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Tips for Saving Money on a Family Vacation

Don't want to spend a fortune on lodging? Renting a home, cabin or condominium for a few days or weeks could be cheaper than paying daily on a hotel.

Steve Mason/Photodisc/Thinkstock

Call it what you want: a little R & R, a getaway, an opportunity to recharge the batteries. However you refer to a vacation, there's an implied understanding that it's meant to relieve stress, provide a period of refreshment and allow you a chance to have fun. But few things zap the joy from an experience more than financial woes.

If, while sitting at the beach, you're constantly hounded by a voice that says "I'm sinking in an ocean of debt," then you can actually return from a vacation with more anxiety than you left with. Wouldn't it be nice to unwind knowing it won't take you another year of working overtime to pay it all off?

Cutting expenses on a vacation is an art that has been perfected by countless budget-conscious people just like you. Each one has discovered a little trick or technique that spares the wallet while preserving the fun. In some cases those nuggets of hard-won wisdom can actually enhance the quality of your time away. You've undoubtedly heard it said that you don't always get what you pay for. That's true -- sometimes you get more. At least if you know how to go about it.

Don't think of these tips as ways of subtracting from your vacation experience but as methods of reordering how, when and where you bask in those memory-making moments. If you step on a conch shell it's painful; however, if you put it to your ear, you can hear beautiful crashing waves. On a similar note, let's put your wallet in the best position possible for your getaway so you don't let out a cry of astonishment when you return home and have a moment to review your bank statement.

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