Yurts are becoming a popular option for frugal vacations.

Today the M-Network is doing a series on vacationing. Frugal tips, ideas, experiences, personal accounts…everything. Check out the other M-Network blogs for more!

Vacation season is here, and if you’re like me, you want to make your vacation as fun, and frugal, as possible. Fortunately fun and frugality can go hand in hand. There are lots of ways to save money on your vacation, without scrimping on the fun. Here are a few ideas to get you going.

Visit Friends or Family

If you have friends or family who live in a different area, visit them on your vacation. Often friends or family will offer you a place to stay on vacation. That cuts your hotel costs out completely!

If you take this kind of vacation, make sure you’re appreciative. Pitch in for food costs, buy some flowers, and offer to take your hosts out for breakfast or dinner. Don’t forget to help with the chores, too. And if your friends are ever in your town, make sure you offer to return the favor.

For years my husband, daughter and I would take our vacation in the middle of the Nevada desert to visit my father-in-law. The Nevada desert isn’t the first place most people think to vacation, but it was great! We got away from the city, my daughter got to know her grandpa, and we didn’t spend a lot of money.

Go Camping

Camping is another inexpensive vacation idea. There are many different kinds of campgrounds available. At some, you will really be roughing it. Others have lots of amenities, including hot showers, flush toilets, and drinkable water….all musts in my book.

If tent camping scares you, try camping in a yurt. Yurts are becoming more and more popular. They include beds, electricity, and heat. Some yurts even include bathrooms, TVs, microwaves, refrigerators and kitchen areas! And they can cost a lot less than hotels.

Many campgrounds also offer cabins for rent. Like yurts, some are incredibly rustic, and some offer lots of modern amenities. There’s sure to be something that fits your comfort level and your budget!

To find a campground, yurt, cabin, or RV space, you might want to check the following resources:

Rent a Vacation Home

This is definitely a more expensive option than staying with friends or camping, but you can still make it economical and fun. If you’re not into cooking over an open fire and using community bathrooms, a vacation home might be a good option for you.

I like renting vacation homes for our vacations, because vacation homes give us more space to spread out and relax. Having a separate bedroom for the kids is great, because my husband and I get some time to ourselves after the kids are in bed.

A fully equipped kitchen helps save money on food, because you can either bring food with you or hit the grocery store when you get to your destination and do all your cooking yourself.

And if the weather doesn’t cooperate, you will stay warm and dry in your vacation rental, and you can spend the day playing board games or reading a good book.

If you’re looking for a vacation rental, you might want to check out these sites:

A Few More Money Saving Tips

Stay close to home. If you don’t drive far, you won’t use as much gas. Enough said.

Bring your own food. Even if you’re staying in a hotel, bring your own snacks and maybe some instant oatmeal. Cooking your own food is much less expensive than eating at restaurants for every meal.

Plan your vacation during the off season. No matter where you go, you are sure to find a better deal if you vacation during the off season.

Relax. You don’t have to plan every minute of your vacation. Visiting various attractions in your destination place can be fun, but it also gets expensive and stressful. Make sure you spend some time just hanging out and relaxing. It’s free, and sometimes it’s nice to take a break and do nothing.

What do you do for a frugal vacation? Do you have vacation plans this summer?

Photo by zophos.