I don’t know about you—but by the time Memorial Day rolls around every year, I’m thinking summer vacation. (I think it’s Zoombezi Bay ingrained in us from our elementary school years—like some kind of mid-year notch in our individual lifelines.)  And I LOVE to travel.  There is something about exploring a new place that is like spring cleaning for the soul.  Apparently, there are a lot of Americans who continue to share this passion … tough economy or not.  

According to the U.S. Travel Association’s recent summer leisure travel forecast, an estimated 54 percent of American households are planning a trip this June, July or August.  (That’s compared to 50 percent at this time last year.) That equates to an estimated 322 million domestic leisure per-person-trips. (I’m picturing millions of travel-warriors like me who will eat Mac & Cheese for a month before giving up our summer vacations!) Viva les vacances!!

Yes, we will be watching our travel budgets. Yes, we will be looking for deals. But—indications are that we expect to spend about the same amount on our vacations this year as we did last year.  Some of us may not be traveling as far. Some of us will stay closer to home. But that’s the great thing—there is SO MUCH TO DISCOVER right in your own state.

I’m a BIG fan of Ohio travel. My family is fond of hopping in the car, driving two hours and uncovering some awesome gems right here in the Buckeye state … like Amish country, Hocking Hills, The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, King’s Island, Ikea and the Cincinnati Museum. (We LOVE the Omnimax(R) theatre there!)

If you’re looking for an economical family vacation idea—consider Dublin, Ohio.  I know. You’re thinking I sound like a commercial. But you don’t have to take my word. Just ask some of the people who have already booked a getaway here this summer. Sales for our popular Wild & Wet Summer Getaway Package are already slammin’ …. and it’s no wonder. It’s hard to beat the value–a choice of 8 hotels (with special rates); discounted tickets to the Columbus Zoo and Zoombezi Bay; free Bob Evan’s kid’s meal and free Graeter’s Ice Cream sundae for one low price.  Don’t believe me?  Go to the Wild & Wet Getaway page of our Web site, put in the dates of your trip and run the numbers for yourself.   But when you DO come to town, stop by our Visitor Center and say ‘hi!’   (I promise not to say, “I told you it was a great deal!”)

-Post by Mary