The Best Ideas to Explore on a Budget in 2023

the best ideas to explore on a budget in 2023
Photo Credit: Shutterstock

June is officially here, which means it’s time to explore the great outdoors! Discover the beauty of Mother Nature found in the United States without breaking your budget. In this guide, we’ll list a few of our favorite places you can visit accompanied by some great outdoor activities you and your whole family will love. So, let’s find out how to explore on a budget together!

Explore National Parks on a Budget

Did you know there are over 400 National Parks, more than 500 National Wildlife Refuges, and millions of acres of Public Land where you can hike, walk, run, kayak, bike, camp, or even fish and hunt (with the proper permits and permission)?

Find a National Park you want to visit here, Wildlife Refuge here, or Public Land here.   

First, start off by identifying where you want to go. Make sure to check their websites for park entrance fees (if any at all). The average National Park admission is $30 per vehicle or $10 per person. Some may provide military/veteran discounts, or children under a certain age may get in for free. Remember to double-check the park’s pet policy.  

You can carpool with family or friends to cut down on vehicle entrance fees. Reference their website to see what special events they may have that day in the park. For example, some Parks/Refuges may hold special events such as hiking trail tours or interactive activities for children and adults.   

Bring food and water, and have a great time exploring!  

explore on a budget
Photo Credit: Shutterstock

Camping on a Budget

Camping is an excellent and inexpensive way to explore on a budget. It’s also a great option for those who want to get away for more than a day. Over 130 National Parks have campgrounds or camping opportunities.  

If a National Park isn’t calling to you or one is too far away, check KOA® Camping. Not only do they offer tent sites but RV sites as well. Some campgrounds may even offer lodging, so no need to worry about pitching a tent or renting an RV.  

If you split the cost of lodging between family members or a group of friends, you save money and will get to experience the great outdoors but with the comforts of home. There is no shame in “Glamping.” KOA® also has a rewards program. Click the link here to see what deals and savings they may offer. 

Camp in your Backyard  

Have an old tent just collecting dust in your garage? Shake off that dust and pitch your tent in the backyard. Backyard camping is a fun cost-effective activity you, your family, and your friends will enjoy. Spend the day outside playing games and having a BBQ. Make it a potluck BBQ if you are inviting people over. Tell ghost stories at night and sleep beneath the stars. The best part is you don’t have to worry about missing the comforts of home. Invite family, friends, and have a great time. 

explore on a budget
Photo Credit: Shutterstock

Picnic in the Park  

There is nothing better than a picnic when you’re looking to explore on a budget. Whether it’s for a date, hanging out with friends, or breaking up the monotony of summer break, a picnic always hits the spot!  

Here are some tips for packing the perfect picnic,  

  1. Sandwiches are King- Picnics do not have to be fancy. PB and J, Ham and Cheese, Turkey, and Veggies, are all great options. The key to a good picnic is you don’t want anything too messy; for example, BBQ ribs wouldn’t be a good option.  
  1. Plastic plates and cups- You want to avoid being weighed down when packing your picnic. Plastic, reusable, or enamel plates, cups, and cutlery will save your back and be easy to clean.  
  1. Remember to clean up-Bring napkins, trash bags, and wet wipes on your picnic because messes do happen, and you want to avoid being stuck in the middle of the woods with sticky hands. That’s how bears get you! Of course, I’m just kidding, but seriously bring more napkins than you think you need.  
  1. Be ready for Bugs- Remember to bring sheets of foil or even plastic wrap to cover food and drinks. You also can buy mesh coverings.  
  1. Bring weights for your Blanket- It almost always gets windy as you sit down for your lovely picnic. So remember to bring something to weigh down your picnic blanket. A book you may be reading, some rocks in the park, or even kids’ toys are good.  

If you want tips on what to pack for your picnic check out our Picnic Recipe Guide

explore on a budget
Photo Credit: Shutterstock

Play Date in the Park 

Your local community park is free and the perfect place for a playdate!  

Many parks may offer jungle gyms, and water features that children can play on and cool off.   

Check with your local government’s Parks and Recreational Department to find the perfect park for your playdates that the kids and the parents will enjoy.  

Pet parents, we will never forget about you! Set up a playdate with other pet parents and see what parks are dog-friendly or offer dog-friendly areas. Pack a little picnic for your pup, with plenty of water and their favorite treats. 

Explore the Great Outdoors on a Budget

Just because you want to explore on a budget, doesn’t mean that you’re limited with options. We hope these tips inspired you on what to do over the summer. So, let’s go on an adventure! 

High-interest loans can be expensive and should be used only for short-term financial needs, not long-term solutions. Customers with credit difficulties should seek credit counseling. The opinions expressed above are solely the author’s views and may or may not reflect the website’s or its affiliate’s opinions and beliefs. Cash Factory USA does not provide financial advice.        

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