How to Find the Best Family Vacations on a Budget

The memories of a summer vacation with the family are often some of our most cherished childhood memories. Research shows that vacations can help us build life long memories, break away from daily routine and open our minds to new experiences and cultures. In addition, vacations can lead to reduced stress, better health and closer relationships. It’s no wonder so many families plan a trip at least once every year.

Whether you want to lounge on the beach, explore nature, hit the theme park or cozy up in a cabin, there’s a perfect family getaway for everyone and every budget. With so many options, the hardest part will be deciding where to go.

If you’re looking for the best budget family vacations, head to a city that offers plenty of free attractions. You can walk the mind-bending Broad Museum and hike around Hollywood sign in Los Angeles for free, or wander the beautiful streets of historic Savannah, Georgia. In central Ohio, you’ll find a variety of cheap family activities like biking, hiking and eating home-baked goodies at the Amish Countryside, all while staying in gorgeous farmhouses or one-of-a-kind treehouse hotels that look straight out of the pages of the The Mohicans.

No matter where you choose, a cheap family vacation will make for priceless memories. But it’s important to set aside a budget for your vacation and plan ahead so you know how much you need to spend each day. Adding activities or experiences that are over your budget will quickly add up and make your vacation more expensive than necessary.

Taking time to unplug from the digital world is also key for creating a great vacation without blowing your budget. Make it a goal to not check your work email or social media for most of the trip, and relax chores and screen time rules for the kids so you can all focus on bonding.

If a quick weekend getaway is more your speed, head to Hilton Head Island in South Carolina. This popular beach destination is known for its calm beaches, ample amenities and fun attractions. Summer is a busy season here, so plan for a spring or fall trip to avoid crowds and get the most out of your visit.

Stress is a big part of modern life for both adults and kids, and family vacations offer the chance to escape those daily stressors and recharge together. Family adventures can teach children healthier ways to cope with stress and may even improve their performance at school, sports or clubs when they return home.

If you’re ready to start planning your next family vacation, check out the list of Good Housekeeping 2024 Family Travel Awards winners. All of these kid-friendly destinations used the pandemic downtime to rethink, renovate or roll out new kid-friendly experiences, and many are offering special deals right now. So what are you waiting for? Start your road trip to the perfect family vacation!