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Top 6 affordable vacations across the U.S.

Date posted:  5/28/15 08:45:00 AM Plan an affordable family vacation right here in the U.S.

School is out across the U.S., and planning an affordable summer vacation is on the mind of many American families. Fortunately, it's not necessary to spend a great deal of money on a getaway, and many families will be able to plan some well-deserved time away with loved ones when headed to these budget-friendly destinations.

Yellowstone National Park 
This destination is rich with natural beauty and can serve as the perfect family vacation for everyone, according to the U.S. News & World Report. Peppered with impressive meadows, powerful geysers, hot springs and expansive forests, Yellowstone National Park is sure to satisfy nature enthusiasts of all varieties. 

The family can do everything from checking out Old Faithful to taking advantage of the wildlife-watching opportunities at this national park. Fortunately, it is also easy to save money when traveling to this location by making some smart preparations. 

Consider camping to save money on lodging, and cook your own meals over a toasty fire instead of eating at local restaurants. Camping is a great way to bring the family together and avoid over-spending. Track money spent during the vacation with a mobile banking application or receipt log to keep finances in order while also enjoying nature's glory.

Chicago 
A Midwest gem, Chicago serves as a great spot for families, couples and groups of friends ready to get away. Boasting plenty of history, shopping, dining and art scenes, this city is sure to pique the interest of every travel companion.

U.S. News & World Report noted downtown Chicago hotels often have more expensive prices due to the ample number of those traveling on business coming to the city, so finding a bed and breakfast or hotel on the north side of town might be a more affordable option

Nashville 
According to visitmusiccity.com, Nashville is the place to go for fun you can tap your foot to. Visitors can enjoy live music, great food and intriguing art in this Southern city.

Free live music is Nashville's specialty and they serve it in high volumes. This perk makes enjoying a vacation in this location easier on the pocketbooks while still providing excitement.

Myrtle Beach
AOL Travel noted this family-friendly destination is one of the most popular in the U.S. The beautiful beaches and glimmering seas attract travelers from all over. And, families can save big noshing on extravagant buffet spreads that feed more for less and spending all day hunting for unique shells on the beach, which doesn't cost a thing (except the price of sunscreen).

In addition, renting a condo or private home can actually be more cost-effective than purchasing a hotel room for a week-long stay, so consider that rental an option when visiting this seaside destination.

Yosemite 
This national park is a breathtaking destination the whole clan is sure to fall in love with. With awe-inspiring Sequoia trees, luxurious water falls and other gorgeous landscapes only nature can provide, Yosemite is a great summertime vacation hot spot, noted U.S. News & World Report. Spend time hiking through trails and exploring hills and valleys with the whole family. 

Like Yellowstone, this park offers the same money-saving option of paying for a campsite rather than a hotel room. If camping isn't in the cards, there are plenty of lodging options outside the park that can fit into a budget. 

In addition, Yosemite offers an impressive free bus service that provides access over the park's entire 1,200 square miles.

The Boundary Waters 
This destination offers plenty of jaw-dropping scenery for any nature-lover. The Boundary Waters are the perfect spot to canoe through rivers, streams and lakes while enjoying the local wildlife, according to National Geographic. 

Located along the Minnesota and Canadian border, four people can enjoy nearly a weeklong journey through the beautiful landscape fully-equipped for well under $2,000.