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The 4th of July is always a fun but hectic time of the year, and it’s just a few weeks away! Last year, nearly 50 million Americans hit the road on the 4th, heading off for their summer vacations and taking in the sights on our nation’s birthday. This year, with the U.S. economy in high gear, you can expect more of the same. If you’re looking forward to a great Independence Day holiday but are on a tight budget, don’t worry. You can have a great and memorable holiday without breaking the bank. Here are some excellent ways to celebrate the red, white, and blue without spending a lot of green.
Find the Free Fireworks
If you have a tight budget this summer, paying to get into an exclusive fireworks show may be off the table. Fortunately, you have several options available for you to enjoy fireworks on the 4th that won’t cost anything at all. Many cities and towns put on free fireworks shows, so do a quick internet search and find one in your area. Then, pack the lawn chairs, a cooler, and all your family members, and head to the free show. Make sure you get there early enough to get great seats. Alternatively, you can scout out a good spot to watch a private fireworks show outside of a paid venue. Either way you do it, you should be able to enjoy a great firework display this summer without having to pay a cent.
Have a Staycation
The 4th of July holiday weekend is one of the biggest vacation holidays of the year. As a result, the costs of everything, from fuel to lodging to entertainment, are often higher than during other summer weekends. So, if you want to save some serious money this summer and escape the crowds, consider skipping the holiday madness altogether. Instead of hitting the road with everyone else for a crowded vacation venue, stay home and enjoy local events. You can use the money you would’ve spent on gas and hotels to do things around your community, and you’ll have plenty of money left over. Your family and you can still have a great time on the holiday, save money, and avoid all the traffic and lines that everyone else is contending with over the weekend.
Go Camping (or Glamping)
Instead of heading to the most in-demand (and overpriced) vacation hotspots this summer, head to the great outdoors and go camping instead. In most cases, you can find and reserve a place to camp for a low price, especially when you compare camping to hotels and other types of vacation lodging; you can often find campsites, parks, and privately owned lands that are free, too. Camping can be a great way for your family and friends to connect, and it can become a great family and friend tradition. However, if the idea of roughing it in the woods is a bit much, you can pitch a camp right in your backyard, and enjoy the great outdoors within walking distance of your bathroom and the AC.
Party on a Shoestring Budget
If your backyard is party-central every 4th of July, you don’t have to mortgage your home to have a fun and memorable get-together. In fact, you can throw a great party while keeping costs under control. For example, in lieu of paying for paper invitations and postage, you can save serious money by sending out emails or e-invites instead. You can also keep your food and drink costs low by having a potluck and assigning people to bring specific dishes, beverages, and desserts to the party. Finally, instead of splurging on 4th of July decorations, have a friendly competition to see who can bring the most festive, patriotic Independence Day decorations to the party, setting them out as each guest arrives. If you follow one or more of these guidelines, you can have a 4th of July party everyone in the neighborhood wants to attend, and barely spend anything at all to throw it.
Start a Low-cost Family Tradition
If you want to have a great 4th of July holiday for your family without spending a fortune, consider starting a memorable but low-cost Independence Day tradition you can do year after year that everyone will look forward to. For example, you can set up an Independence Day scavenger hunt that has teams of family members searching across your town for key items; the team that wins has responsibility for setting up the following year’s hunt. Alternatively, you can host some sort of family team competition that’s a combination of endurance and silliness to complete, and that’s designed to let everyone participate. A high-stakes game of Monopoly, Settlers of Catan, or some other classic board game might be another way to make the holiday memorable, fun, and inexpensive for your family to enjoy.
Even on a limited budget, you can plan a 4th of July holiday that your friends and family will love. Focus on making everything fun and simple, and you can have a memorable 4th of July regardless of your budget. So, consider the tips here, and start planning your best and lowest cost holiday ever!