Inexpensive Vacation or Staycation Fun in 86 US Destinations

May 24th, 2011



Planning a summer vacation does not have to mean breaking the budget.

You can plan a great summer vacation, or a staycation, right in your own hometown, and have a blast making lots of fantastic memories with your family.

Wondering just what to do?

MomsTravelTales has joined with 86 other bloggers who are sharing the best inexpensive fun in their own hometowns. Find your town, or one nearby, and start plotting your own style of summer fun.

Want to really make it feel like a vacation even though you aren’t leaving town?

Check out my Planning a Great Staycation post on Life As Mom, where I show you  how to turn a regular week at home into a relaxing or exciting vacation that feels just like a trip away from home…  without all that packing and unpacking.

This list isn’t just for STAYcations, it’s also perfect for your travels, too.

Click around and pick a new destination for this summer, next summer or anytime… with locals showing you their faves, you can’t go wrong!

A huge thank you to Toni of  The Happy Housewife and Carrie of Springs Bargains for coordinating this fantastic collaboration!

Ready for the list? Let’s go!


New England

Connecticut – Parenting Miracles
Boston, Massachusetts – ‎ Maven of Savin’
Manchester, New Hampshire – Common Sense with Money
Western Maine – Bubblegum and Lollipops


Erie, Pennsylvania – Growing Kids Ministry
Gettysburg, Pennsylvania – Somewhat Crunchy
Harrisburg, Pennsylvania – Family Balance Sheet
Buffalo/Niagara Falls, New York – Coupons, Deals and More
New Jersey – Oh! Diane


Cedar Rapids, Iowa – Indoor Garden Musings
Mansfield, Ohio – Live the Adventure
Cincinnati, Ohio – Savings Lifestyle~Cincinnati
Mount Vernon, Ohio – Living Better One Day at a Time
Dayton, Ohio – Savings Lifestyle~Dayton
Grand Rapids, Michigan – Kitchen Stewardship
Metro Detroit, Michigan – “Cents”able Momma
Oakland County, Michigan – Bargain Shopper Mom
Warren, Michigan – Saving Dollars and Sense
Grand Forks, North Dakota – Frugal Front Porch
Indianapolis, Indiana – Bargain Briana
South Bend, Indiana – Excuse The Mess
Kansas City, Kansas/Missouri – Kansas City Mamas
St. Louis, Missouri – The Pickledpigsfeet
Branson, Missouri – Getting Freedom from Debt
Springfield, Missouri – I Think I Can
Rochester, Minnesota – Everyday Notions
York, Nebraska – Heavenly Homemakers
Omaha, Nebraska – Mom Endeavors
Madison, Wisconsin – Many Little Blessings
Oshkosh, Wisconsin – A Little Bit of This and That
Chicago, Illinois – Chicagoland Homeschool Network
Champaign, Illinois – Chambanamoms
Black Hills, South Dakota – Little House on the Prairie Living

South Central

Checotah, Oklahoma – Blessed With One Income
Tulsa, Oklahoma – Lynn’s Kitchen Adventures
Gadsden, Alabama – Aint Mimi
Dallas, Texas – Funky Faith Girl
Dallas, Texas – Grocery Shop For FREE
East Dallas, Texas – Surviving The Stores
Fort Worth, Texas – Smockity Frocks
Austin, Texas – Stetted
Houston, Texas – Moms Travel Tales
McKinney, Texas – Wisdom Begun
East Texas – The Full Pantry
Murfreesboro, Tennessee – Life in a Barn
Nashville, Tennessee – The Country Chic Cottage
Mobile, Alabama – A Penny Saved is a Penny Earned
Birmingham, Alabama – iGoBOGO
Brunswick & the Golden Isles, Georgia – Teri Lynne Underwood
Alpharetta, Georgia – Cuponeando
Atlanta, Georgia – See Jamie Blog
Augusta, Georgia – Hyperactive Lu
Athens, Georgia and Mississippi – Tractors and Tire Swings
Little Rock, Arkansas – It’s Real Life

