Finding family-friendly bargains
* Book early. Last-minute deals are great for people who can go off-season or don’t care whether they get two rooms or four berths or two beds.
* Look for free attractions. In Washington, D.C., entry is free at more than a dozen Smithsonian Institution facilities.
* Liven up a visit to see relatives with a side trip. The newly updated book “Off the Beaten Path,” by the editors of Reader’s Digest, has scores of ideas.
* Book a package. With airfare, hotel and rental car wrapped together, you can shave costs.
* Travel midweek to resort locations. Rooms that go for hundreds on weekends often sit vacant on weekdays, discounted by 20 percent or more. Conversely, travel on weekends to business destinations.