While most American families will spend an entire year saving money for vacation, they often overlook the equally attractive alternative of saving money while on vacation. But cutting out some of the unnecessary costs of getting away from it all for a week doesn't necessarily mean cutting out the fun. You can play just as hard at a fraction of the cost just by taking a few simple steps, especially when it comes to where you stay and where you play. Here are a few easy ways to save before you pack your bags: * For starters, all resort towns are not created equal. Some tourist locations, such as Myrtle Beach, S.C., are designed for families on a budget more so than say Palm Beach, Fla. In addition to offering the same upscale accommodations and restaurants, Myrtle Beach also offers more affordable alternatives so families can decide when to splurge and when to trim some of the expenses from their vacation. Instead of fine dining every night, families can pick and choose when to spend and when to save. * Finding an affordable hotel or condo in Myrtle Beach has become much easier with the explosion of the Internet. Special websites like ours feature a wide range of discount Myrtle Beach accommodations. Future visitors can check out special rates, information and photos of properties up and down the Grand Strand so families can find the right place at the right price for them. Some resorts include their own water parks, putt-putt golf courses and other amenities that can save you money without having to leave the hotel. * Many families opt to stay at Grand Strand condominiums instead of the standard hotel to save money during their stay. Condos include full kitchens that make it easier for families to make a grocery store visit at the start of the week and save money on meals during their stay. The ability to grab a quick breakfast or lunch allows families to spend more time at the beach or poolside rather than driving and spending at restaurants three times a day. Check out myrtlebeachcondos.com for more options. * Once your family arrives in town, there are several ways to save at local restaurants and attractions. Grocery stores and other shops provide free coupon books at their front doors featuring discounts on dining, shopping and some of the many fun things to do around town. In addition to saving money, the coupon books are informative and great for helping plan your week ahead. Grab one when you arrive and let the family flip through it to find what they want to do during the week for affordable entertainment.