There are SO many options out there for
finding accommodations that it's really hard to narrow it
down. The way Cheap Family Fun has done it is to
limit what we list below to what we have found to be really
helpful. While camping is usually the most economical way to
go, it's surprising to find, sometimes (if you're in the right place
at the right time), just how inexpensively you can get a room
for. Plus, there's some inexpensive Mom & Pop motels out
there that are really nice! See our suggestions below and let us know if you have
Traveller's Guide to Sleeping in Airports -- Unique, but
fascinating idea! This site has reviews from people who have
traveled and slept in airports all over the world. In a pinch, or
while backpacking, it's not such a bad idea. This site gives reviews
on the best and worst terminals for bunking down over
Breakfasts -- I haven't been able to find any online sites that
give you a listing of family-oriented Bed & Breakfasts Inns.
But, if you like staying in B & B's, here's a listing of sites
that will help you find them all. Keep in mind, not all of them
allow children, but if your kids are older, these can be fun and
relaxing places to stay.
Campgrounds -- I
wish there was an easy way to find that perfect campground. There's
just so many to choose from: public, private, commercial, county
parks, state parks, national parks, and the list goes on and on. The
best method I've found for finding a perfect site at or near my
destination is by going to Yahoo Groups and finding a discussion
group centering around my preferred method and style of travel.
Join, send an intro, and start asking questions. Those groups are
filled with folks who love to help. The listings below are ones I
learned about through joining those discussion groups!
Camping International -- Looking for a program or facility for
your children, family, or group? Access their searchable database of
1,000-plus-member organizations, most of which offer a wide variety
of accommodations and activities and serve a diverse clientele. You
can also order a hard copy of the directory from CCI/USA while
supplies last. CCI/USA maintains the Internet's most extensive
database of summer and year-around faith-based camps, conferences,
and retreat centers.
Campgrounds -- Free membership. A growing organization offering
discounts on their member campgrounds.
Guide to U.S.
National Parks -- View all Parks A-Z and see an alphabetical
listing of National Park Service sites or, do a Geographic Search
and locate parks on a map, by state, region, or zip code or, search
by topic for parks by recreation and special topics ... from boating
to dinosaurs to the Civil War.
International Parks -- The national park idea has
spread around the world. Some of these sites are maintained by the
federal governments of each country. Others are maintained by
individuals, non-profit organizations, schools, universities or
businesses in the tourism industry.
National Parks -- National Park Service, U.S.
Department of the Interior's Official Site.
Pass -- The National Parks Pass is an annual pass that provides
admission to any national park charging an entrance fee. The pass
costs $50 and is valid for one full year from first use in a park.
More than 80% of the proceeds from the sales of National Parks
Passes go directly into supporting priority projects in national
Passport America -- Passport America has over 1,000
participating campgrounds throughout the United States, Canada, and
Mexico -- with new parks joining daily. Offers 50% on fees at
Reserve America -- "The #1 Access Point for Outdoor
Recreation". They process over 3 million camping reservations per
year and service over 1.1 million members. Their inventory includes
access to over 140,000 campsites in 44 states and 1 province.
Parks International -- When you're a member of Resort Parks
International, you've joined a family of over 100,000 other avid RV
State Parks -- State park listings for all 50 U.S.
Trails, Inc. -- "Founded in 1969, Thousand Trails, Inc. is one
of the largest and most successful private camping clubs in the
country. We own and operate more than 50 membership-based
campgrounds, the result of having combined three strong systems —
Thousand Trails, NACO, and Leisure Time. With more than 30 years of
experience in family camping, we are committed to providing the
highest quality private camping ... clean, safe, affordable and fun.
Our properties are known as “preserves,” because we protect nature
and beauty of the environment for our members’ enjoyment. Today,
Thousand Trails offers a premium outdoors destination to more than
112,000 (as of June 2002) members at preserves in 16 states and
British Columbia, Canada."
