Book Review: The 100 Best Affordable Vacations

Jane Woolbridge and Larry Bleiberg. The 100 Best Affordable Vacations. Washington, DC: National Geographic, 2011. 288 pages.

Right now, most people who like to travel are looking at stretching their budget as far as they can, so a book about affordable travel destinations is a practical idea. This book is divided into four chapters: Americana, Into the Wild, Quest for Knowledge, and Body and Soul, each of which features vacations based around the chapter’s theme. So Americana includes something called the Corn Palace Festival in Mitchell, South Dakota, and the National Hollerin’ Contest, held each year in Spivey’s Corner, North Carolina. There’s also a lot of advice on where to get the best barbecue. The other chapters focus on nature, education, and a mix of horizon expanding and pampering.

There are a ton of good ideas for offbeat vacations in this book that would probably never occur to you (I know they wouldn’t occur to me) if you hadn’t read it. Even if you’re not planning to travel anytime soon, this book is a good reminder of the real diversity we have in the good old USA–there is tons of stuff to do right here, and a lot of it won’t break the bank.

Of course, this isn’t a complete guide to vacations away from the beach or ski slopes, but it’s a great start for planning what might be an unusual, unforgettable vacation.

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