Top Best Family Vacation On A Budget

Making memories with your children is one of the best gifts that you and your spouse can give them. Memories may include parties, bonding over picnics at the park, beaches, or even traveling. Unfortunately, some families don’t travel often simply because of the high expenses that they already have at home. A lot of them think that traveling is only intended for the rich, and what they don’t know is that everyone can actually travel.

Traveling with the family doesn’t necessarily mean that you need to spend a large amount of money. There are different family vacation spots that will match with whatever budget you have. Remember that it doesn’t need to be expensive, since what matters is that the place is safe and is family-friendly for everyone to enjoy. If you plan on traveling by plane, make sure to book ahead of time since advance booking is cheaper compared to booking a week before or one day before the flight. 

I have gathered some of the best family vacation spots that won’t put a hole in your pocket or break the bank. Here are the best places where you and the entire family can enjoy and bond.

1. San Diego, California

Downtown San Diego, California, shot during a helicopter photo flight as a winter storm cleared.

Your family will surely enjoy going to San Diego, California because the state has very pleasant weather all year. You can avoid summer or winter in this state, which means that the kids will surely be able to enjoy every day on your vacation. There are a lot of attractions that are kid-friendly, including the San Diego Zoo, which is considered as the best zoo in the world. 

Hotel in San Diego is also affordable, especially if you are traveling with your family. Usually, the room starts at 150 USD for a room, but there are also hotels that are much expensive in the area. It would be better to spend more on attractions and food, rather than spending a lot in a hotel room.

2. Atlantis, Bahamas

The Atlantis Paradise Island resort, located in the Bahamas . The resort cost $800 million to bring to life the myth and legend of the lost city of Atlantis.

Atlantis in the Bahamas is a huge resort, which is perfect for the entire family, especially that it is very accessible. It is just thirty minutes from the airport so the kids won’t get bored on the way to the resort. There are a lot of activities that everyone can enjoy, from an internal animal exhibits, water park, marine habitats, and the gorgeous beach. 

You can enjoy discounts as they sometimes offer that every year, so it would be best to look out for it. The family rooms also range from 200 USD with a discount, which is relatively cheaper for a family room in a good hotel.

3. Mystic, Connecticut

Mystic is a village and census-designated place in New London County, Connecticut, United States. It is located within the towns of Groton and Stonington

Your kids will surely love Mystic, Connecticut because of the seaport, which has an amazing museum and village history. Everyone can climb in the wooden ship and enjoy the art museum, aquarium, and the downtown. They also have affordable restaurants in the area which means that your kids and both of you and your spouse will enjoy the food after a long day of walking and exploring.

Beforehand, it would be best to get an advance Mystic Pass card, for you to be able to get discounts of up to 15%. You can also get discounts at the hotel, which also starts at 200 USD.

4. Yellowstone

Buffalos grazing at Hayden Valley, Yellowstone, National Park, Wyoming, USA

Another good vacation spot for the family is Yellowstone, which will ensure your kids wit the geothermic wonders. The place features the Mammoth Hot Springs and the Grand Prismatic Springs. Both these features will surely captivate you and your kids no matter what age they are. You can also participate in narrated boat tours and wildlife workshops for free. 

Yellowstone offers hotels where you and the kids can stay, but you can also save a lot of you bring your own tents or have a recreational vehicle where everyone can rest after a fun activity.

5. Yosemite

Yosemite National Park, Hikers hiking around and climbing half dome on a sunny day

One of the best bonding activities that you and the kids can enjoy is by hiking trails and you can do that at the Yosemite. There are also rushing waterfalls to the sequoia trees, which makes the area more beautiful. The area also gives a very outdoor vibe, which may be the reason why summer is their busiest month.

You can schedule a trip from May or even September to avoid the crowd. Worry not because the weather is relatively nice in these months. Consider driving going to Yosemite since there are nearby stops that you can go to including the Sequoia national parks and the Kings Canyon park.

6. Outer Banks

Two brothers enjoying the surf on vacation in North Carolina.

Outer Banks is located in North Carline, which is perfect if you hate crowded beaches. Going here is free, but the best thing about the area is the historical sites like the Wright Brothers National Memorial. The place offers Pirate Adventures, which your kids will surely love to participate in. At the end of the day, strolling along the boardwalk would be nice, as you can see ducks strolling too. 

You can book a family room in advance as they usually give a discount for advance bookings. This will definitely save you a lot of bucks, which you can use for other things like food and other activities. 

7. Grand Canyon

Brothers, twins, looking into the Grand Canyon. Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona.

If you want yo awe your kids with beautiful sights then the Grand Canyon is the best spot to take them. It is not only beautiful but very affordable which is perfect for a budget-friendly vacation. Some of the views that you and your kids can enjoy are the Rim Trail, Bright Angel Trail, and the Grand Canyon itself. 

There are affordable restaurants around, which serves delicious cooked meals. If you want to ensure that you and your family have a place to stay there, it would be best to book in advance for campsites or hotels, whichever you prefer. The reason behind this is because a lot of tourists book the places during summer and spring.

8. Myrtle Beach

Early morning on Myrtle Beach's new Oceanfront Boardwalk providing oceanfront views of the pristine beachline

Myrtle Beach is a good vacation spot for you and your kids because of the calm waters. It also has a lot of space where you and your kids can enjoy walking or running. In fact, this beach is considered as the family paradise, because of the family-friendly attractions. All of you can enjoy the aquarium, mini-golf courses, and water parks. 

