School’s out and endless summer days are on the horizon — welcome to June! Boundless opportunities for family fun are right at your fingertips and, luckily, so are some great warm-weather deals. Whether you’re hopping in the car for a weekend beach trip or picking up the ultimate gift for The World’s Best Dad, here are some of the best buys to scout this month — plus, what to wait on for a few more weeks in order to get the best deal.
WHAT TO BUY IN JUNE
Summer Essentials. Ready to add a colorful flamingo to your floatie family or spring for a sun canopy around the pool? You're in luck. Expect to see markdowns on seasonal fun-in-the-sun gear, says smart shopping expert Trae Bodge. “Typically you see these items on clearance at the end of the season,” Bodge notes, “but we’re seeing some sales activity on these items in June."
Big-box stores will be your best bet: Walmart has discounts on sun shades to add some cool to your outdoor spaces, and Kohl’s has an upcoming sale on beach towels. So if you’re in need of a summer gear update, this month is a good time to stock up — then immediately queue up your GPS to the nearest body of water.
Hotels and Accommodations. Summer tends to be a more expensive time to travel, but that doesn’t mean there’s absolutely no room to save. Look for deals on accommodations: Hotels.com is offering a cash-back promotion on bookings of $350 or more, and rewards members can earn double points on Hilton stays through September. If a visit to Disney is on the itinerary, the resort’s new Summer One World Ticket will run you $444 per person for entry into all four theme parks and two water parks through August. You can also save up to 25 percent off select hotel locations.
“Summer in general is not a bargain,” Bodge says, “but if you are going to travel, you can save a little off those slightly inflated prices.”
Gifts for Dad. Dear old dad deserves only the best, and thanks to plenty of sales, you’ll have a lot of options to find exactly the right thing. Dad-centric gift items like tech accessories, watches, tool kits and smokers are generally marked down by 20 percent — even more so for men’s apparel and accessories. “Lowe’s, Walmart, Amazon, eBay — across the board, you’re going to find sales at any retailer that has things for dad,” Bodge says.
Movies and Entertainment. Pencil in a few extra family movie nights this month. To kick off summer, local theaters and chains alike are known to offer special pricing for kids and families (think: $1 Tuesdays) or bonus rewards for membership clubs. They may not all be the most recent blockbusters, Bodge notes, but they’ll offer family favorites to pass the time when summer weather is less than ideal. Also look out for deals on digital streaming and movie or DVD rentals over the next few months.
Women’s Loungewear. Victoria’s Secret typically has its semi-annual sale in June with up to half-off markdowns on thousands of styles across lingerie, loungewear, swimwear and sports apparel. Similar retailers like Bare Necessities, Aerie and Lively are expected to follow suit and offer up their own promotions to jump in on the action. Expect the competition to heat up when the Victoria’s Secret sale officially launches early June and over the two-week period it’s expected to run.
WHAT TO SKIP IN JUNE
School Gear. Students barely clear the hallways before retailers start rolling out the following year’s back-to-school promotions. If that’s the last thing on your mind (we don’t blame you), know that there’s really no reason to jump on stocking up pre-emptively. “I always advise waiting until mid- to late-July or August to do your back-to-school shopping,” Bodge says, which is when the best deals run. That said, if your child has a super-specific request, say, for that Spider-man lunchbox she’s been wanting for months, scoop it up by mid-July to avoid the rush.
Electronics. Two major retail holidays happen in July: Amazon’s industry-disrupting Prime Day and Christmas in July sales. With Black Friday-level discounts, particularly on electronics and tech, it could pay — by a long shot — to wait for these deals to roll out next month.
Toys and Games. Historical data from Slickdeals has shown that Target offers a major clearance on its inventory of toys and games each July. So if you have upcoming baby showers and kids’ birthday parties in the late-summer to fall months, consider stocking up.