Many families feel like 2022 is their year to travel. Some of them haven’t gone anywhere in years, thanks to Covid-19 and job insecurity. If you and the family plan to get out on the road or book flights to a vacation spot this year, you might wonder where you should go.
You can head somewhere costly, but what if you’re watching your spending now? Where are places you can go where you will enjoy yourselves but which won’t completely drain your bank account?
We’ve come up with five suggestions that we’ll talk about right now.
Pigeon Forge, Tennessee
The whole family will love Pigeon Forge, TN, and going there won’t cost you nearly as much as some other vacation spots, like New York or Los Angeles. Pigeon Forge is the home of Dollywood, the amusement park created by Dolly Parton. Parton is an international celebrity, and she made a utopia for country music fans who also enjoy family-style dining and dinner theater.
You can check out her museum while you’re there, which features many of her greatest costumes and other paraphernalia from her long and glorious career. You can see a pirate-themed show or a magic show.
You can even go for a romp in the woods since the Great Smoky Mountains are nearby. They’re full of animals and plants you can spot and identify. Make sure you bring sunblock and watch out for black bears.
The Grand Canyon, Arizona
You can camp near the Grand Canyon in Arizona, and it won’t cost you a thing. Most people consider the Grand Canyon one of America’s natural wonders. You can hike down into it and explore, as long as you’re in reasonably good shape, and bring some sturdy hiking boots.
The North Rim of Arizona’s Grand Canyon National Park is probably your best bet for setting up a base camp. The small entrance fee covers many of the park’s attractions, but you can check the website to see when they have their free admission days to save even more. You can sit around a campfire, roast marshmallows, and tell ghost stories after a full day’s activity.
St. Augustine, Florida
Florida presents several fun vacation destinations, but they can get expensive quickly. If you head to St. Augustine, you get the Sunshine State experience on the cheap.
St. Augustine is the nation’s oldest city, though many people don’t know that. It has a ton of landmarks, including St. George Street, the Old Jail, and the gorgeous Castillo de San Marcos National Monument.
You can grab a vacation rental or stay at one of the quirky boutique hotels. You’re also about five miles from St. Augustine Beach, where you can soak up some rays or try your luck fishing. Just bring a rod and reel, and you’re good to go.
Nag’s Head, North Carolina
North and South Carolina have many miles of beaches and tons of chances to sail, try your skill at miniature golf, or fish. Nag’s Head, in NC, is one of the more inexpensive possibilities.
This is part of the Outer Banks region. You can visit Jockey’s Ridge State Park with its hiking opportunities and towering sand dunes. You might try the Gulf Stream waters for the many kinds of fish there. You can sometimes catch massive specimens if you’re strong enough to wrestle with them and tire them out.
You will also find restaurants with the day’s fresh catch. You can explore the many Nag’s Head lighthouses and keep a lookout for the various sea turtles and majestic aquatic birds that call this region home.
Athens, Georgia, is a small but tranquil vacation spot. There, you’ll find a wealth of free attractions. You can see the many public parks that are ideal for picnicking. You’ll also find many picturesque town squares that typify the South at its most charming.
The University of Georgia’s campus is there, and they welcome visitors, even if you’re not enrolled. You can also visit the Georgia Museum of Art, with its many eclectic pieces by renowned artists.
The State Botanical Garden is free to visit, and you can also spend some time in nearby Atlanta, which you can reach by car in a little more than an hour. You can enjoy some of the many attractions the ATL offers, and then you can drive back and stay in an Athens hotel for much cheaper than you’d pay for a big city lodging.