How to Vacation on a Budget

One of the many perks of university is a summer holiday twice as long as we were accustomed to in high school. Instead of ending almost into July, we can finish as early as mid- April, which is great, right?! The only problem is trying to plan easy and affordable, yet incredible, adventures with your favourite people without breaking the bank. Believe it or not, there are a ton of cheap, fun things you can do this summer!

1. Beach Days

Southwestern Ontario is known for its proximity to 3 of the 5 great lakes (Ontario, Huron, and Erie) and their beautiful beaches. Most major cities are within an hour drive of at least one of these lakes. The best part? Most of these beaches don’t charge an entry fee! Grab a carload of your closest friends, some snacks, and enjoy a day of swimming and sunbathing along the shores of these beautiful lakes and perusing the surrounding beach towns.

2. Camping Trip

With enough people, a camping trip is super affordable. Borrow a tent, split the campsite fee between your group, and have everyone bring a little bit of food, voila! Fun, affordable and very little hassle. Ontario’s many provincial parks have relatively reasonable campsite fees and allow you to enjoy the beauty of the beaches and wildlife with your friends.

3. Backyard Bonfire

Bonfires are easily one of my favourite things to do with my friends and family; they’re so simple and cost-friendly, and a hit with almost anyone. Roasting hot dogs, making smores, listening to music, and enjoying company are classic summer activities. If you live in an area where there are fire bans or people with sensitivity to campfire smoke, propane-powered fire pits are a great alternative. They provide the same experience without the sparks, the ashes, or the need for wood, all in compliance with the fire bans in most cities. 

4. Go to a drive-in

Movies under the stars… what better way to enjoy a beautiful summer night? Cheaper than the cinema to begin with, most drive-ins offer a per-vehicle fee, so the more people you take, the cheaper it is! Just be prepared for a long night… most tend to show multiple movies in an evening, so be sure to grab your comfiest hoodies, pillows and blankets, and sit back, relax, and enjoy.