I am excited to have been asked by The J.M. Smucker Company to share my tips for planning a summer family staycation, which includes using favorite J.M. Smucker Company products. It seems that I blinked and the end of summer is right here! Where in the world did the time go? With my husband working a pretty new job, we weren’t able to take a family summer vacation like we usually do. He just couldn’t get the time off work and we didn’t really have the money for the travel expense, hotels, food and attraction costs. We did take a mid-summer road trip to see my daughter, who lives about 3 hours away. I didn’t want the summer to end without doing something fun with the family. Who said you had to travel half way across the country to have a fun end of the summer trip? We decided to visit a local water park for our end of the summer family staycation. Here are my tips for planning the perfect getaway without breaking the bank!
Stay Local: Just because you don’t have the money to travel far does not mean you cannot have a good time. We are lucky to live within a few hours drive of a ton of family fun. Not only do you save a ton on travel expenses if you stay local, you get to give back to your community and be home to sleep in your own bed!
Plan Ahead: I am a list maker and follower, so I plan things weeks in advance. I will get online and research what attractions are within a 2 hour or less drive away. Once I make a list of the attractions, I sit down with my husband and the kids and we vote on where we want to go. This way, everyone is on the same page and we all had a voice in where we visit.
Food and Drinks: Another money sucker for visiting local attractions is food and drinks. One meal (burger, fries and a drink) for the four of us runs an average of $32. I can pack the kids school lunches for 2 weeks or more for that kind of money! Instead, we pack snacks and a few empty water bottles in our backpack.
Ticket Discounts: Many attractions offer discounts for the purchase of season passes. They also tend to offer discounts for larger groups (15+) as well. Check with your friends, neighbors, or your church or play group to see if they would like to go as a group. The water park we are visiting offers one complimentary ticket for each 15 paid admissions.
Choosing A Date: Deciding on the best day to visit the attraction can make a big difference. If you go during the week, the crowds are thinner, therefore, the lines are shorter. We have a child with special needs and waiting in lines can be tough for him. Also, some attractions have cheaper tickets if you visit during the week as opposed to the weekends.
When we are shopping for our snacks for our summer family staycation, I go where I can find snacks the kids want at an affordable price. For me, that would be several family favorite Smucker’s® products including Jif To Go Dippers, Uncrustables, Jif Whips, and Jif Spreads. Our favorite “Snackation” Destination? Walmart of course! At Walmart, I know I will find the largest selection of our favorite Smucker’s® products at the best price. I love the variety of snacks from Smucker’s® for our staycation “Snackation”. There is literally something for all of us to enjoy. We usually make a picnic type spread so we can all share.
By making Walmart our “Snackation” Destination, we get to eat the snacks we love while saving money. What does this mean for my family It means we have more money in our summer family staycation budget! Yay! I cannot wait to head to the water park and experience more than 23 rides and slides! We love the RiverRush, which is the world’s first water coaster! I know, right!?! Please read my post, Tips For Saving Money At Amusement Parks, and our trip to the water park.