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5 Cheap Family Vacations Everyone Will Love

Everyone loves to go on vacation, especially with the entire family. They create lasting memories and give every member of the family a new perspective on the world. However, family vacations can be very expensive to take.

While many family vacations are expensive, these destinations across the United States are cheap to visit:

  • Myrtle Beach, South Carolina
  • Washington, D.C.
  • Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona
  • San Diego, California
  • Black Hills, South Dakota

These five destinations have plenty of attractions to explore but will minimize your travel expenses. If you and your family are looking to get away, keep reading to learn more about these five cheap vacations every member of your family will love.

What Would Be Considered the Cost of a Cheap Family Vacation?

The average family vacation can cost anywhere from $2000-$4000 total. This includes transportation, lodging, food, and entertainment.

With the right planning, though, you can afford a cheap family vacation. There are cheap places to visit all around the United States, and each place has unique forms of entertainment each member of your family will enjoy.

Be sure to plan ahead. This will keep costs low. Here are some tips to keep your costs low:

  • Budget
  • Go in the offseason
  • Drive when possible
  • Find free entertainment
  • Stay in rentals or hotels, and stay not in the least expensive areas of your destination

Following these tips will cut down on costs while still giving you and your family a memorable trip.

What Are the Best Cheap Family Vacations?

The best cheap family vacations are ones that keep costs low and fun high. They appeal to everyone in your family.

Far and away the biggest expenses when traveling are lodging and transportation. Finding those for cheap will drastically alter your overall budget and give you more discretionary spending during your vacation.

When planning a trip, look for lodging and decide on transportation first. No matter where you go, there is always cheap food available, and there is always free entertainment, so there is no need to worry about those aspects. 

Rentals through sites like Airbnb or VRBO are often cheaper than renting a hotel, and most include a kitchen, giving you the option to cook, which can also save you money.

Driving will also be a cheaper form of transportation than flying, so utilize that option if you can.

5 Cheap Family Vacations Everyone Will Love

Vacations do not have to be expensive. There are places all over the United States that are cheap to visit and your family will love.

Consider places that are cheap to travel to, have lots of options for lodging, and provide free entertainment. 

By planning ahead and doing your research, you and your family can find a cheap vacation you all enjoy.

There are destinations all over the United States your family is sure to enjoy. Below are 5 places across the nation your family can visit on a budget.

Myrtle Beach, South Carolina

Myrtle Beach is a coastal town in South Carolina full of niche culture, beaches, and activities for the entire family.

When looking for places to stay, try this condo. Currently listed for $66 a night, this is a very affordable place to stay. The oceanfront property is a close walk to the beach, and boasts pools on the property, giving these accommodations two built-in options for free entertainment.

Currently, according to AAA, the average cost of gas in the United States is $3.17. That changes constantly, but depending on your starting location, it will likely be cheaper to drive to Myrtle Beach than to fly, especially if you have several members in your family. Having a vehicle at your disposal will also eliminate the cost of a ride service like Uber or Lyft.

There is always the option to eat fast food when you are traveling, which is cheap, but there are usually unique places with competitive prices that give you a taste of what the locals eat. Try River City Cafe or Burky’s Grill. Both serve classic American fare and are very family-friendly with plenty of accommodations for children. 

As mentioned before, there is always free entertainment available. Myrtle Beach, as its name suggests, has lots of beaches to visit, which can provide endless entertainment. However, if your family gets tired of the sand, Myrtle Beach also boasts live bands, festivals, museums, memorial gardens, shopping, and theatre.

There are a variety of ways to stay entertained at Myrtle Beach, all for a low price, making it a fantastic destination to visit on a budget.

Washington, D.C.

The nation’s capital is obviously full of history, but one underrated aspect of Washington, D.C. is its inexpensive options for a family vacation.

Lodging in Washington, D.C. can be pricey, but there are options available for cheap, especially if you stay in a surrounding town instead of the city itself. To avoid expensive hotels, stay at this condo for $49 a night. It is close to many historic landmarks, and includes a small kitchenette, giving you the option to make some of your meals instead of eating out.

