Cheap family vacations come in a variety of styles, and one of the best ways to plan these is to book in the off-season if possible, or to seek out the best inexpensive family travel deals. Whether you plan your own itinerary or make reservations for an all inclusive vacation on a cruise or in the Caribbean, there are options for kids of all ages and families of all budgets. Many travelers are interested in going abroad during their family vacations, but often the best cheap family destinations are quite close to home, which helps minimizes both time and expense. From theme parks to national parks, there’s plenty to see.
If you’re looking for something on the West Coast, then San Francisco can be a beautiful destination. Home to the Golden Gate Bridge and Fisherman’s Wharf, the City by the Bay has terrific family-friendly destinations, including Golden Gate Park, Pier 39, and Alcatraz Island. Kids will love picnics or roller skating trips in the park, which is also home to the California Academy of Science and the Japanese Tea Garden, while older kids in particular are apt to enjoy tours of Alcatraz, an island prison that’s a short boat ride away from Pier 39. Hotel deals and cheap flights to San Francisco airport can help make this destination affordable, and it’s also easily reachable by both car and train.
Many times, vacationers will find that cheap family vacations can be more relaxing than elaborate and expensive trips, and the great outdoors are often the best place to take a step back and spend time with your family. Camping trips in various national parks are great ways to see something new, and there are parks located all over North America. Bryce Canyon in Utah and North Cascades National Park in Washington are great destinations in the Western US, while those farther east might enjoy visiting Great Smoky Mountains National Park in Tennessee, Massachusetts’ Cape Cod National Seashore, or the Florida Everglades. Not all parks have camping available, but those that don’t often have cabin rentals, and cheap hotels can be found right outside many parks, making it easy to drive into the park for a day of fishing or hiking.
Theme parks are always popular family vacation destinations, and Walt Disney World in Florida is one of the biggest. In addition to the several parks within this resort area, Universal Studios is also located in Atlanta and often has great deals on admission and hotels. Smaller local theme parks are also great places to spend a couple of days if you can’t go to Florida, and it’s well worth looking into your local attractions, whether that’s Busch Gardens and Colonial Williamsburg in Virginia, Cedar Point Amusement Park in Ohio, or somewhere else.
If you’re looking for more exotic destinations, then it’s worth checking into family packages to Hawaii and the Caribbean. In particular, many of the Caribbean resorts are extremely family-friendly, offering babysitting services, kids clubhouses, and even parties and arts & crafts projects for the younger ones. Before booking, be sure to check with your resort, as some either don’t welcome children or simply don’t have quite as many amenities that cater specifically to younger guests. Popular family resorts include Amaryllis in Barbados, Beaches Turks & Caicos Resort, The Buccaneer in St Croix, and El Conquistador Resort in Puerto Rico, among others.