Summer is almost here, which means it is time to start making plans to make this the best summer ever. You’re young and you have the time, so why not take advantage of it? They didn’t say your 20’s are the best times of your life because you were watching a marathon of Keeping Up with the Kardashians (not that that’s a bad thing). Here are three ways you and your friends can have that memorable summer vacation without breaking the bank.
1.) Go to a Music Festival.
Every summer, hordes of music fans head to the various music festivals across the country. From Coachella to Bonnaroo, to Firefly and Austin City Limits, these festivals are filled with top-notch artists and life changing experiences. However, most of these festivals can cost up to $300 after buying the ticket and camping/traveling costs. But no fear, there is a way to get your groove on without killing your wallet. Most big music festivals, like Bonnaroo, have a volunteer program. A simple application cost of $20-30 bucks can get you a free ticket, camping, a sometimes even food vouchers you can use at the festival. If you go with a group, the festival will usually accommodate that you and your friends can work the same shifts. Even if you don’t get to work at the same time, a music festival is all about meeting new people and breaking out of your comfort zone. Don’t want to volunteer, that’s fine. More and more small festivals are popping up around the country. Yes, the biggest names won’t be there, but you could discover a new band or genera of music with cheaper ticket prices.
2.) Re-Discover Your City
As a kid from the New Jersey suburbs, I’m lucky enough that I’m right between Philadelphia and New York City. However, even though I’ve been going to both of those places since I was a kid, there are still a million things I have never done. If you’re like me, any time you’ve gone “into the city” is for a specific reason. You had a scheduled plan. Now where is the fun in that? Go, grab a few friends and spend a day walking around the city with no aim. There are plenty of free or inexpensive things to do. Now if you aren’t like me and are a city native you’re probably scoffing at me. But here’s a real question: “When’s the last time you were a tourist in your own city?” That seems crazy, why would you want to encompass the very thing you hate, but seriously. I can’t tell you how many born and bred city kids have never been to Ellis Island or the Liberty Bell. Get your history on, take the bus, spend the 15 bucks, and go get closer to your national identity. Not into the fifth grade field trip? It’s cool; I get it, but go to a museum. Half the time you only have to pay a donation, which can be a penny if you want to be that person. Exhibits change all the time. Put that liberal arts degree to use!
3.) Go Find Nature
Once again, I’m lucky that I live in a state in which it takes only an hour to get anywhere. I'm even luckier that it takes me only 15 minutes to get to the beach. However, I know some souls aren’t blessed with a geographically dense state as I am. Now, as fun as the beach is, it does get boring after a while. My friends and I like to take advantage of the many state parks that are in New Jersey. Summer is the best season to do this! The great thing about most state parks is that they are completely free. Spend a day with a friend, a partner, or your pooch, and discover some of the less walked on trails in your state park. Bring you kids along for a great camping adventure too! If you need to buy them a new sleeping bag, there's a good selection at Planet Camping. Have a picnic, go swimming in a creek, and get your Instagram game on point. However you need to get connected to nature, do you. It’s likely you have state park closer to you than you think, and a variety of these parks have different activities you can do. From canoeing to horseback riding, for a small fee, you can cross something off your bucket list and help support a local business.
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Whatever you're into, there are no more excuses to not take that vacation day this summer and go out into the world. You only live once, make the most of it.
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