Dust off the beach bags and break out the swimsuits—even if it may not feel like it, summer vacation is just around the corner. With those warmer temperatures come kids with one dangerous thing on their hands: free time.
If you're already on the hunt for activities to keep the rugrats busy, then you're probably also considering summer camp. Camps are a great option because they frequently expose children to experiences they would not get at home, while simultaneously teaching skills like self-care, teamwork, and conflict resolution.
The challenge, however, is selecting a camp that fits both the child and that pesky household budget. But with a bit of early research and some savvy saving ideas, you can find a great camp option for your child that won't break the bank.
Consider a Day Camp
Overnight camps are expensive and, depending on your child, they might not be the right fit. Children can get a similar sense of independence from a day-long program that they can from an overnight one—and Mom and Dad can save quite a bit of money, too.
Look for Early Registration Discounts
Many camps offer discounted savings if you confirm your spot early. This includes camps as varied as those run by local organizations and recreation departments to far-flung sleepover camps. Early registration discounts may be due as soon as December or as late as April. Check with your local camp now to see if there is still time.
Inquire about Sibling Discounts
In addition to early registration incentives, many camps offer sibling discounts. These can range anywhere from five to 20 percent or more, depending on the number of children you are signing up. Ask about relative discounts—some camps may entertain a discount for cousins, too.