7 Budget-Friendly Family Vacation Ideas

With the end of summer rapidly coming to a close, you may be looking for one last adventure with the family before the busyness of another school year takes over your home. Or maybe you want to plan ahead and get something scheduled for the future so you and your family have a getaway to look forward to.

Traveling last minute or with a family can quickly add additional costs to your trip, but it doesn’t have to. I searched around and found some great vacations for families looking to stay within a budget.

Here’s a list of seven budget-friendly family vacations to try out as summer comes to a close or any time throughout the year.

  1. Camping

Camping is one type of family vacation that can have a high degree of fun with a relatively low cost per person. Rent a campsite or a cabin, bring provisions with you, and enjoy the great outdoors. Coast to coast, there are great camping spots to choose from. Check out The 26 Best Places to Pitch a Tent in the U.S. for some ideas.

  1. Hawaii

Believe it or not, Hawaii can be a more cost-effective family destination than you might think. If you avoid the tourism money traps of Hawaii, you’ll find that the islands offer plenty of fun for the whole family that won’t break the bank. Purchasing vacation packages, traveling during off-peak seasons, flying out of different airports are just a few ways to save money. Here’s a complete list of twelve more ways to save on your next Hawaii getaway.

  1. Mexico

Mexico is one of the more affordable and beautiful destinations to travel to. With so many all-inclusive options, you can find just the right vacation package for you and your family. CheapCaribbean.com is a good place to search all-inclusive vacation deals and you can even search by “family friendly” to make you search even easier!

  1. Cruise

Even though cruise vacations get mixed reviews these days, their all-inclusive nature makes them cost-effective, especially for a family. Not only are meals and your overnight accommodations covered, but all the entertainment and activities are too!  Five of the best cruise lines for families is explored by the Travel Channel here. Shop around for the best prices and also research reviews for particular ships and destinations so you select the best option for your family’s interests and your budget.

  1. Road Trip

Why not hop in the car or RV and head some place new with the whole family? With lower gas prices, ground transportation is a definitely cost-saving option. Whether you plan a cross country excursion or something a bit more local, road trips allow you to be a bit more flexible with your itinerary and can bring out the explorer in everyone.

This awesome interactive family road trip planner from Huffington Post is the perfect place to start mapping out your next adventure.

  1. National Parks

Visiting National Parks can easily be combined with a camping vacation or road trip. There is plenty to see and do at National Parks and entrance fees are low and typically per vehicle which covers you and your children. You can pack your own meals to keep within budget and your children can enjoy a wide range of educational activities at little to no extra cost. Here’s a list of the Best National Park Adventures for Kids from National Geographic.

  1. The Carolinas

North and South Carolina are great vacation destinations for families on a budget. Families can rent cabins or homes and feel like they are at home away from home in the beautiful Carolinas. Vacation rentals are available at all price points and vary depending on the time of year. Here are the top ten North Carolina and South Carolina vacation spots you can search through.

As with anything, do your research while planning your vacation.  If you can swing taking a vacation during an offseason, you’ll likely be able to save even more money. If not, planning in advance can also help to keep down the overall cost of your next family vacation

Vince Lombardi once said, “The measure of who we are is what we do with what we have.” Make the most of every moment and enjoy your next family getaway!