A family vacation is one of the most memorable experiences you can have with your kids. But not all family getaways have to be an expensive trip abroad—with a little planning, you can make an unforgettable memory in the U.S. or even in your own backyard. Read on for cheap family vacation ideas that will be sure to bring smiles to your face and memories to last a lifetime.
A beach vacation is a classic, affordable family escape. The shores of the United States are dotted with gorgeous beaches that are perfect for families, including Waikiki and the family-friendly Lanikai beaches on Maui. If you want to take your beach vacation to the next level, look for a resort that offers an all-inclusive package and tons of kid-friendly activities.
The sands of California are a big draw for family vacays, thanks to miles of stunning Pacific Ocean coastline and plenty of sunshine. You can also find fun in the surf at San Diego’s famous beaches, or ride the waves at Mission Beach.
Hawaii has long been one of the best family vacation spots in the country, and for good reason. Trade in your daily worries for a relaxing beach-side lounge chair and a refreshing tropical drink. A cruise is a unique family vacation idea that allows you to visit several destinations in a short amount of time, without the hassle of packing and unpacking multiple times. Plus, you’ll have the freedom to enjoy your own private space with your crew—perfect if you have young children or teenagers who may not be ready to share a room on land.
A city-based family vacation is a great way to introduce your kids to a new culture. Washington, DC is an ideal destination for a family trip that is both affordable and culturally rich, with museums, parks, tours, and world-class attractions. The capital’s iconic landmarks are the star of the show, but don’t forget to check out the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History and the International Spy Museum.
South Dakota is a lesser-known but equally beautiful nature destination that is a more budget-friendly alternative to expensive European trips. The state’s top tourist attractions include the Badlands, Mount Rushmore, and Wind Cave National Park. The quaint town of Pai in northern Thailand shows that there’s more to this beautiful Asian country than its popular beach paradises. Here, you can hike to secluded waterfalls and elephant camps and soak in hot springs.
Visiting Santa in Lapland is the stuff of kid-dreams, but there’s so much more to this classic winter getaway than just meeting the big man himself. You can also ride huskies or reindeer, play in the snow, and see the magical Northern Lights. This trip is a sure-fire way to put the joy back into your holiday season.