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Affordable Family Vacations


Ohio State Park Lodges

Photo courtesy of Salt Fork State Park Resort.
Photo courtesy of Salt Fort State Park Resort.
Check out these Lodges with affordable pricing and great amenities and activities, located in several of Ohio's state parks. These places offer lots of fun in the Great Outdoors, including fall foliage opportunities, and winter snowmobiling and ice-skating at some of the Lodges. Some are near theme parks or water parks, for summer fun. Look for packages that include family activities such as horseriding.

Drive-Up Getaways: Water Park Resorts

Affordable vacation idea - water park resorts
Photo courtesy of Great Wolf Lodge.
Save money by driving to a weekend getaway: point the car toward the nearest resort with its own indoor water park, and have fun with crazy slides, wave pools, lazy rivers, squirters and dunking buckets; play zones for little kiddies, too. Some resorts add an outdoor water park in summer. Rooms are usually suites; to budget-minded vacationers the price may seem high-ish, but rates include waterpark passes, and suites are roomy and may sleep up to six. Also, watch for bargain rates at off-peak times of year.

Drive-To Destinations

affordable vacation idea - drive-to destinations
Photo courtesy of Hershey Entertainment & Resorts.
Save money -- and avoid all the hassles at airports-- by driving to your getaway. Families who live in the northeast US have a terrific range of driveable destinations. See suggestions, in three sets of driving times.

Explore Another Culture - in the Southwest US

Affordable vacation idea - Navajo
Photo © Teresa Plowright
It's great fun to explore another culture with your kids, and get that extra sense of discovery through their eyes. The lands belonging to the Navajo Nation include some of the most scenic places on earth, such as Monument Valley, Canyon de Chelly, and parts of the Grand Canyon. Travel here to be awed by these places, to learn about native American culture and history, and to see how the Navajo live today.

Visit Europe, in North America: Quebec City, Canada

Affordable vacation idea - Quebec City
Photo courtesy of Quebec City Tourism.
"I took my kids to Europe last weekend". That's how it felt when we visited Quebec City during winter Carnival. Four hundred years of history; charming lanes to explore; a terrific (biligual) museum for kids. Also in winter: spend a day skiing at a nearby ski resort. Quebec City is a wonderful place to visit in summer, too. (And depending on the exchange rate, a destination in Canada may be a bargain for those with US dollars.) Note about language: Quebec City is French-speaking, but people working in tourism speak English too.

Caribbean-style All Inclusive Resort in the US - Club Med Sandpiper Bay

Affordable vacation idea - an all inclusive resort in the US
Photo © Teresa Plowright
Club Med is a top name in all inclusive resorts, and many people are surprised to learn there's a Club Med right in Florida. Kids programs are outstanding at Club Med resorts and this one always has a Golf Academy with Petit Golf for 4 to 7 year olds, Junior Golf for the 8 to 13 year olds., and Tennis Academy with similar Petit and Junior Tennis.

Vacation Home Rental

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".

More Ways to Save Money on Lodgings

Suggestions range from apartment rentals in big cities, to sharing a vacation home with family and friends (works well in Orlando, for instance), to home exchanges, home stays and alternative-style holidays.


A "staycation" is a vacation with all the benefits of fun and relaxation, but without the expensive travel part. Either stay at home, and head off on day-trips, or check into a hotel in your own city and enjoy the activities that tourists do.

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