How to have a year-long summer on the cheap

2019-06-24 14:00 - Ethan Van Diemen
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(Photo: iStock)

Maybe you feel the world deserves (or needs) to see your legs or upper lower arm all the time and winter weather just doesn't allow for that. Perhaps you're addicted to the smell of sunscreen (totally a thing) or maybe you just don't like being cooped up inside all the time feeling like you can't do what you want because it's raining and cold.

Whatever your reason, there are many amongst us who dream of a year-long summer. Well, we're here to tell you it's not only possible for Beyonce and the 1%. You too could skip winter and have a year of glorious summer-loving fun and it needn't break the bank if you're open-minded. 

Here's how to have your year-long summer on the cheap:  

Summer camp

You've seen the movies, kids are running riot around in a wooden cabin while the counsellor struggles to wake up even as the bugle toots out a melody signalling the start of the day and a call to assembly.

You wash your face, brush your teeth and head to a flagpole to see the raising of the American flag - you're at summer camp. As a camp counsellor, you have the opportunity to share your international insights and perspective in a cultural exchange whilst ensuring that the campers have a great summer. 

Cabin coastline on Saranac Lake bathed in the morn(Photo: iStock)

Every year, millions of American children head to summer camps at the lakes, forests, rivers and valleys of the United States. Children play and learn in a safe and structured environment. 

Horseback riding, sailing, soccer, basketball, hiking, crafts, and a variety of water sports fill your days while you spend your evenings around campfires telling stories, singing songs and eating s'mores. This quintessentially American experience is one of the easiest ways to skip winter in the Southern Hemisphere.   

Three young men jumping in the water while smiling(Photo: iStock)

Practically, this involves you spending your day walking about the camp engaging in the various activities according to a particular schedule. That could mean basketball in the morning, sailing after lunch and arts and crafts before dinner. 

Most camps will pay you a bi-monthly wage (don't expect too much, you're a glorified babysitter, not a chemical engineer), in addition to having all living expenses covered, that you could use to buy gifts or spend on travel after camp.  

Free room and board plus a small wage over the course of the American summer (southern hemisphere winter) is an inexpensive way for you to skip winter back home and head home once its summer down south again. 

SEE: Budget December trips abroad you can still book - without missing out on summer

Volunteer abroad

There hardly a better way to do good and escape the winter than by doing some volunteer work abroad in the destination of your choice's summer season. 

Maybe you've got the feeling that you've got a higher purpose than sitting in front of a screen preparing spreadsheets. Maybe the 9-5 thing just doesn't get you impassioned. Human beings do seem to have some innate drive to help one another, so maybe going above and beyond and volunteering abroad is the perfect way for you to stay in the warm rays of the sun and do some good. 

If that is the case, volunteering abroad might be for you. Many organisations are willing to pay for your room and board in exchange for your unpaid labour (it is volunteer work after all) and with a variety of different avenues to explore, you could chase the sun and do good at the same time leaving you with a year's worth of fuzzy feelings in a number of different summer locations - on the cheap.    

So where do you want to be? What do you want to do? For your year-long summer its okay to allow your altruistic self be a little selfish.

ALSO SEE: 12 Meaningful ways to spend a year travelling


Teach English abroad

Ask any recently returned English teacher from South Korea or Thailand - teaching abroad is one of the most rewarding and character building experiences that you can have. It's great that you can earn some decent cash too if you stay in a well-paying country or one with a low cost of living. 

Contracts vary on a case-to-case basis, so though it is usually the case that the schools would prefer you stay on for longer contracts, it is entirely possible to bag yourself a 6-month contract that, if timed correctly, can have you spend a summer teaching English in some beautiful foreign destination. 

So enjoy your summer in SA then plan it out so that you move abroad to teach English in your country of choice when it is their summer. 

Don't be mistaken - you will be working and it might be a challenge for you to adjust to all the hard work along with all the cultural differences but this is one way that you can be certain won't break the bank as you enjoy a year-long summer.

Travel and Make Money: How to plan a teaching break abroad

Cruise ship photographer

Travel and photography go together like bread and butter so why not make use of the combination to offset your expenses and afford yourself the opportunity to enjoy a year-long summer. 

Yes, we are aware that ships move and that you may not always be in an exceptionally summery location but with proper research and preparation, you can ensure that you work on a ship that will, in the main, be docking in locations where you never need more than a long-sleeved cotton tee. 

This is a particularly great way to see the world on a budget as, depending on what cruise liner you end up on, you go from city to city, country to country. Be forewarned though, you may be paid a fair salary in US dollars, cruise ships are notorious for their long hours of demanding work and photographers are always needed on deck.

Work on an organic farm

One of the most unique ways to enjoy a year-long summer on the cheap is to head out to one of the WWOOF countries right as summer comes to an end at home and work on an organic farm on a country with a warmer climate.

WWOOF is a worldwide movement linking volunteers with organic farmers and growers to promote cultural and educational experiences based on trust and non-monetary exchange which is thought to assist in the building of a sustainable, global community.

As a volunteer, you will live alongside your host helping with daily tasks and experiencing life as a farmer. Your host will open up their home to you and you will have the chance to connect with the land and support the organic movement. 

This is a great way to get a tan and enjoy a healthy lifestyle while escaping a winter back home. Have you ever seen a farmer without a tan? Exactly. Check it out. 

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