For the past few years, vacation funds have been very tight. Last year, we opted for a "staycation". It was great, but we really wanted to get back to the beach this year. I know these options will not work for everyone, but I wanted to share what has worked for us.
Accommodations: This will most likely be the most expensive part of your vacation. If you know someone who has a timeshare, ask them if they have weeks they would like to sell. You may not get your first choice destination, but if they have weeks they may lose - they will most likely take a reasonable offer from you. Also, check craigslist vacation rentals in the area you would like to visit. If you find one, ask for references.
Food: We always look for a condo/hotel room with a kitchenette. We arrived last Sunday evening & left today. We ate dinner out once (the night we arrived) & breakfast out once (this AM). I realize the thought of cooking on vacation is appalling to some people, so do what works for you. It's worth it for us to save money!
Breakfast ideas: bagels, cinnamon rolls, cereal, sausage biscuits
Lunch: always sandwich & chips for us
Dinner: BBQ, chicken pie, pasta bake, spaghetti, chicken legs, leftovers!
Attractions: We like the beach & we like to enjoy it. Between the ocean & the pool, we are content. I know some folks like to go-go-go! Look for local attraction books, early bird specials, state parks, military discounts.
Planning: Start a vacation savings club for next year. Contributing as little as $10 a week will give you over $500 next year!
Again, these are my opinions & what works for my family. I realize they may not work for all.