Condo Savers Vacation
Rentals -- I've included this link to Condo Savers because
they often have some really good deals. Plus, I know from personal
experience that when you have a large family and you're staying at
the beach, sometimes renting a condo is the cheapest and easiest way
Branson starting at $75
Cancun starting at $65
Daytona Beach starting at $49
Ft Lauderdale starting at $89
Gatlinburg starting at $99
Hawaii starting at $69
Las Vegas starting at $35
Miami starting at $89
Myrtle Beach starting at $75
New York starting at $149
Orlando starting at $69
Phoenix starting at $35
Santa Fe/Albuquerque starting at $79
Washington DC starting at $89
Williamsburg starting at $95
America RV Rentals & Sales -- What I wouldn't give to be
able to buy and RV and travel full-time! Even though I know envy is
a horrible and dangerous virtue, I gotta' admit, I envy those who
are able to full-time. For those of us who can't, Cruise America is
a good option when we do go on the road -- here's a quote from their
own web site: "We're Number 1 in the RV Rental industry for good
reason. Good people, family friendly vehicles, 148 motor home rental
centers in the United States & Canada, accommodating motor home
rental & pet friendly policies, and we price our products fair
and square. Our reputation, built over 32 years of quality service,
is proof of our commitment to fun family
Entertainment Coupon Books --
Having one of these for the city you are visiting can save you big
bucks wherever/however you go!
Up to 50% off hotels with the Entertainment
Expedia -- Again, I always
recommend checking Expedia and Travelocity first if you're looking
for a hotel -- they pretty consistently come up with the best rates
and give you full overviews of the accommodations they have to offer
so you can check first to see if they have the amenities your family
Home Exchanges --
I've never done this myself, but it's an interesting and easy way to
Home Exchange Vacationing -- In this book you'll
discover how home exchange vacationing works, how to make
arrangements, what pitfalls to avoid, etc.
Only in America
Home Exchange -- Travelers within the Continental United States,
its Territories, Canada, Hawaii, Mexico, and the Caribbean may
arrange both short and long-term home swaps: weekend getaways,
weeklong vacations, several weeks or longer.
Holidays -- Swap Homes for a Free Vacation Home Away from
Intervac -- Live "at home" while on holiday - member
families take care of each other's property, feed each other's pets
and water plants. Before you have decided on an exchange, you have
gotten to know your exchange partners, through correspondence and
telephone calls - you will be staying in the home of friends - and
they will be staying in yours.
Listing of Homes Available for Exchange or Private Rental --
"Thousands of members have safely and successfully avoided hotel and
restaurant bills; obtained free use of cars and boats; and lived
like a resident apart from commercial tourist attractions."
Hostels and Other Budget Accommodations --
Hostels vary from location to location. Not all are family-friendly.
Others are nicer than the nicest hotels. They are all fun,
affordable, and worth checking into.
Hostels, Guesthouses & Other Budget Accommodations
Homestead Hotels -- They have
some pretty good deals if you're planning on an extended stay.
A room. A kitchen. A reasonable price.
Hotels.com -- I like
Hotels.com -- I highly recommend checking them right along with
Expedia and Travelocity. Plus, the have a new service called "Road
Trips" that you can access from this link. From their site: "Get in
the car and hit the road this weekend! With a Road Trips search, you
can find great destinations and fantastic deals just a short drive
from where you are": Hotels.com
Get in the car and hit the road this
weekend! With the TravelNow.com Road Trip search, you
can find great destinations and fantastic deals just a short drive
from wherever you are.
KIDS GO HO JO --
Let's face it, HoJo's is just plain, good ol', nostalgic fun.
KIDS GO HO JO
What an adventure. There's not many of them -- but talk about a
blast for a family adventure!
Offering Guest Accommodations
Lighthouses With Overnight
Places to Stay -- Just
like with Hotels.com, I like Places to Stay because of the broad
array of accommodations they offer -- everything from hotels to
B&B's and condos. They're very well worth taking a look at along
with Expedia, Travelocity, and Hotels.com. You just never know which
one will have the best, and most appealing deal.
Choose A Destination... Save up to 70% on your next
vacation rental. Choose from condos, villas, private homes, hotels,
Encuentre. Vea. Reserve.
Trouvez. Regardez. Réservez.
Trova. Guarda. Prenota.
Zoek het. Bekijk het. Boek het.
Travelocity -- You're probably
tired of reading this by now, but Expedia and Travelocity are always
the two places I look first for accommodations when I'm not camping.
They pretty consistently offer the best prices.
Save Up To 70% On Your Hotel Stay
Travelocity Preferred Program
Rooms for Travelers -- While there are very few Y's that
offer family accommodations, the ones that do are fun, fun, fun
places to stay because there's so much you can do as a family right
in the building where you're staying. Plus, they are