For those individuals that love to travel and are trying to find inexpensive vacation ideas, here are but a few that will get your mind thinking in a new direction. The vacations you will see are priced out at their cheapest rates. That means, they are seasonal, but they still are a good value in the off-season.
Family camping is idea and a way to have fun outdoors. Depending on how far you want to travel, campgrounds exist throughout all 50 states. Get directions by searching the Internet using “camp grounds then your state”. Fees vary from free to $50 a night depending on the hook-ups and type of camping vehicle used. When traveling and needing a place to stay while site seeing, campgrounds are an excellent alternative to staying in expensive motel rooms.
The YMCA of the Rockies’ Snow Mountain Ranch in Winter Park, Colorado offers winter fun. The resort covers over 5,100 acres and is very close to world-class ski resorts. The occupancy of the facility is 2,500 people, using the lodges and cabins. Activities include organized activities for children three and older; miles of hiking, snowshoeing, and cross-country skiing trails, an indoor pool and gym, climbing wall, and horseback riding. Prices range from $50 to $126 per night depending on size and need for a kitchen area. The YMCA runs a larger resort in Estes Park, Colorado. You may visit their website at www.ymcarockies.org or call Snow Mountain Ranch at 970.887.2152 or Estes Park at 970.586.3341.
If you have a young family, children are fascinated with farm animals. There are many places throughout the United States that offer individuals the change to gather eggs for breakfast, milk a cow, feed a goat, or even go for a hayride. The Inn at East Hill Farm in Troy, New Hampshire offers these amenities along with other fantastic outdoor experiences. During the summer water skiing is available, ice-skating in the winter with hiking available in every season. If you decide to stay at The Inn at East Hill Farm during the winter, activities include sleigh rides, cross-country skiing, indoor pool and activities planned for the children on a daily basis. Rates during the fall are the cheapest with an average of $78 pre night for adults and $58 per night for children. This does include the room, meals and activities. The rates are slightly higher in the winter and summer for stays less than five days. Check out their website at www.east-hill-farm.com or phone 800.242.6495.
The Black Hills of South Dakota offers numerous experiences and activities for that family interested in the Old West. There is excellent camping and trout fishing in the area. There are minimal fees to visit many of the areas including: the Black Hills National Forest, Mount Rushmore, Wounded Knee, Custer State Park, Crazy Horse, and Devil’s Tower (in bordering Wyoming). Two very distinctive Old West communities may be visited – Sturgis and Deadwood. Besides what has already been listed there are six more national parks, Wall Drug, the Corn Palace, rock hunting and hundred’s of miles of trails to be explored. An excellent website to discover what you would like to do in South Dakota may be found at http://www.travelsd.com. Prices vary per activity with the majority of them having no admission charge.
Branson, Missouri, offers a fantastic area for a unique family vacation. Two of the main attractions include the Sheperd of the Hills and Silver Dollar City. Sheperd of the Hills (http://www.bransonshows.com/activity/TheShepherdoftheHillsOutdoorDrama.cfm) experience includes see the homestead and theater. This is the birthplace of Harold Bell Wright’s novel, ‘The Sheperd of the Hills’. This is also the location of “Old Matt’s Cabin” and the famous Inspiration Point. The location is open year-round. There is a fee of children free to 43.30 each and adults 47.58 to 78.63. The shows are held from May 1st through October 17th.
Silver Dollar City (http://bransonsilverdollarcity.com/) is one of the most popular Old West amusement parks. The entire park has an 1880’s American theme. Several of the “Beverly Hillbillies” episodes were shot here on the main street. Pioneer Crafts and merchandise alike are made by many of the employees of the park. There are over 30 thrilling rides and 60 unique craft shops. Live entertainment is featured throughout the park with more than 40 shows given daily. Tickets run $84.42 for children with adults ranging from $61.69 to $101.87. Something you should know, if you buy your tickets after 5:00 pm, the next day is free admission to the park. Getaway Packages may be found at http://silverdollarcity.reservedirect.com/sdc_packages.asp.
Staying close to home is the key to a budget friendly vacation. Stretch your vacation dollars by:
* Alternating free activities for pricey ones
* Take a road trip in your own backyard. Take a long weekend at a water or amusement park.
* Set a souvenir budget and stick to it!
* When looking for a great cost-saving alternative to staying in a motel, try checking into a bed and breakfast, time-share rentals, possible seasonal house renting, etc. Check with the local travel agent.
* When booking reservations try and stay in hotels that kids stay free or have the motel bring in a cot for the extra child.
* Make sure your motel room has a fridge so some food items may be purchased at the store. Snacks or small meals could be eaten in the room to avoid restaurant prices.
* Take trips during discounted seasons to get the best rates.
* Look for bundled ticket pricing for combination motel, attraction and possible airline promotions.
* Look for all-inclusive vacation packages. This eliminates the cost of food since it is included in your daily rental.
* Try an off-season destination. This could mean lower crowds and prices.
* Surf the web! Do your research.
No matter how far you are planning on traveling for a vacation this year, take the time and do it! It is very important for everyone to slow down and take the time to relax. Your health counts on it!
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