I’ve learned to value two things when it comes to planning family vacations: time and money. Kids are only kids once. The time when they’re young is precious and the best way to use it is to make the most of our experiences.
We want to provide the greatest vacations possible, but we too often associate the word “vacation” with “expensive.” To get the best experiences for your money, you have to know where to go. Time and research have taught me that sometimes the best place is the one that breaks the obvious vacation mold of Disneyland or a cruise.
By choosing less-known destinations, you can get more for your money. You’ll also deal with fewer crowds and have a more unique experience. The national parks and forests are among the best places to have this kind of experience.
These budget-friendly destinations combine enjoyable experiences with affordability. Here are some top picks for this year’s family trip.
The Great Smoky Mountains of Tennessee are home to beautiful valleys, streams, waterfalls, and of course the mountains. Picturesque views can be savored by hiking, horseback riding, biking, or riding the Great Smoky Mountain Railroad.
Two nearby cities, Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge, are home to unique attractions, such as Ripley’s Aquarium—the top aquarium in the U.S., WonderWorks—an upside-down building filled with sights and activities, and The Tomb Adventure—a pyramid-themed building that challenges you to solve problems in order to escape from Pharaoh’s tomb. [Read more…] about Family Vacations: Make the Most of Your Time and Money