By Valerie Clark
Affordable Family Vacation Ideas
Family vacations don’t have to break the bank. Deals on vacation packages can be found at travel agents, online, and through family friendly resorts, so start packing!
By Valerie Clark
When that final school bell rings and students are released for summer vacation, what better rite of passage is there to look forward to than the annual family trip? No matter what the economy is doing, you can still take part in this time-honored tradition with a little creative planning. Try camping, “stay-cations” or Internet planning to find different ways to save money before you embark on your family’s next adventure.Sleep Under the StarsForgo fancy hotels on this year’s vacation in favor of some wholesome family bonding under the stars. Camping.com offers listings of campgrounds all over the country so that you can plan your trip, and it even lists campground amenities and recommends a few “gems,” special out-of-the way spots that every camper should experience. Reserveamerica.com is a similar Web site with plenty of information you can use to plan your family’s camping adventure.Stay Close to HomeChoose a vacation destination that you can drive to rather than flying, Kiplinger’s says. Not only can this save hundreds of dollars in airfare, but a well-planned travel route can take you and your family to plenty of fun pit stops along the way. Check travel Web sites like Fodors.com, or check out your local AAA Web site for help in planning your trip. Fun and educational detours such as museums and state parks will help make your trip a memorable one without breaking the bank. Also, consult the visitor’s bureau Web sites for your own city and surrounding cities on your route–you might learn of some new attractions right in your own backyard.Cut Costs with Travel Web sitesIf you have the patience and know-how, you can plan a great family vacation on a shoestring budget by using Internet resources, according to Kiplinger’s. Be flexible with your travel dates. For example, it’s often cheaper to fly or stay in hotels in the middle of the week rather than on the weekends. Kiplinger’s recommends several Web sites that can help you find cheap airfare and hotel accommodations if you’re not picky about your exact travel date. Lastminute.com features great deals for last-minute bookings, while Airfarewatchdog.com and Farecast.com offer deals on trips planned a bit more in advance.ResourcesresourceKiplingerresourceEverything CampingresourceCampgrounds and Camping Reservations
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