4 Summer Vacations That Won't Break the Bank

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  • Summer travel can be expensive since it's when demand tends to soar.
  • Here are a few lower-cost trips worth looking into.

Here's how to travel on the cheap.

There's a reason summer tends to be a popular time for travel. The weather's usually good (albeit very hot in some parts of the country) and kids get time off from school, so there's no need to worry about them missing out on days of learning.

But there's a downside to traveling during the summer, and it's having to pay more to take a vacation. Since demand tends to rise in the summer, travel costs tend to follow suit.

Perhaps you have a pile of money in your savings account earmarked for a summer vacation. But if that's not the case, and money is somewhat tight, you may want to look into your options for traveling on a budget. Here are a few vacation ideas that shouldn't cost you a ton of money -- and can make for many fond memories.

1. Visit family in a different city

If you have family that lives in a different part of the country, paying them a visit could give you an opportunity to spend quality time together and scope out a fun, new city. Now for this sort of trip to result in big savings, you may need the option to bunk at your family's home rather than stay at a hotel. But if that's an option and you can score free lodging, you might enjoy a fun time away with family you don't get to see very often.

2. Rent a cabin in the woods

Planting yourself in the woods for a week is a great way to escape the daily grind. And generally, you can rent a remote cabin for a relatively modest fee. From there, you can spend your time hiking, swimming in a lake (if there's one nearby), and enjoying your share of fresh air. For even more savings, you may want to consider a camping trip where you don't have to rent a place at all. This could be a very cost-effective option if you already have your share of camping gear.

3. Spend a week at a no-frills beach

Renting a beach house in a popular town loaded with restaurants and boardwalk amenities could cost you a lot. But if you're willing to stay at a no-frills beach, you might score a rental on the cheap. From there, you can enjoy quiet beach access, and while you may have to cook a lot of your own meals, you may get the option to eat them with an ocean view.

4. Explore some state parks

National parks tend to get crowded during the summer, so much so that you may be denied entry if you go at a particularly busy time. State parks, on the other hand, tend to see more moderate foot traffic, so it could pay to spend a few days exploring different trails and scenery without having to battle throngs of people.

Summertime travel can cost a lot -- but it doesn't have to, if you stick to the right itinerary. You can also save money on your summer vacation by using the right credit card. Some cards offer generous amounts of cash back for things like gas fill-ups, so even if you're taking a low-key trip, you might manage to eke out some pretty sweet rewards.

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