10 Fun Things To Do This Summer on a College Budget

The following is a guest post from Sani Golriz of RentScouter.

The scenario: School’s out for the summer. You’ve been waiting for this moment since last year when school started. But you don’t know what to do because you’re on a college budget and have very little to spend on entertaining yourself.

Well, this post intends to change that mindset, no matter where you live and how much money you have to spend on some summer fun. Even if you have an unlimited supply of disposable income, you you should continue reading because you’ll pick up a few golden nuggets.

Here are 10 unforgettable and fun things you can plan for your summer vacation:

1. Take a Hike
I mean that literally. Go for a hike with a group of friends. Organize a hike once every week or two to places you’ve never had the opportunity to go. If you have a healthy number of people in your group, you can take turns driving and carpool your way there. The car ride will be the perfect prelude to a day of hiking, unless one of your friends smells bad or gets massively motion sick in moving vehicles. At that point you’ll want to re-think your crew.

2. Pitch a Tent
Did you know that national forests offer free camping? Same with BLM lands, so look into this possibility. All you really need to camp is a tent, some firewood, and a match. Food and water should probably be considered as well. This can be another group organizational trip; once or twice a month consider heading outside for some real R&R. Doesn’t unwinding off the grid in a natural environment sound so great? You can car-camp or backpack in to find the perfect, secluded site. Both have awesome perks, so plan enough trips to fully enjoy each!

3. Enter in a Triatholon
Whether you’re athletic or not, you can certainly train and participate in a triatholon. For those who have never heard this term, it’s a bike, run, and swim race. You do a little bit of each and get massive kudos from friends and family for it. Just post it on Facebook and you’ll istantly be popular. Triatholons give you the chance to explore activities that you may have otherwise not participated in the past. You’ll realize through the training how invigorating it can be. You’ll also meet new fun and active people who will probably motivate you to continue competing in the future.

4. Have a BBQ
This can happen every single day if you wanted it to, and why shouldn’t it? Nothing says summer like slabbing a piece of meat (or tofu) on the grill. Picture this: a backyard bbq with 100 of your closest friends (Yikes!) playing yard games, swimming in the pool (or doughboy, whatever you can get your hands on), and drinking delicious summer concoctions. Of course you’re not expected to buy all the goods, make it a potluck! Everyone brings their own grill item and drinks, and you prepare a few appetizers. It’s as easy as that and super fun.

5. Outdoor Films and Town Festivals
These are the best. When was the last time you saw a film outside with a picnic?  If the answer is never, you’re seriously missing out. If you live in a college town, chances are that the summer months are when the school sponsors these sorts of events. Tickets are typically under $10 and you’ll have a schedule of movies to choose from.

Town festivals are also fun events to go to. Again, if you live in a college town, you’ll likely see these events all year round. You’ll typically find that these festivals are for every age, so there’s something to do for all interests. You can usually find the year’s events on a master calendar on your city, town, or state’s website.

6.Go to a Baseball Game
No summer is complete without attending a proper baseball game. Baseball epitomizes all things summer related. You can find super cheap seats at every stadium. Not too keen on watching a bunch of guys running around a diamond slapping each other’s butts? Chances are that if you’ve been asked by a group of friends to go, you’ll pay little attention to the game and more attention to bonding with your cohorts, or just the hottie sitting next to you. Spending time with your friends while enjoying (or pretending to) an American past-time: win-win, wouldn’t you say?

7. Put Your Green Thumb to Use
Summer is a great season to plant vegetables, flowers, and herbs. It’s very rewarding to plant your own food, so give it a shot. There are a plethora of online resources that will give you tips on best practices when gardening, like what you should plant next to each other, what grows like a weed and will need occasional pruning, how to efficiently build your flower bed, etc. When my boyfriend started our garden plot, he grew tomatoes for us. It seemed easy enough, all I was required to do was water it each day. It actually ruined me because to this day I can’t eat a store-bought tomato. Must be home-grown or purchased at a farmer’s market, which, incidentally, is another fun thing to do on a summer budget!

8. Take Advantage of Your Birth Right
This is only applicable to people of Jewish descent, but is worthy of mention here. Basically, Israel has a free birth right trip. If your mother is Jewish, you get a complimentary 10 day trip where your flight, food, and lodging is completely paid for. You must be 18 years or older to enjoy this amazing opportunity, which is probably applicabe to your if you’re Jewish and reading this post.

9. Volunteer
Volunteering can be a very satisfying experience. In some way or another, you’re helping other people and/or animals. If you love animals, find a zoo or animal shelter and devote some time to helping them adjust to their environments. If you have a passion for helping people without homes, volunteer at a homeless shelter. If you want some experience in the medical field and want to help disadvantaged individuals, consider donating your time to free clinics. Whatever your interest, you can always find a place to volunteer your services. If you’re a college student, this is a major bonus. You get to include it on your resume!

10. Beach It
Or Lake It, if you’re landlocked. This is a no brainer, right? How long has it been since you had the chance to relax near a body of water without a textbook in your hand? Hanging out at the beach or lake can be a solo or group event. If you have neither a beach nor lake, and you’re really hurting for a body of water, get a doughboy. Splish Splash!

Do you have any other ideas for fun things to do on a summer budget? Share them in the comments below!

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