to do is to plan your days and this summer holiday will be the best ever. No more summer boredom blues. Your kids would be too tired to complain.
The best part will be having summer fun without hurting your budget. This is the year to have summer on the budget. Can you do it?
Paris is one of Europe’s most beloved travel destinations, as well as one of its most expensive. Contrary to popular myth, however, you don’t have to look outside the city to find a cheap place to stay. Keeping price, location and overall quality in mind, it is possible to find budget accommodations in Europe’s most romantic city.
As of 2009, you wouldn’t pay more than 90 euros for a room at the Hotel Eldorado, and if you’re traveling solo, you could get a room for as low as 35 euros a night. Located near Place de Clichy, this Bohemian-style establishment consists of 23 guest rooms, each colorfully decorated according to various ethnic themes. If the weather is nice, relax at the end of a long day in the hotel’s private garden. Note that the cheapest rooms only come with washbasins. You will have to share bathing and toilet facilities with the other guests.
18 rue des Dames
011 (+33) 1 45 22 35 21
Hotel de Blois
Hotel de Blois is near trendy Boulevard du Montparnasse, just south of the train station. The Hotel de Blois’ 25 rooms may be small, but they are also well-equipped, with satellite televisions and direct dial telephones. All rooms come with showers or bathtubs. For some rooms, though, you will have to share toilet facilities. Rooms ran in the 50 to 98 euro range as of 2009.
Hotel de Blois
5 rue des Plantes
011 (+33) 1 45 40 99 48
Port Royal Hotel
The same family has been running this one-star establishment since 1931. The rooms are quiet and spotlessly clean, with some of the rooms overlooking a delightful glassed-in courtyard and others allowing guests to observe street life in the surrounding Latin Quarter. As is common in Paris, the cheapest rooms only come with a washbasin. Rooms ranged from 41 to 89 euros as of 2009; breakfast will cost you an extra 5.50 euros per head.
Port Royal Hotel
8 Boulevard Port Royal
011 (+33) 1 43 31 70 06
Hotel du Sejour
Located in the heart of the Marais, just a few steps away from the Centre George Pompidou, this one-star establishment offered rooms for as low as 47 euros a night in 2009, if you book for a minimum of three nights. While the hotel is well designed, the rooms are quite simple and most of them do not come with bathrooms. There is also no elevator on the premises, which might make staying here difficult for guests with disabilities.
Hotel du Sejour
36 Rue du Grenier St-Lazare
The Luxor Hotel and Casino is the only 30-story, 4,400-room, pyramid-shaped hotel and casino in the world. The Egyptian and contemporary-themed resort has everything you need in a desert vacation: entertainment, dining and gaming. Located in a prime location on the Las Vegas Strip, the Luxor was one of the original mega resorts.
Wows and Woes
Some great features of the Luxor include staying in a pyramid and the many amenities the hotel has to offer. I adored the oversized showers, room service, fitness center and spa. There’s more than a dozen dining options and 120,000 square feet of gaming space.
If you are looking for the “coolest” hotel on the Strip, this is not it. The jet-set head to the newest and greatest Las Vegas has to offer. There’s an additional fee for Internet access and a daily resort fee.
For the best savings, book weekday visits.
Check out packages for gaming credits and free credits to the Luxor’s spa, buffets and shows.
Author’s Most Memorable Moment
I love the casual atmosphere of the Luxor. My favorite memory is having a laid-back dinner with friends at The Burger Bar. The service was outstanding, and building your own burger from scratch from a list of hundreds of ingredients was a lot of fun.
If you have ever wanted to stay in a pyramid, complete with a sphinx and all the amenities, head to the Luxor Las Vegas.
Walking or using public transportation can be convenient, but there are times when not having a car isn’t an option. Here is a list of affordable car rental locations where long-term renters are greeted with low rates. Options include Avis, Budget, Rent a Wreck and Fox Rent a Car.
To encourage monthly rentals, Avis offers $100 off any rental of 30 days or more. It also has lower rates for customers who want to rent for 60-plus days, and the longer the life of the rental, the more the monthly fee drops. Avis has a one-time contract process; you are billed monthly for your rental without having to renew the contract. It also provides 24-hour roadside assistance.
Budget car rental offers savings for any rentals of 30 days to 11 months in length. It also offers $50 off any rental up to 330 days long, as well as 24-hour emergency roadside assistance. Like Avis, Budget has a contract policy in which you only have to fill out paperwork once, and from that point on, you are billed monthly; there is no need to continuously return to Budget’s office for contract renewals.
Rent a Wreck
Rent a Wreck markets itself as “the oldest and largest used car rental company in the world.” Don’t overlook this company simply because it uses the term “wreck” to describe its rentals. The majority of cars it has in stock are highly capable and much more affordable to rent than vehicles from other car rental locations. In many cases, its monthly rental fee can be cheaper than the daily cost of renting a new car elsewhere.
Rent a Wreck
Fox Rent A Car
In addition to the same deals as the brand-name car rental locations, such as one-time contract setup and roadside assistance, Fox Rent a Car provides a rewards program in which customers can earn points toward cheaper rentals in the future. This company is the perfect selection for anyone who needs to frequently rent cars for months at a time.
Fox Rent A Car
(800) 225-4369, ext.1
Originally home to ancient ancestors of current Native American tribes, Glacier National Park became a national park in 1910. At least 1.6 million people visit the park each year. Lodging include hotels, lodges, cottages, inns and two chalets accessible only by backpacking.
The park is open all year; however most visitor facilities are open from late May to early September. Vacationing at the park offers many activities for people of all ages.
Wows and Woes
Wildlife viewing is excellent; it’s possible to get close-up photos of grizzly bears, mountain goats, moose, elk and bighorn sheep. Bird watching is amazing; harlequin ducks frolic in McDonald Creek, dippers bob and golden eagles fly high.
Glacier National Park offers a wide array of lodging for every budget.
The weather changes quickly; bright summer days can bring heavy rainstorms without warning and snow at night. Internet access and televisions are not available at Glacier Park, Inc.’s lodging. Lake McDonald Lodge rooms do not have air conditioning, coffee makers or bathtubs.
The best time to visit the park is from late May to early September, as many visitor facilities close in the fall and winter. Take a Scenic Red Bus interpretative tour offer for a comfortable way to enjoy the scenery. Take fishing gear to catch abundant lake trout.
Glacier National Park is an excellent vacation spot for families, couples or singles. The wide variety of activities will please anyone.