1. Travel

Budget-Friendly Summer Getaways

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Families don't want to give up their summer vacations, even when money's tight; but they do look for cheaper summer getaways. Find ideas below...

Affordable Vacation Towns

affordable vacation ideas - Page AZ - Photo ©  Teresa Plowright
Page, Arizona - lots to do!
Check out family-friendly destinations where lodgings can be found at a good price point, and where there's plenty of fun to be found.

Vacation Home Rental

Vacation Home Rental - Photo courtesy of Hotpads.com.
Vacation Home Rental - Photo courtesy of Hotpads.com.
Ski resorts, Europe, Mexico, Orlando -- vacation home rentals are popular just about anywhere, and offer two main ways to save money. First: rent a large place and share with friends or family. Second: eat some meals "at home".

Staycation

The idea here is to get all the benefits of a vacation without the expenses of traveling to a distance destination. Either stay in your house and head off on day-trips, or check into a hotel in your own city and enjoy the activities that tourists do.

Family Camping

cheap summer getaways - camping
Camping is great for many reasons: enjoying the Great Outdoors, and a low-cost getaway; bringing along the family dog; and getting off the internet/wireless/tv-media grid (- harder to do these days, with wider wireless service, iPhones, etc.).

Family Camps

family camps - affordable vacations - Photo courtesy of Medomak Family Camp, Maine.
Photo courtesy of Medomak Family Camp, Maine.
"Family camps" are like the summer camps so many kids enjoy -- but the whole family goes on the trip. Plenty of outdoor recreation, such as hiking or lakeside swimming; lots of schedule outdoor fun; kids programs; campfires at night; simple lodgings; all meals included. Some family camps get creative with activities for grown-ups (beer-tasting, anyone?); others have a special focus, such as music or the performing arts.

Comfort Camping

Photo courtesy of Yosemite Pines, California.
But for us lesser mortals, a few creature comforts make camping so much easier. "Comfort camping" can still be low-budget and outdoorsy; it can also act as budget lodgings near a destination-- For ex., we stayed at a "camping resort" just a short bus ride from Rome.

Camp at Disney World

Affordable vacation idea - Fort Wilderness, at Disney World
Photo © Teresa Plowright.
Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground is a unique place to stay at Walt Disney World: save big-time on your budget by camping here, and still enjoy all the perks of staying at a Disney World Resort (-- use of the free Disney bus system, Extra Magic Hours in the theme parks, and more.) There's plenty of fun on-site at this giant resort, and a shuttle runs to the Magic Kingdom from its dock. If camping's not your thing, cabins are available.

Camping Resorts

You want the Great Outdoors, you want the low budget... but you'd also like a certain level of comfort, lodgings, amenities, kids programs, and other activities. A camping resort may fill the bill.

Lots More Affordable Vacation Ideas

Photo courtesy of Salt Fort State Park Resort.
Photo courtesy of Salt Fort State Park Resort.
Try one of the affordable resorts, with recreation, in Ohio State Parks; explore Yellowstone with "Lodging and Learning" programs; drive to a water park resort; explore Another culture - in the Southwest US; visit Europe in North America, in Quebec City; enjoy a Caribbean-style all inclusive resort in Florida; and more.
Related Video
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Essential Camping Tent Tips

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