South Atlantic

Ft. Bragg, North Carolina – Military Wives Saving
Charlotte, North Carolina – The Carolina Clipper
Charleston, South Carolina – The Tween & Me
Greensboro, North Carolina – Mrs. Happy Homemaker
Jacksonville, Florida – Saving The Family Money
Orlando, Florida – Orlando’s Best Deals
Virginia Beach, Virginia – The Singley Fam Blog
Richmond, Virginia – Daily Dwelling
Hampton Roads, Virginia – A Home Made by Kiki
Charlottesville, Virginia – How to Have it All
Blackwater Falls State Park/Davis, West Virginia – Holy Spirit Led Homeschooling
Treasure Coast, Florida – The Cardamom’s Pod
Saint Augustine, Florida – Jypsie Visions
Lake Norman, North Carolina – Stretching Pennies Saving Dollars
Washington, DC – The WiC Project
Baltimore, Maryland – The Happy Housewife


Tucson, Arizona – Saving with Pam
Phoenix, Arizona – Mom Endeavors
Albuquerque, New Mexico – The Chou Life
Kalispell, Montana – Our Family Adventures
Salt Lake City, Utah – Just the 2 of Us
Thermopolis, Wyoming – The McDonald Family
Denver, Colorado – Denver Bargains
Colorado Springs, Colorado – Colorado Springs Bargains


San Diego, California – Life As Mom
Yosemite National Park, California -Handbook of Nature Study
Seattle, Washington – Queen Bee Coupons & Savings
Whidbey Island, Washington – Manning the Homefront
Olympia, Washington The Coupon Savant
Portland, Oregon – Frugal Living NW
Willamette Valley, Oregon – An Oregon Cottage

Frugal Vacation Tips

Vacation or Stay-cation: Eating without Busting the Budget – Eat at Home

This post is linked to Works for Me Wednesday.

Looking for a hotel near Disneyland?

April 28th, 2011

Reader seeking hotel advice near Disneyland:

Okay, this email was actually sent to my sister-in-law who sent it on to me to answer, since I’m more of a traveler. I edited it a bit for brevity.

I am planning a holiday to the USA with my husband and three children (daughter aged 11, son aged 9 and daughter aged 6).

We are planning to go to Disneyland (Anaheim) and I wonder if you have any recommendations regarding accommodation. I like the idea of staying onsite so that we can come and go as we please or as to the children’s need for rest. (As well as the fact my husband gets sick on any ride that spins!!)

I look forward to your response.
Kind regards,

And here is my response:

I am so excited for your trip! California is BEAUTIFUL and your kids are great ages for traveling, so you are bound to have a fantastic time!

When we visited Disneyland last March, we went with a friend who had been several times and we stayed off property at this Sheraton.

The hotel offered a free shuttle service to the park, as most hotels do. The rooms were on the larger size and the ride to the park was quick. Check in was easy and although our rooms weren’t ready when we arrived (at 11 am– too early to expect them to be ready) we were in the park within 30 minutes of arriving at the hotel, thanks to how close it is and how efficient the staff was there.

If you want to stay onsite, though, my friend whom I traveled with, and who has been to Disneyland many, many times, highly recommends staying at the Grand Californian.

Out of the three options onsite, this one is the most luxurious and has an entrance right from the hotel into the park. Plus, staying onsite has a host of other benefits like extra Magic Morning Early Entry (when resort guests get into the park before the general public!) and amazing details and magic that Disney never overlooks. Plus, staying onsite means you can slip back to the room for a nap, or after your husband has been spinning on the Mad Tea Party a bit too much.

I’m not sure what your travel budget will allow, but we have found that paying the extra fee for Concierge Level at Disney properties has been well worth it. My friend who has stayed at this hotel agreed that the Concierge Level at the Grand Californian has a lot to offer. The lounge there offers breakfast, snacks, and light fare and drinks at dinnertime. (The food offered is plenty for breakfast and quite generous at other times, too.) Plus, she said you can watch the fireworks right from the Concierge Lounge (while munching or sipping drinks including wine.)

I hope this helps!

If you have any family travel questions, please feel free to email me anytime and I’ll see what I can do to help.

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