Vacations can be money pits, no doubt. But planned carefully they don’t have drain your bank account. National parks are a natural choice for many people because not only are they beautiful and historic, they can be much more affordable.
Camping is a no brainer way to save. A family site costs half to one third of a hotel room and can sleep the whole family. Campsites have grills for cooking and bathroom facilities. Not all campground accommodate RV hookups so consider booking in the trailer park if you need electricity.
If you don’t want to camp, staying nearby in perhaps Williams or Flagstaff can save a few dollars. In high season it may not save enough to count though, so do compare costs before booking.
Cooking for yourself or bringing your own groceries are other ways to save. While it’s nice to eat out, restaurant prices, even cafeteria, will cost more than eating your own food. Easy and cheap foods that keep well are good choices. There is a market at Grand Canyon Village to take advantage of and it’s even easy to find prepared foods and sandwiches at low cost.
Entertainment isn’t something lacking with views this pretty and ample opportunity to hike, but it’s sometimes nice to include an event or two. Park rangers and naturalists offer lectures and informational events for park visitors for free. If you make it to the bottom, Phantom Ranch also has an evening show with music and entertainers.
Taking a tour can be a wonderful way to experience the Grand Canyon. Coach tours tend to be the least expensive, but even if you feel you can’t leave without flying over the canyon, a fixed wing, one hour tour can be an option that won’t break the bank.