Monday, July 07, 2008

Staying Close To Get Away

(NAPSI)-For many families, the latest vacation trend is hitting close to home--literally.

A recent survey reveals that when making decisions about discretionary spending, 97 percent of families with children under 12 are not likely to cut the close-to-home vacation.

Budget-conscious families are exploring destinations in their own “backyards” or within a three- to five-hour drive from home. That’s great news for antsy kids eager for adventure--and for parents who repeatedly hear their kids say, “There’s nothing to do.”

So where are families heading? With locations from Washington State to Niagara Falls, many are checking out a place called Great Wolf Lodge.

Great Wolf Lodge locations are close enough for a quick, few-day getaway, and they offer amenities and activities from spacious accommodations and themed suites to an exclusive-to-guests indoor water park. There’s even a nightly story time in the Grand Lobby and a Cub Club children’s activity program.

For a nominal fee, guests can also enjoy spas for both adults and children and MagiQuest, an interactive fantasy game played with magic wands. The resorts feature multiple dining options as well.

Cutting Costs

The following budget-savvy tips could help families looking for affordable, close-to-home vacation fun:

• Check Web sites often--Many times, the best deals can be found on hotel or attraction Web sites. Check online to find the lowest rates and great packages.

• Travel midweek--It can be cheaper to travel Sunday through Thursday instead of taking the traditional weekend getaway.

• Bring your own food and drinks--Look for accommodations that include in-room refrigerators and microwaves. Save money by eating a meal or snack in your room. For example, you can have cereal for breakfast or enjoy a cold soda after dinner.

• Find fun family destinations--A family vacation should be about spending time together, but that doesn’t mean that everyone has the same interests. Look for destinations that offer variety--on-site dining, spas, arcade and kids’ activities--to help create positive, long-lasting memories for everyone.

• Ask about ways to extend your fun--At Great Wolf Lodge, for example, a one-night stay actually offers two days’ worth of time in Bear Track Landing indoor water park. Pricewise, a night at the resort could be comparable to four single-day tickets to a regional theme park or one two-day pass to a popular Florida attraction.

For more information, visit

Many families have fun by staying close to home for vacation.

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