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Thursday, July 11, 2013

Top 5 Affordable Places to Vacation For Families on a Shoe String Budget

Affordable Vacations

You don't need to leave the good old USA to find an enjoyable yet affordable place to spend your summer vacation. Not only are there affordable places to visit, but there are other tips to cutting back on expenses yet still ensure the vacation memories are happy ones.

Depending on where you live, you don't have to travel far to find places for fun and relaxation. The following list includes five top recommendations for places across America that offer good value as summer vacation spots.

Yellowstone National Park
Located in Wyoming, Yellowstone is a popular family vacation spot with hundreds of miles of hiking and walking paths through forests, streams and mountains, depending on how adventurous you are. Popular attractions include Old Faithful, Mammouth Springs and the Grand Canyon. If your family likes camping, you can save money by camping in Yellowstone's campground facilities which are equipped with showers, restrooms and laundry facilities. The area also has low-cost cafeterias and restaurants that serve burgers and sandwiches, but you can save even more money by cooking most of your meals outside. The best time to go is March - May, or September - November. The crowds are smaller and hotel rooms cheaper in the off season.

Myrtle Beach
For many, there is nothing like spending the summer vacation at the beach, and Myrtle Beach has miles of clean beaches. One way to cut the cost is to consider renting a cottage instead of staying in hotels. Cottages are often right on the beach and offer a variety of sizes and costs to fit the budget. Many have up to six bedrooms, so more than one family can stay and share the cost, making it more affordable. The cottages usually come fully furnished, including kitchenware. Check with Myrtle Beach's Tourism Center for discount coupons on restaurants and local attractions. If golf is your game, check with hotels to see if they offer package deals on hotel + golf. Entertainment includes amusement parks, water parks, aquariums, miniature golf, snorkeling, scuba diving and more. Going in off-season March - May will often mean cheaper accommodations and lower humidity.

Toronto
Some prefer big city vacations, and Toronto has a lot to offer. The city is known for its cleanliness and offers several European-like ethnic experiences such as Greektown, Little Italy, Koreatown, Roncesvalles Village, Little India, and Chinatown. Toronto has great broadway productions. Some that are playing this summer include Cats, Andrew Lloyd Webber's The Wizard of Oz, Les Miserables, Anything Goes and more. You can take a trip to the top of the CN Tower, the second tallest free-standing tower in the world, visit the Toronto Zoo, the Ontario Science Centre and any number of other great attractions. By purchasing a Toronto CityPASS booklet of admission tickets, you can save 43 percent on Toronto’s 5 top attractions. In addition, check out Amtrack rates and consider going to Toronto by rail instead of flying. It will cost you a fraction of the price of air.

Washington D.C.
The nation's capitol is rated among the top five best places for a family vacation. Though hotel prices are a bit high, it is still rated as a top choice where every family member can find something of interest to see and do. There are plenty of FREE attractions such as the Lincoln Memorial, Vietnam Veterans Memorial, Korean War Veterans Memorial, National Mall, Washington Monument, Washington National Cathedral, National Gallery of Art, the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, the White House and the U.S. Capitol. The Smithsonians and the National Zoo are free. Some of the more budget-friendly restaurants include Ben's Chili Bowl, Good Stuff Eatery and other restaurants in Capitol Hill Southwest area.

Nashville
If you prefer a quieter, more laid-back setting, consider Nashville, Tennessee. Not only does Nashville boost some of the lowest hotel rates in the south, but the barbecue is delicious and the country music memorable. Be sure to visit the Grand Ole Opry and the Country Music Hall of Fame. If history is your passion, be sure to visit historic mansions like the Hermitage, Belmont Mansion, or Belle Meade Plantation. The best time to visit is November to March when prices on air and hotels are considerably lower.


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