With the price of gas (and everything else) everyone is looking for new and improved ways to budget. Having been a travel agent, I can tell you that vacations are the first thing to either get thrown out of the budget completely or else purchased as cheaply as possible. Unfortunately, when you skimp on your vacation, you are essentially cheating yourself out of the best time you have with your family and friends. Personally, I would rather clip coupons and carpool than skimp on my vacation. I was always sorry when I booked a "budget" vacation.
There are ways to have a great vacation without skimping and one of them is by renting a house, possibly with friends and family, instead of paying resort prices. Sharing the cost of a house or condo is always more cost effective. You have facilities to cook some meals instead of eating out 3 times a day. You don't have to pay for parking your car, you don't have to walk through the lobby in your swimsuit, you don't have to tip anyone or cram 4 people (or more) into 1 hotel room. Everyone has a little more space to call their own and in some cases, you can take the family dog. One of the online booking agencies that I recommend is HomeAway. There are more destinations to choose from than you can imagine. Whether you prefer Italy or Martha's Vineyard, North Carolina or Africa, there is a home to suit your vacation needs. There are even homes for rent for RV travelers to "take a break" and spread out for a little while. I consider this a much more savvy way to travel, and I will always recommend it over timeshares any day.