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National Parks Are A Low Cost Alternative To Disney Vacations

February 19th, 2009

Finances are tight for many of us but we still want to enjoy our vacation time this year without breaking the bank. Try heading to one of the many National Parks as a low cost vacation alternative.  Kurt Repanshek at the National Parks Traveler blog wrote a really useful post about the advantages of a taking a National Park vacationGrand Canyon National Park Kurt compares the cost of entry into Disney World to the cost of going to a National Park for the day. I didn't realize how pricey Disney can be but apparently it's almost $300 for a family of four. By comparison the Grand Canyon is only $25 a car and Yosemite is $20 a car to enter the park and the national park entry is good for several days; not just one.  The blog post goes on to give useful money saving tips, some are park specific while others are pretty much universal such as packing a picnic lunch instead of eating at a restaurant.  You can easily save money on a visit to national park if you spend some time on the National Park Service website for a specific park and plan out your visit. If you go to Disneyland you would plan out your time to make sure you were able to hit all the best rides wouldn't you? Granted, you can run up a large bill on a national park visit if you aren't careful. A motel room at Zion Lodge can be $179 a night for a family of four and a room at the El Tovar Hotel in the Grand Canyon will be well over $200 a night. Food costs can run up before you know it as well.  As a way to lower the cost, try camping instead of lodging. Many parks have campsites within the park as well as camping gear rental. For food, get groceries at either a store outside the park or at the general stores within the park. I hope I'm not making the national park experience sound too much like a Brady Bunch vacation but if your looking for a low cost way to get out of town this summer, try going to one of mother nature's amusement parks instead of Disney or a Six Flags. Via: Best Hike Blog

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