If you want to shop, worry not because the place has shopping centers and entertainment, where you can watch complimentary concerts. If you or your kids are into sports, then Myrtle Beach is the one for your family beach oof the Pelicans Ballpark.

9. Destin

family on the beach - surfboard

Destin is another family vacation haven because of the beautiful beaches and the fishing spots that the place has. It is also budget-friendly, so the only thing that you need to do is to bond and have fun with your children. Everyone can enjoy the beach, building sandcastles or splashing the water. 

You can also take everyone on a boat tour or fishing if they are into it. Enjoy strolling along the boardwalk of Destin Harbor by looking at the gorgeous view of Destin.

10. Niagara Falls

Niagara Falls: Horseshoe Falls, Canada

One of the most popular falls in Niagara Falls, and taking the entire family there would be a great gift. The area has reasonably priced hotels and there are other attractions that everyone can enjoy. When going there, worry not because the exchange rate in that Canadian site is favorable.

You can visit early fall or late spring as the falls are not yet that crowded. Lastly, don’t forget to visit hiking spots including the Niagara Glen and the Dufferin Islands.

11. Ocean City, Maryland

Crowded boardwalk in Ocean City, MD

If you are looking for a family vacation spot where everyone can soak up some sun or relax, then Ocean City in Maryland would be the best spot. The beach and as well as the different parks are free so there’s no need to worry about budgeting. The town also has different festivals year-round so you can schedule a vacation during one of these festivals. 

Ocean City also has a boardwalk where everyone can stroll and enjoy the beautiful view. Also, it would be best to stay in rentals instead of staying in hotels as this is relatively cheaper. Your extra money can be for food or other stuff, including souvenirs.

12. The Catskills

The Catskills

Vacationing to The Catskills is a great idea for families to keep everyone busy. There are farms in the area where your kids can feed the animals safely. There are also some activities that everyone can enjoy, including bumper boating, fishing, and rock climbing. If you plan to go there during the winter, everyone can enjoy sledding and skiing for sure. 

The resort is all-inclusive and family-oriented which makes it perfect for kids. If you want to save money, you can enjoy the local campground, which is also a great spot.

13. Branson

Branson, known for musical entertainment, has amusement rides and entertainment for people of all ages. The town is nestled in the Ozark mountains in Missouri.

Due to the quintessential destination that Branson has, it started gaining popularity, especially with families. It is located in Ozarks Missouri, where the amusement park has a 19th-century theme. The park has a Titanic life-size replica and a water park, which means that your kids will surely enjoy the place. Some of the other activities that everyone can do is touring along the Shepherd of the Hills Fish and swimming in Table Rock Lake, al for free. 

The area has family-friendly cafes and restaurants, which are also budget-friendly. You may choose from barbecue to buffets, whichever one you and your family need. 

14. Gatlinburg

The sites and attractions of Great Smoky Mountain National Park, which straddles two states: Tennessee and North Carolina.

Gatlinburg is located in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, everyone can enjoy soaking on the outdoors during this vacation. There is no admission charge, so everyone can enjoy checking historical exhibits, biking, and hiking. The town features highlighting music, nature, and art, and as well as festivals. If you want to save on accommodations, you can plan your vacation there in March, April, or even in September. 

15. South Padre Island

A view of Laguna Madre from South Padre Island, Texas. Beach condos and a high rise loom over the marina.

If you want an affordable and family-friendly activities, going to South Padre Island would be your best option. Everyone can swim at the beach and enjoy the sand and water. They can also enjoy watching and feeding turtles at Sea Turtle Inc., or visit the Dolphin Research and Sealife Nature Center to touch the critters. Your kids will also love bird watching, so making sure that they have their binoculars with them would be ideal.

But make sure to avoid going there every March since spring breakers flood the beach during that month annually. 

16. Chicago

Downtown Chicago Skyscraper Cityscape along the Chicago River. Typical yellow Tourboat cruising on the Chicago River towards the Michigan Lake. Chicago, Illinois, USA.

Chicago may be a busy city, but it sure has a lot of amazing food that you and your family would want to try. The city has amazing pizza that you and the kids will surely enjoy. There are also attractions, including science and art museums, cultural diversions, and a lot of parks that you can go in for free. To ensure that the trip will become memorable, it would be nice to bring the children to Wrigley Field for a fun baseball. It would be best to visit during fall or spring as the hotels and the lodging’s rate are closed.

17. Adirondacks

In the Adirondack park stretches Mount Marcy at 5,344 feet. Hikers gather at many point to the summit, admiring the highest view in the entire state.

If you and your family love to spend outdoors, then Adirondacks would be the perfect budget-friendly vacation spot. You can visit during the winter and enjoy dog sledding, snowshoeing, and skiing. During the warmer seasons, you and the family can go whitewater rafting, fishing, biking, and hiking. Take everyone to Lake Placid’s Olympic Museums by purchasing an Olympic Sites Passports. There are other activities in the area and they are usually discounted, which makes them budget-friendly.

Now when it comes to lodging, it would be best to consider rentals as they are more affordable compared to hotels. 

These are some of the best budget-friendly vacation spots for the entire family. Keep in mind the best months and seasons listen above so you know when will be the best time to go and visit. Also, don’t forget to book ahead of time to get a good discount for the family rooms or rentals. 

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