Don't Break the Bank: 10 Cheap Family Vacations (That Are Really Fun)

10 Cheap Family Vacations (That Are Really Fun)

Cheap Family Vacations


Last year, over 70 percent of American families went into debt to take a vacation.

It's true that vacationing can be expensive. Many parents feel they can't afford it at all, but there are plenty of fun mini-vacations that won't mess up your budget.

Whether you're taking a family road trip or catching a flight, you just need to know where to go.

Here are ten cheap family vacations to try this year.


Niagra Falls

1. Niagara Falls

Niagara Falls is a popular destination for people all around the globe. This famous wonder attracts millions of people every year.

There are three separate stunning parts of the falls to see. Niagara Falls straddles both New York and Canada, which are both worth visiting for their views.

Families can enjoy hiking trails along the Niagara Gorge or exciting boat rides on the river. Ontario's Clifton Hill has a whole host of restaurants and activities for kids and adults.

What's more is that a visit to Niagara Falls isn't as pricey as some vacations. Besides lodging and airfare, parents won't have to dish out anything to see the Falls. Extra activities, such as discovery tours and attractions, often cost under $50.


San Diego

2. San Diego, California

One of the best mini-vacations you can take is a trip to the vibrant city of San Diego.

With beautiful beaches and delicious food, there's something for everyone. Bring your kids on a day trip to the iconic San Diego Zoo or Balboa Park. Your children will also love a visit to Legoland California.

Most importantly, you can see the sights of San Diego without going over your budget. Many websites and attractions offer online discounts for the price of admission.

Plus, if you don't want to spend money on activities, the stunning seaside view will suffice.


3. Ocean City, Maryland

Another must-see beach town is the charming Ocean City, MD.

Families will love exploring the city's boardwalks, theme-park rides, and resorts. Parents can't miss the opportunity to take their kids to the Jolly Roger Amusement Park. Trimper's Rides is another great theme-park destination.

With the right planning, a couple days spent in Ocean City can cost under $1,000 for a family of four.


4. South Padre Island

If you're looking for a cheap island experience, consider visiting South Padre Island.

A resort town off the coast of Texas, South Padre is a nature lover's paradise. Full of parks and nature centers, the family who loves the outdoors will find plenty to do on its shores.


Visit Myrtle Beach

5. Myrtle Beach, South Carolina

Myrtle Beach is one of the go-to affordable vacation spots for families everywhere. Not only is it cozy and beautiful, there are over 60-miles of beaches to discover.

Families can visit Ripley's Aquarium and the Myrtle Beach Boardwalk. There's also a whole host of incredible restaurant spots that you can't miss.

Planning your trip to Myrtle Beach ahead of time will keep lodging and airfare costs low.


Visit Lake Superior

6. Lake Superior, Minnesota

Searching for the right cheap lakefront vacation? One of the Great Lakes of North America, Lake Superior, is the place to go.

Minnesota's North Shore is an unforgettable scenic wonder. Families can kayak, swim, or pay a visit to Isle Royale National Park. Active vacationers will also find places to bike trails, golf, and explore wildlife.


Visit St. Louis

7. St. Louis, Missouri

When dreaming of a vacation, St. Louis may not be the first destination that comes to mind, but it's one of the most affordable and historical cities in the country.

There's a lot for parents and children to do in St. Louis. Make sure to see the famous Gateway Arch, built in the 20th century to honor explorers Lewis and Clark. The city is also home to the beautiful Missouri Botanical Gardens and the City Museum.


8. The Catskills

A list of great mini vacations wouldn't be complete without the Catskill Mountains. Nestled in the Appalachian range of New York, the Catskills promise fun for everyone.

These forest hills brim with hiking trails, wildlife, and historic sites. Adventurous travelers can visit the Kaaterskill Falls or go white water rafting.

For families looking to cut costs, the Catskills are the ultimate camping destination. Parents and kids can fly-fish, shop, or go see live music.


9. Winter Park, Colorado

A winter wonderland vacation doesn't have to empty your pockets. The great Winter Park Resort in Colorado offers all the perks of any snow-capped mountain but for a cheaper price.

At Winter Park, families can ski, snowboard, tube, and explore and outdoors. There are a variety of shopping and dining locations, as well as frequent local events. Young children can also go horseback riding or catch a fun hayride.


Visit Pittsburgh

10. Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

It's no coincidence that every year more people are moving to Pittsburgh. It's a lively, low-key, and rich city filled with things to do for people of all ages.

Pittsburgh is home to the Andy Warhol Museum and the Carnegie Museum of Natural History. Sports lovers can check out the Heinz Field football stadium. The city has a myriad of local parks along the Monongahela and Allegheny rivers.

With a growing culinary scene, families can also grab a great bite to eat for cheap. Pittsburgh boasts affordable hotels and attractions for parents and kids with all interests.


Explore Other Cheap Family Vacations

Of course, there are other wonderful options to consider that are fun for the whole family. A trip to a place such as the Grand Canyon or Yosemite National Park is also possible without breaking the bank.

You can't go wrong with any of these cheap family vacations. To read more parenting and travel tips, visit our blog.

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