Okay. We all live in Grand Rapids or West Michigan.  I grew up in Petoskey, and Memorial Day weekend was officially the start to the Summer for us. Even though the weather was awful sometimes, and summer doesn't officially start for another few weeks, in our minds it did.

AAA is saying that 34.7 Million People will travel this weekend, and 1.1 Million of those are in Michigan.  With Gas Prices, Economy being squeezed, layoffs and more factors, we are all looking for things to do on a budget... So here's my short list of Thrifty Memorial Day Ideas.

#5 - Have a picnic

Picnics generally speaking are fairly inexpensive, and you can have them almost anywhere, including your own back yard. You can buy much of the food at the store, and have plenty of leftovers or food you can use in your own kitchen later on! Plus, it's a good excuse to slice up a watermellon all fancy!

#4 - Camping

Another old standby, but again, another fairly inexpensive way to "get away" without break the budget. Michigan is loaded with many great public and private campgrounds, and if you have a friend or family with land, you can camp for free!

#3 - Beach Day

Yes, May weather is Michigan can be spotty, but with a 3 day weekend were  bound to at least get one nice day or two out of the weekend.  So many lakes, big and small to pick from, and most of them being free. Plus, the kids like it, you'll get a tan and you can have a picnic! Don't forget the sunscreen, even in May!

#2 - Mystery Road Trip

Pack up the kids, load up the car, and just DRIVE. See where you end up. This can not only be exciting, but you'll likely end up in a place you've never been before.  Budget money for Gas and go from there. Maybe even get "lost" on some dirt road and see where you come out! Sounds fun to me!

#1 - Stay Home

Hear me out on this one. Stay home, well close to home and explore and enjoy all of the stuff your own city or area  has to offer. Often we get so busy with everything, we often forget about all our own towns and areas have to offer. Museums, rivers, trails, shopping, coffee shops, diners, restaurants and more!  Rediscover your own hometown, while you have some time free to enjoy it!

There you go.  My Top 5 list of Memorial Weekend Activities, on the cheap!

Enjoy, be safe, and bring on summer!