You are going to find lots of cheap food options in Washington, D.C., and all come from different places around the world. One place to try is Colada Shop. This serves Cuban food and has multiple locations. Snacks, coffee, and sandwiches are all available.

If you like Egyptian food, try Fava Pot. It, too, has multiple locations, including a food truck, and you can go for any meal of the day. Also, a portion of the proceeds go to charity, making your stop beneficial for you and others.

There is plenty of entertainment in Washington DC, all teeming with historical value. Visit the National Mall, the White House, monuments, the Library of Congress, or the U.S. Capitol Building, just to name a few. Additionally, lots of the destinations you will want to visit in Washington, D.C. are within walking distance, so you should not have to spend too much on transportation when you are there. 

You will certainly not run out of places to visit in Washington, D.C., and every member of your family will find something they enjoy.

Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona

One of the most famous spots in America is the Grand Canyon, and for good reason. It is a stunning landscape, and there are tons of things to do that your family will love.

The most expensive part of this trip will be lodging. Thankfully, there are some reasonable places available to stay, like this rental house for only $143 a night. It has a full kitchen available and is located at the entrance of the South Rim.

Be sure to plan ahead your transportation to and from the Canyon. There is a free shuttle bus available, which can take the stress out of part of your trip.

A great place to eat is the North Rim Country Store. This bodega has food available for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, as well as snacks and various grocery items. It is a great stop before or after a hike. Pay attention to its hours, though, as it is only open for part of the season.

You can also try the Desert View Trading Post & Ice Cream. This has American fast food available for breakfast and lunch, and it has ice cream and shopping. This would be a wonderful stop after a hike or a bike ride

The Grand Canyon has much more to do than just hiking or biking. You can ride on the railway, visit museums, go whitewater rafting, go on guided tours, or take mule trips. The Grand Canyon is an awesome place for the whole family.

San Diego, California

California is known for being an expensive place to visit, but San Diego is an exception. This coastal city has tons to offer.

One lodging option is this Airbnb. It is only $102 a night and is just a short walk to the beach.

Lots of things in San Diego are within walking distance, but there is also a public transportation system available for destinations too far away to walk.

To eat, try Homestyle Hawaiian, a cheap option available for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. It has multiple locations throughout the city, so you can find one nearby no matter where you are.

You could also try Natural Style Chicken. This place has lots of different options for chicken, and the serving sizes are plentiful, so there will be leftovers available. If you want you can bring it back to your lodging to have as a snack or another meal later.

San Diego has lots of forms of entertainment, like the zoo, the beach, Balboa Park, or

Old Town San Diego. Everyone in your family will make fabulous memories on a trip to San Diego. 

Black Hills, South Dakota

One of the most underrated vacation spots in the United States is the Black Hills in South Dakota. It is best known for housing Mount Rushmore, but there are endless things to do in the Black Hills, all for cheap prices.

There are lots of cabins available like this one. It is only $73 a night and is located in Lead.

When visiting the Black Hills, you will need a car. Lots of the activities are far away from each other, and part of the experience is seeing the scenery while driving, so make sure you either drive there or rent a car when you arrive.

Try eating at the Hill City Diner. This has classic American diner food and is located in a fun town. You will love the atmosphere.

Another great place to eat is Wall Drug. This stop has more than just food, and everyone in your family will have fun. Although it is not technically in the Black Hills, it is worth stopping either on your way there or when you leave.

Make sure you visit Bear Country and Mount Rushmore, drive through Needles Highway, and stop at some of the lakes. There are endless ways to have cheap fun in the Black Hills.


If you are still considering different family vacation ideas, then these five cheap family vacations will offer plenty of new and exciting experiences that everyone will love.

Family vacations are fun, even ones that are not expensive. There are plenty of places all around the country that are cheap to visit, and there are budgeting tips that can make even the most expensive places to visit a little more feasible.

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