|No money for a vacation? Stay home
M. Arthur Bankrate.com
Are you vacation starved? Ready for (and in need of)
some relaxation, but struggling with a dehydrated budget?
Consider this: A new experience can be as refreshing
as visiting a new place. Satiate your vacation wants this summer
by sticking close to home and checking out the attractions and beauty
in your own corner of the world.
It's easy to overlook the relaxation spots or cultural
happenings in your hometown. All year long you work hard and are busy
with family and work responsibilities. If you are like so many of
us, you don't take the time to play locally. You may not even know
where to find the fun.
Picture someone wistfully looking at travel
brochures of your city. Where could they go to explore the charm
of your region or experience the local culture?
Check out these sources of inspiration for plenty
of fun on a slim summer vacation budget.
Visitors centers. Don
the tourist garb! Go to your local visitors center and pick up a
state map. Find all the cities and towns within a 100 to 200 mile
distance from your home and start planning.
At the visitors center, you'll hit on valuable coupons
for area attractions and ideas for inexpensive activities. Plus,
often you'll find discount coupons to local restaurants.
Check out the weekend editions of the local newspapers for listings
of summer fairs, festivals and sporting events.
Keep your eyes open for new restaurants in town.
They typically offer grand opening specials. Plus you can discover
lunch specials and early bird specials when the regular menu prices
State departments of travel
and tourism. Visit your state's department
of travel and tourism online to plan out a summer's worth of fun
activities. Our clickable
map will direct you to your own state's department of travel
While every state's Web site is unique, each offers
a wealth of ideas and tips for enjoying weekend excursions or longer
For instance, how many Floridians know that
their tourism department offers interactive road tours, called "Tours
on a Tankful," that allow you to select a starting point and
discover a number of one-tank-of-gas day trips exploring some of
Florida's major cities and surrounding areas?
Live in Ohio? Take advantage of free membership with the nifty
Ohio Travel Club. You'll receive e-newsletters describing great
places to visit and fun things to do. But the best feature is the
travel organizer that allows you to plan multiple travel itineraries
and save your information, e-mail it to a friend, or download it
to your PDA.
Like to camp out, but don't want to invest in camping
gear? In Colorado, there's no need. Colorado State Parks offer affordable
accommodations for everyone, from the backcountry enthusiast to
the camping newcomer. They have over 3,900 campsites and 50 cabins
and yurts. You know -- those circular canvas tents reminiscent of
tents used by nomads on the steppes of Mongolia and Siberia.
Washington, D.C., has put together a fantastic online
visitors guide. This online guide is your ticket to savings
on restaurants, fairs, festivals, rooms, museums, sporting events
and more. Plus you'll find an online agenda for this summer's All-American
Summer event. Running from Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day,
Washington, D.C. will be hosting free weekly festivals, concerts,
exhibitions, performances, walking tours and hotel packages.
If you didn't see your state highlighted, don't worry.
These special features aren't exclusively theirs. Here's a quick
list of 10 ideas to search for on your own state's Web site.
||10 ideas to search for: