With no shortage of visitors, the Grand Canyon has no shortage of accommodation options. Staying relatively close to your early morning departure point (if going on a tour or guided trip) saves you pre-trip stress, and can also be a fun experience in itself.
Developed campgrounds are much cheaper than the fancier lodges, and they can give guests an opportunity to get to know the area more intimately. Kids especially appreciate the additional activities available when staying outdoors, and picnic tables and barbecues aren’t hard to find. Grand Canyon Village has laundry and showers as well, in case you’re forgoing an RV for an old-fashioned tent trip. Hiker Rooms (Xanterra Parks & Resorts) are available here for a bit more money.
There are free shuttle bus routes along the South Rim for people that are thinking of doing a park-and-ride trip—no tickets are necessary, and you can travel between campgrounds, shops, visitor centers and trailheads.
If staying in a location outside of the park, Tusayan is very close and convenient (with a Holiday Inn Express, Grand Canyon Suites and other lodging options); Williams is about an hour’s drive south (and has a Grand Canyon Railway station), and Flagstaff is a tiny bit farther to the east. If coming from the northern side of the canyon, the North Rim Lodge (Forever Resorts) is your best bet. Remember to book well in advance, especially if visiting the Grand Canyon during peak season—but many of the campgrounds are first-come, first-served.
Lastly, if you’re staying in the Grand Canyon for more than a few days and want to break up your hike, the Phantom Ranch is near the Colorado River and offers overnight stays and meals (reservations are needed).