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US News and World Report: Grand Canyon the top affordable family vacation

(AP File Photo/Rick Hossman)

PHOENIX -- As it turns out, Grand Canyon National Park isn't just one of the eight wonders of the world.

According to U.S. News and World Report, it's also one of the eight best family vacations in terms of affordability.

In fact, the Arizona treasure was ranked No. 1 on the list.

Home to more than 4.5 million tourists each year, the Grand Canyon doesn't just offer picturesque views, a variety of hiking trails and white water rafting adventures. As the article details, it also has plenty of cheap options when it comes to sleeping, dining, driving and planning.


BYOB

Bring your own bed. Hotel rooms inside the park can be pretty pricey. Instead, reserve a spot in one of the campgrounds or purchase a back country camping permit for a fraction of the cost.

Arrive fashionably late

If you're set on a summer trip, you'll have better luck finding deals on a place to hang your hat if you visit at the end of August.

Shuttle Away

Forget the car. You can save money on rentals, gas and parking by relying on the Grand Canyon's free shuttle bus service. It's the easiest way to explore the South Rim.

Grand Canyon Dining:

Many travelers prefer a quick meal at one of the on-site cafeterias in the South Rim, instead of an extended (and expensive) meal at one of the park's restaurants. Whatever you do, avoid the food in the nearby town of Tusayan, Ariz.; recent travelers say that the city's restaurants are particularly disappointing. In fact, many recommend packing lunches from local delis.

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