Cheap family vacations are a necessity when you are on a tight budget. There are many different ways that you can save some money. Here a few money saving vacation ideas. One thing you can do is to stay flexible when planning your trip. Most people travel on weekends so shifting your plans to fly on a weekday will save you money. This can also help with car rentals. By traveling on a weekday, you then are vacationing on the weekend and car rentals are typically cheaper on weekends. Flexibility is important when it comes to timing your vacation. The more popular vacation spots will usually cost you more during peak season. Do a little research and find out when the off-season is. Then plan your holiday for when the rates are cheaper. Don’t get fixated on one particular destination. If you want a tropical beach vacation there are many different choices. Again a little research will go a long way. Don’t rush off to the one that everyone is raving about. Find an out of the way spot and you will do your vacation budget a big favor. Planning ahead is the key to achieving cheap family vacations. Waiting until the last minute will force you into going with the more expensive vacation costs.
10 Best Affordable Family Vacation
Grand Canyon - One of the most awe-inspiring sights in the world is also one of the most affordable. Like all national parks, the Grand Canyon allows families to see a great American natural wonder at a very low price. But be sure to reserve hotels well in advance, as the area is perpetually crowded in the spring and summer. To avoid crowds, travel in the late winter or fall.
Yosemite - You can't get much cheaper than American national parks. After paying a miniscule entry fee, you're free to explore, and Yosemite offers children and parents an excellent introduction to the State's awe-inspiring outdoor attractions. Hiking and camping are popular activities for families at Yosemite, and if your kids get tired of the outdoors, nearby San Francisco serves as an excellent daytrip.
Yellowstone - Perhaps the most famous national park in the country, Yellowstone offers families some unforgettable (and very cheap) natural attractions. The daunting cliffs, large plains and awesome geysers are sure to inspire young children and teenagers, while geothermic wonders likeOld Faithful and the Mammoth Hot Springs will captivate visitors of all ages. And don't worry about going broke over a hotel room -- just bring your own lodging.
Washington D.C. - Always a favorite for its affordability and attractions, Washington, D.C. is an excellent and educational family getaway that won't obliterate your kids' college savings. All of the city's monuments and every Smithsonian Museum on the mall are free for public access, including theNational Gallery of Art and the National Air and Space Museum. To save on hotels, book early or stay in nearby Arlington, Va.
Vancouver - Vancouver is a first-rate North American destination and it's also easy on the pocketbook. The city contains an assortment of beautiful outdoor parks -- including Ambleside Park and Queen Elizabeth Park -- right in the heart of the city. The popular Granville Island Kid's Market and Waterpark is an affordable Vancouver attraction that will please kids and parents alike.
Bahamas - Boasting breathtaking beaches and watersports galore, the Bahamas beckon to travelers of all ages. Plus, all-inclusive resorts are a great way to save money while enjoying the sun and the surf, and many offer youth-oriented activities to keep the little ones entertained. While the kids are busy swimming with stingrays or riding waterslides, parents can forget about their busy lives while exploring the islands' shopping districts, trying their luck at the casino or simply snoozing on the beach.
Cancun - While the hotels in the Zona Hotelera can get very expensive, Cancún still offers accommodations and restaurants that are both suitable and affordable for families. Check into the city center for more affordable rates. What's most affordable about this Mexican city is the airfare from the United States: Many low-fare carriers fly into Cancún daily.
Phoenix - Phoenix's almost perpetually sunny weather guarantees that the kids won't have to suffer through a rainy day, and its abundance of affordable museums and attractions can be extra helpful for frugal families. Try tubing on the Salt River or checking out the sights at the Desert Botanical Garden before discovering Native American culture at the Heard Museum.
Valencia - If you're looking to take the little ones across the pond, Valencia is the place to go. Home to three beautiful beaches and plenty of green space for picnics and outdoor games, there are no shortage of ways to wear out the kids. If you wake up to a rainy day, spend some time learning about Spanish culture at the Valencia Bullfighting Museum or take in an IMAX movie at the City of the Arts and Sciences. If you're not already packing your bags, travel writers agree that Valencia is also one of the least expensive European cities to visit.
Austin - Austin is one of the most affordable cities for any traveler, but it can offer parents an opportunity to save money while allowing children a unique and adventurous Texan getaway. Be sure to bring your kids on a bat-watching tour or an eco-adventure canopy tour.
Tips and comments:
Travel tips for family vacation
- Vacation rentals offer an excellent value per person when it comes to family travel. The cost of booking an additional hotel room for a family member can double the cost. If you use a rental instead you might pay a small percentage more, but it’s far more economical.
- Travel industry research shows that vacationers spend more on food and beverages per day than on lodging. But if you choose to stay in a vacation rental you can save a lot of money on dining. Vacation rental kitchens offer a convenient option for breakfasts on the go, snacks and even the occasional casual family dinner.
- Vacation rentals have plenty of room for toys, games and other fun forms of entertainment. There’s plenty room to spread out in the living room and store your rollerblades, fishing gear, golf clubs, board games, etc.
- Explore interesting destinations in your own backyard. And, with the price of gas generally being higher, it might be wise to look for destinations within 300 miles of your home.
- Choose a destination with a built-in (and in most cases) free activity, such as the beach or the mountains. These are great locations for hiking or for just enjoying the view.
- It’s easier to find inexpensive travel during this time. One of the best times to book travel is the May before Memorial Day or when school is about to start.
- When your friends tagalong, even doing nothing can seem like fun. And by sharing babysitting duties, couples can find cherished time for a night on the town … knowing the kids are in good hands.
Remember the days before iPods, DVD Players and video games? Dig out the jacks, Yahtzee, and other board games. Or, teach kids how to cook or scrapbook.
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