The best family vacations don’t have to cost a ton of money. In fact, we have visited some amazing locations for a fraction of the cost of other more popular family travel destinations. Since we have years of travel experience under our belt, we are happy to share some of our favorite destinations and how affordable they can before the whole family to enjoy.
Best Family Vacations Hot Spots For A Small Budget
Dallas, Texas: The heart of Texas really is in this fun city. Dallas has a ton of great attractions to offer that are totally free and much more that are budget friendly. One of the keys to staying in Dallas is to remember that the entire Dallas-Fort Worth area is made up of many suburbs. You’ll probably be driving for 30 minutes to an hour to attractions no matter where you stay in the area, so don’t hesitate to stay outside the city.
Look for hotels in McKinney, Richardson, Arlington, Fort Worth, Garland, Plano, Grapevine, Mesquite, and Irving. These areas are around the city, and all have lower price lodging choice. They are also going to offer access to public transit in most areas that can be easy for you to use if going into the city for various attractions.
Consider getting the Dallas Citypass for discounts on major attractions like the Dallas Zoo and Dallas Aquarium. You can also take advantage of places like Klyde Warren Park that is totally free to roam and enjoy, or head over to the Sixth Floor Museum for a low entry fee to learn about the death of President John F. Kennedy. Six Flags over Texas is another great area attraction that is low cost for families who love amusement parks and roller coasters.
Branson, Missouri: This little city in the Ozarks is one of the best family vacations hot spots in the Midwest. Branson features not just great music and live shows, but also tons of shopping, a wonderful theme park, and water parks. It’s ideal for a family with multiple ages of children.
When visiting Branson, consider booking through a travel agent that can provide you with discounts on shows and theme park passes. You may also want to consider buying bundle packages at many of the area attractions that offer you discounted show passes once you arrive. While the hotels in the main part of the city maybe a bit pricey, you can easily find accommodations, condos, resorts, and even cabin rentals in every area of the budget spectrum.
Area attractions to consider are Silver Dollar City, Sheperd Of The Hills, Ripley’s Belive It Or Not, Titanic Museum, Dixie Stampede, and much more music show, water parks, and restaurants.
Witchita, Kansas: This may seem like an odd place to travel, but it is ideal for the geek or science family. Witchita houses a few great locations in the city but is also a short drive away from the Cosmosphere which is a wonderful space center with many NASA mission pieces of memorabilia and routine visits from astronauts.
Lodging in and around the city is moderately priced with options perfect for families and even those traveling with pets. You can find some great fun food venues downtown, and of course, the attractions for the family are varied. Traveling within an hour of the city you will find the Kansas Aviation Museum, Cosmosphere, Kansas Underground Salt Museum, and of course, there are also lakes for swimming and summer sports.
Myrtle Beach, South Carolina: Traditionally known as a Spring Break vacation destination, Myrtle Beach is also one of the best family vacations hot spots. Not only are there a number of condos, houses, resorts, hotels, and motels in the area to choose from on any budget, there are tons of things outside the beach for you to enjoy.
Myrtle Beach offers tons of shopping and a great food scene for parents with local vineyards nearby for wine tastings. For the kids, you have your choice of fun places like Ripley’s Believe It Or Not, Family Kingdom Amusement Park, Myrtle Beach SkyWheel, Myrtle Waves water park, and of course the Myrtle Beach boardwalk with live music, restaurants, and gift shops galore.
Destin, Florida: If a beach vacation is what you want, this is the ideal best family vacations destination. Destin has tons of beautiful beaches to explore, great restaurants, miniature golf, and of course great deals on hotels, motels, and beachside condos. While this area doesn’t have as many things to do outside of the beach that others do, it is by far one of the most affordable beach destinations.
Atlanta, Georgia: Many think that Atlanta isn’t a budget-friendly location. However, it can be a great place to visit when you look for specific things for your family to enjoy. There are literally tons of ways to save in this great city that is full of culture, shopping, food, music, and entertainment.
Stay outside the hub of the city to save on lodging, and take advantage of the public train and bus system to get back and forth to your destinations without worrying about parking inside the city. Invest in the Citypass if you plan to visit many of the local attractions as it will save you a significant amount of money.
Atlanta features the Coca Cola Museum, Centennial Olympic Park, Children’s Museum of Atlanta, Six Flags over Atlanta, and of course the fun underground shopping mall. There is no limit to what you can enjoy with your family in this lively city.
Portland, Oregon: If you are on the West Coast, Portland is an amazing destination with something for everyone in your family to enjoy. While many things in Oregon can be pricey, you’ll actually find that it is one of the best family vacations destinations since it offers so much in one location for you to enjoy.
Lodging in the area is moderately priced, especially if you choose to stay in a few of the suburbs that are adjacent to the city. With the public rail system, it is easy to travel to and from any attraction without paying a lot of money in gas or parking fees.
When in Portland, you want to visit the Portland Children’s Museum, Oregon Zoo,The International Rose Test Garden, and of course you can drive within an hour to see the ocean, waterfalls, and literally hundreds of gorgeous walking trails, hikes, or even river rafting locations. This doesn’t even take into account the great food, theater, art, and entertainment in and around the city year round.
If you are looking for the best family vacations destinations that will fit into your budget, these are just a few of the best choices we have enjoyed. No matter what your budget, there are always options that will help you to stay in budget and give your family tons of fun and frugal adventures.