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Thank you for visiting Aloha Beach Camp's summer camp blog. Aloha Beach Camp is an aquatic-focused day camp program for kids and teens ages 4 to 14 in Los Angeles, California. 2018 Summer Camp activities include surfing lessons, boogie boarding, ocean swimming lessons, tubing, jet skiing and more at Zuma Beach and Paradise Cove in Malibu, and Castaic Lake in Valencia (just outside L.A.) plus other amazing aquatic venues. Join us for summer camp 2018!

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

How to save money on Summer Camp

Let's face it -- sending your kids to summer camp can cost a small (or not so small!) fortune. But here's a secret: you can save up to 25% or more off your camp tuition if you know the right people and use the right strategies.

Sending your child to camp can be just like buying a car -- you don't want to pay full price . . . and you don't need to! So let's start with 5 things you can do right now to save money at camp:

Early Bird Discounts

Camp directors want to fill their camps as soon as possible, and they want to get paid as soon as possible, perhaps more so than in other industries because camp directors only get a few months per to make as much money as they can. So you've got some leverage here. Most likely, a camp will offer you discounted tuition in exchange for your early registration (and sometimes prepayment). So make sure you ask the camp director about early bird discounts because you might be pleasantly surprised how much you can save.

Camp Coupons

Everyone uses coupons at the grocery store, but did you know you can save money with coupons at camp? There's a website in development called campcoupons.com. It probably won't be online for another few months, so it may not benefit you this year. But it'll be loaded with kinds of great coupon offers and discount opportunities from camps around the country. You'll be able to print free money-saving coupons from your favorite camp(s) absolutely free.
Meanwhile, there's another Website called gocamps.com that, last we checked, was offering offered discounts of at least 25% from participating camps on its site. Last we checked there were discount offers from camps across the USA. So visit http://www.gocamps.com/, click on Registration Discounts and see what you can find.

Sibling Discounts and Group Rates

You might not see a sibling discount advertised, but don't let this stop you from asking because you can probably get one anyway. Most camps I'm aware of will generally provide a 5% discount off the second child's tuition . . . but they may not volunteer this opportunity is available. So remember, ask for a sibling discount!

Group discounts may be available for an even larger savings. How much of a savings are we talking about? The amount will vary from camp to camp and the size of your group. At a minimum, your group should save at least 10% off camp tuition. Why? Because it's a camp director's dream-come-true to register a bunch of kids at once, rather than expending the time, money, and other resources to seek out and enroll one kid at a time. You're making things easier on the camp, so your group should be rewarded with a nice discount.

Lock-in your tuition rate the year before

Camps generally raise their prices every year, so here's a little known secret that can save you lots of money. You can often freeze your tuition at this year's rates so your rates won't go up next summer, even though everyone else will be paying full price.
Similar to the Early Bird discount program described above, some camps offer Advance Registration discounts where, for a month or two after the current summer ends, you can prepay for the following summer at this year's prices. Even though you're essentially prepaying for camp a year in advance, you're also freezing your tuition at the current year's rates and the savings can be tremendous.

Tax Breaks

Did you know you might qualify for a tax deduction (credit) on your income taxes? In our experience, those who've qualified for this credit are parents sending their kid to day camps, not overnight camps. You will need to consult your tax advisor for the specific details because we are not qualified to give tax advice. But if your child attends a day camp and your can get the camp's federal tax id number you may qualify for a tax deduction child care credit. Here's a link for more information from Bank Rate.com: http://articles.moneycentral.msn.com/Taxes/CutYourTaxes/TakeATaxBreakForSummerCamp.aspx

So there you have it. Five tips to help you save money at summer camp. Remember, even if you don't see any discounts offered or actively promoted by the camp, it doesn't mean they aren't available.

Sometimes all you have to do is ask!

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