Even expensive theme park attractions can be affordable with smart planning!

Vacations: Finding Affordable Attractions

7 Classic American Vacations on the Cheap


Move over, staycation. Americans are ready to travel again. Spending on domestic travel by U.S. residents is projected to grow about 3.6% in 2015, according to the U.S. Travel Association in Washington, D.C. Travel spending dropped nearly 9% in 2009 due to the recession, but it has steadily increased every year since. Here is a quick guide to classic American vacations for less at some of the United States' most-visited destinations.

Affordable Ways to Enjoy National Parks

Debra Karplus

A vist to a National Park can be expensive, but the National Park Service offers a variety of reasonably priced passes to make visits much more affordable for you and your family. They can be purchased at most, though not all, of the national parks.

7 US Cities with Plenty of Free Attractions


They say that the best things in life are free. If that's the case -- and we think it is -- it's fortunate that there are so many free things to do everywhere. With a little research, you're bound to find tons to do for gratis, both near you and when you're traveling. Bankrate has rounded up seven cities in which there are plenty of free attractions.

Factory Tours

Video - Jeff Yeager

Looking for some free family fun? Why not try a free factory tour? There are hundreds of factories around the country ready to open their doors to you and your family so you can see first hand how they do what they do. The Ultimate Cheapskate tells us about some great factory tours the whole family will enjoy.

9 Ways to Have Thrifty Theme Park Thrills


Every year, the kids clamor to head to a theme park, water park or Disney property, and if all that noise doesn't give you a headache, the prices just might. After paying entry fees, it can feel like you're being blindsided by little extras that can add up to an extra $100 per day or more. Here are nine ways to save on your theme park escape, whether you're headed down on a water slide or up on a roller coaster.

Skip Disney World for a Fun, Frugal Farm Vacay


Cows, crops and chickens, oh my! Learn about food, pre-grocery store, but sidestep the manure.

Planning a Frugal Theme Park Vacation

TDS Reader Contributors

Would you like your family to do a Disney theme park for cheap? How do you save money while visiting "the happiest place on earth"? Here are some tips from other TDS readers who have done just that.

Fun Factory, Brewery and Winery Tours

Jeff Yeager

For only the cost of a smile, you can see dolls being made at the Turner Doll factory, sample otherworldly teas at the Celestial Seasonings plant, and see Harley-Davidson Motorcycles roar off the assembly line. The tour of Ben & Jerry's ice cream factory is a hit, particularly the sampling stop in the FlavoRoom. You can even take a virtual tour of the Spam Factory at the Spam Museum. Here are some resources for finding great family factory tours as well as brewery and wine tours for the adults.

Zoos! A Listing for Summer Visits

TDS Reader Contributor

It's always good to find a frugal family outing. Most zoos are relatively inexpensive and full of information and entertainment. If you're a member of one zoological society you may find that you can gain free entry to another through exchange privileges.

Disney World for Less

My Story - Teresa Pitman

I am a big fan of one of the most expensive vacation places around - Walt Disney World. After several visits with my family (four kids), I know many ways to keep the costs down that might be helpful to other families.

Cheap US Vacation Ideas for Those North of the Border

Pat Mestern

Where can Canucks visit cheaply in the U.S.A.? There comes a time in everyone's busy lives when it is either a short get-away or a straitjacket. Vacations should be well thought out before the car leaves the driveway. It can be expensive for us to vacation in the U.S. but there are exceptions.

Free (and Nearly Free) Vacation Attractions

TDS Reader Contributors

Here is a list of free vacation attractions submitted by TDS readers.

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