Spring Break on a Budget
There are numerous ways to have fun during Spring Break without spending your tax refund or hard earned savings on entertaining your family. No matter what you want to get out of the week, just know you can do it on a small budget. Breaking the bank is unnecessary when some of the best memories you can make with others is through spending time, not money.
Disconnect and Connect While Camping
Camping can be a great way to connect with your friends, family and nature! Load everyone into your car with your camping gear, enough food to get you through your trip and don’t forget the s’mores! Some of the best times you can have with people is away from the hustle and bustle of town, and away from cell service. Sitting around the fire, telling stories and laughing is one of the best ways to spend Spring Break without breaking your budget!
Don’t own a tent or typical camping gear? There are many other options such as renting a yurt, staying at a local Kampgrounds of America (KOA) campground or even renting an RV to visit your favorite campground!
Be a Tourist in Your Own Region/Plan a Staycation
If you have to work or simply don’t feel like leaving your area, think about making a list of things to do and see in your own town or the town next door. Most towns have a variety of things to do that you would not even think about! Do your research and visit your local Chamber or visitor’s center to find some new activities. Is there a new restaurant, coffee shop or farm you have been wanting to try? A hike you always see others posting about on social media? Go to the coast, see the waterfalls or hot springs! Maybe a fun new activity you have not carved any time out to try? Sign up for a class hosted by your local art studio. If you have any gift cards you have been waiting to use, now is your chance! You can also check out any online coupons to see if you can utilize any coupons that apply to your region. Some local radio stations even sell Staycation cards for $100 or less that focus on local family fun with a $500 value of activities! Talk to your friends and family, or decide what is best for you. What is better than having a great week filled with new experiences? Keep it within any budget constraints you may have and support your local economy! Something else to consider is staying local but staying somewhere far enough from home that it feels like a vacation without a flight or a long drive. Look at Airbnb, Vrbo, or HomeAway for potential places to stay. Also, hotels might offer a locals only discount, so make sure to check into those as well! The list can go on and on with the endless possibilities of a Staycation.
Plan a Scavenger Hunt
Scavenger hunts can be fun for all ages. Kids do not necessarily need to be involved, although the wonder, energy and curiosity from our youth can be a great avenue to teach them how their community works. If you want to make it educational, you can make a list of questions they need to find answers for that can be answered at places such as the fire department, police station and library. Many of these agencies are happy to host tours with proper coordination. Involve friends or family, leave clues and plan snacks along the way. Don’t forget prizes, people love to be rewarded for their hard work and celebrate their competiveness! You could even make it a photo scavenger hunt and submit your best shots to Rogue for our annual photo contest for calendars!
Utilize Your Local Library or Kids Activity Zones
Many county libraries have awesome kid’s events and activities planned throughout the week focused on little ones of all ages. Toddlerobics, STEM and engineering activities, arts and craft programs, video games and movie events, board games and of course reading and writing focused sessions are all ways to have fun at your library. Create an incentive based reading program just like you might have set-up for chores. The library is a free way to get our youth excited about learning every day of the week!
Other great resources to tap into during Spring Break with kids can be children’s museums, craft stores, mini-golf theme parks, the YMCA and your local City Parks & Recreation department. There are usually day camps set up specifically for working parents during Spring Break. Make sure to research what works best for your family and sign-up early!
Visit a National Park
Oregon is well-known for its iconic Crater Lake National Park. This lake is the deepest in the United States, and in our very own backyard! Besides the crystal blue water, the beauty of this park is that it appeals to all ages. There are trails for many to enjoy from easy to strenuous, and from paved to backcountry. You can fish the lake, take a boat tour out to Wizard Island or even drive the scenic rim tour, if that tickles your fancy.
If Crater Lake does not appeal to you and you want to trek a little further, an annual National Park pass costs around $80 and can pay for itself if you plan to visit multiple parks in a 12-month period plus there are several discount programs! U.S. Military members can get the annual pass for free, as can some school groups, foster parents and certain volunteers. For seniors, annual passes cost around $20 and lifetime passes $80. Lifetime passes are free for those with permanent disabilities. If you are an AAA member, you will also be able to take advantage of free entry.
Why Spend When You Can Save?
Lastly, think about saving money instead of spending. There are a few ways to do this. Do you have a child saving for a school trip? Teach them about being an entrepreneur and have them find creative ways to save during their week off. Check in with neighbors about any projects or tasks they might be willing to hire an unseasoned worker for. Jobs such as dog walking, cat sitting, or other light-duty home or yard work can assist them in their financial goals while helping others in need. Do you have a Rogue Ranger at home? Have them work on their Badge Book Program! It teaches great lessons regarding deposits, saving, earning dividends and more! The Rogue Rangers have a host of tools including educational activities, events and resources, as well as fun rewards for participation! The Give, Save, Spend Challenge even rewards our youth with $5 into their high-yield Ownership Account. Additionally, each time they deposit $1 into their account, they earn a punch on their punch card. When their punch cards are full, they can take them into any branch and pick a prize from our treasure chest.
Whatever you decide to do, know you can have just as much fun on a budget as you would breaking the bank. Here at Rogue, we love teaching our youth about financial success!