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Free Travel Information for Families on the Go

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Planning Your Palm Springs Vacation on a Budget

Palm Springs is a desert oasis on the western edge of California's Coachella Valley. This former Hollywood-glitterati hideaway offers glamour, nature exploration, relaxation, and 350 days of sunshine. Here's how to do it all without breaking into your piggy bank.

While there is much to do in the lively town center, the surrounding scenery is some of the most breathtaking in the state. The Coachella Valley Hiking Club offers free guided hikes year round. Whether you prefer an easy 2-hour stroll or a strenuous 8-hour hike, this hiking club will cater to your abilities. Traverse the surrounding mountains and climb almost 12,000 feet to the peaks. You'll have to get out of the city to reach these hiking trails, so choose any affordable hotel in Palm Springs for your stay. For something a bit less intense, visit the Sunnylands Center and Garden for free bird-watching walks or the Living Desert to explore a variety of animals and habitats.

There are ample designer boutique shops in Palm Springs, but for a more affordable shopping experience, browse the one-of-a-kind items at Villagefest and the Farmers Market. Villagefest happens every Thursday night between Amado and Baristo roads. This weekly outdoor festival features food, arts, musicians, and local artisans. Also on Baristo Road, the Farmers Market is held on Saturday mornings next to the Camelot Theatre. Stay within walking distance of these events at the budget-friendly Best Western Plus Las Brisas Hotel.

Take a break from tanning and seek the shade of the city's art galleries. The Palm Springs Art Gallery attraction offers free admission and an extensive collection of West Coast artists, Native American artists, art glass, artifacts, and photography. You'll see the historically significant works of Sam Francis, Robert Arneson, Nathan Oliveira, Mark di Suvero, and Edward Ruscha. If you're looking for local work to buy, head to the Backstreet Art District. Just south of Highway 111 you'll find about a dozen artist-owned galleries and studios. Shop the open houses and street sales during monthly art walks that happen the first Wednesday of every month. You'll find the quaint and affordable Saguaro Palm Springs hotel near the Backstreet Art District.

Try your luck at the tables and slots at the Spa Resort Casino. This downtown hotel and casino is a hub of activity every night of the week. If you're not one to take chances gambling, grab dinner at one of the on-site restaurants. If you're still fighting jet lag, take advantage of the early-bird special at the hotel's steakhouse. Additionally, the casino offers live entertainment and a disc jockey at the Cascade Lounge. For a quieter evening out, reserve a table on the patio at Alicante Restaurant. Next to the Plaza Theatre, this restaurant offers outstanding food, affordable prices, and peaceful people watching.

Desert Springs RV Resort and Spa is a quaint, attractive and clean park for adult RV'ers in scenic Desert Hot Springs, California, centrally located in the Coachella Valley next to Palm Springs and near Joshua Tree. Enjoy our natural hot springs mineral water pool and spa. We have all the amenities for your motorhome, trailer, 5th wheel or camper with 6 pull-thru spaces. Whether you are looking for a one night stay or a year long lease of one of our 95 spaces, we can accommodate your RVing needs*. Reserve your camping spot now with our reasonable rates! We also have facilities for you to store your RV or trailer.

A former journalist, Tammy Banfield is a freelance travel writer who loves scouring the Web for the best travel experiences. Tammy has written about more than 2,000 hotels throughout Canada and the United States for sites like Hipmunk.

Tips for Families on the Road

Life and Travel from Four Happy Travelers recommended by the DeMichiel Family (FOTR since 2007)

Tips for winter camping in New England:

  • Rent or bring your own
    100 lb. propane tank
    (the 30 lb. tanks did not produce enough pressure to keep us warm.)
  • Take the wind into consideration on where you go. Up by the Great Lakes or by the ocean the wind blows almost constantly and can lower the temperature in your RV significantly.
  • Call any RV park that says they are open year round to make sure they offer winter camping.
  • Bring a heating blanket, slippers, bathrobe, extra socks, boots, mittens, scarf, coat and extra blankets.
  • Pirit Heated water hose, Heat tape, and a heated underbelly I think are the minimum you need (and our water still froze up some times - mostly when it was on the shady side of the rig.)
  • Many slide outs and windows can leak air - put pillows by the windows you sleep near.
  • Keep the day/night shades closed - it makes a huge difference.
  • Most of all, plan to have the equipment you need so that you can have fun in the winter and be warm.

  • Travel Information - US, Canada & Mexico

    United States

    Alabama (800) ALABAMA or

    Alaska (800) 76-ALASKA or

    Arizona (800) 842-8257 or

    Arkansas (800) NATURAL or

    California (800) TO-CALIF or

    Colorado (800) COLORADO or

    Connecticut (800) CT-BOUND or

    Delaware (800) 441-8846 or

    Florida (888) 7-FLA-USA or

    Georgia (800) VISIT-GA

    Hawaii (800) GO-HAWAII or or

    Idaho (800) VISIT ID or or

    Illinois (800) 2-CONNECT or or

    Indiana (800) 289-6646 or

    Iowa (800) 345-IOWA or

    Kansas (800) 2-KANSAS or

    Kentucky (800) 225-TRIP or

    Louisiana (800) 334-8626 or

    Maine (800) 533-9595 or or

    Maryland (800) MD-IS-FUN or Jen Reviews or

    Massachusetts (800) 447-MASS or or

    Michigan (800) 644-2489 or or

    Minnesota (800) 657-3700 or or

    Mississippi (800) WARMEST or

    Missouri (800) 877-1234

    Montana (800) VISIT-MT or

    Nebraska (800) 228-4307 or

    Nevada (800) NEVADA-8 or or

    New Hampshire (800) FUN-IN-NH or

    New Jersey (800) JERSEY-7 or

    New Mexico (800) 545-2040 or

    New York (800) CALL-NYS or

    North Carolina (800) VISIT-NC or or

    North Dakota (800) HELLO-ND or

    Ohio (800) BUCKEYE and for Exit Info

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    Oregon (800) 547-7842 or or

    Pennsylvania (800) VISIT-PA or

    Rhode Island (800) 556-2484 or

    South Carolina (800) 346-3634 or or

    South Dakota (800) SDAKOTA or

    Tennessee (800) TENN-200 or

    Texas (800) 88-88-TEX or or

    Utah (800) 200-1160

    Vermont (800) VERMONT or

    Virginia (800) VISIT-VA or

    Washington (800) 544-1800 or or

    Washington , DC (800) 422-8644 or

    West Virginia (800) CALL-WVA or

    Wisconsin (800) 432-TRIP or

    Wyoming (800) CALL-WYO or


    888 455-8888 or Government

    Alberta (800) 661-8888 or

    British Columbia 1-800-HELLO BC / 1-800-435-5622 or

    Manitoba (800) 665-0040 or

    New Brunswick (800) 561-0123 or

    Newfoundland and Labrador (800) 563-6353 or

    Northwest Territories (800) 661-0788 or or

    Nova Scotia (800) 565-0000 or

    Ontario (800) ONTARIO or or

    Prince Edward Island (800) 463-4734 or

    Quebec (800) 363-7777 or (choose English or French version)

    Saskatchewan (800) 667-7191 or

    Yukon (867) 667-5340 or or


    (800) 44-MEXICO or