In this day and age, cheap family vacations seem to be a thing of the past. Hotels are getting even more expensive every year and gas prices never seem to go down. How does a family go on a vacation anymore? Easy – by choosing some of the best locations in the U.S. you can visit without breaking the bank and sometimes even for free. So, if you’re making your travel plans, here is a quick list of some of the affordable and cheapest locations to visit in the U.S. for your next family vacation!
Cheap Family Vacations | Explore the United States for Less
1. New Orleans, LA
New Orleans is a great place to have cheap family vacations. You can see most of the sights without breaking the bank. For example, for only $2 per person, your family can take a scenic cruise along the Mississippi River with the Algiers ferry, which has been in service since the 1800s. Additionally, New Orleans also has tons of great delicacies that are filling as well as affordable.
You can find places that serve great crawfish dishes, gumbo, and French Quarter beignets at really low prices. You can be sure they won’t sacrifice the food’s taste despite the affordable prices. Furthermore, New Orleans has a long and great history, as seen through its museums and architecture. You can spend a full day just looking around at all the establishments, learning about the history behind them.
2. Asheville, NC
For peaceful and cheap family vacations, you might want to go see Asheville, North Carolina with your family. With all the greenery surrounding Asheville, you will be more in touch with nature. Renting a cabin in the woods instead of a hotel room is a great option for family vacations on a budget. This will also give your family a unique experience during your vacation.
The Blue Ridge Mountains is an excellent place for you and your family to get some hiking done. More outdoor activities can be found in Pisgah National Forest. Both these locations require zero money from your wallet – just a bag filled with snacks, water, and extra clothing! When you choose Asheville as your family vacation destination, you will explore the outdoors to the fullest!
3. Copper Mountain, CO
Some places in Colorado can be pretty expensive to people who try to travel on a low budget. However, Colorado doesn’t have to be expensive for your family! Copper Mountain in Colorado offers families the chance to ski for a lot less. Lodging can go lower than $150 a night, a steal compared to most ski resorts. Your biggest expense will probably be ski lessons for your children (or yourself.) But if you bring along friends who know how to ski, you can totally waive this expense off.
4. Williamsburg, VA
History buffs will fall in love with charming old Williamsburg, Virginia. This quaint city in Virginia is filled with historical treats made for the whole family. Pick up a vacation package deal to save money on transportation, lodging, and dining. Museums in Williamsburg are actually pretty affordable. A day’s worth of exploring and learning doesn’t need to be expensive, allowing you to allot more of your money to better experiences such as dining.
Williamsburg is also unique in how it approaches history. The town’s residents regularly relive how old European pioneers lived in their day. This gives visitors a feeling of being a part of living history, making what seemed to be a normal vacation into an unforgettable one.
5. Grand Canyon, AZ
The majesty of the Grand Canyon is undeniable. However, there’s one thing most people forget about it. The Grand Canyon is one of the best places for cheap family vacations. Your kids will be glad to take their eyes off their phones and tablets for a while and enjoy the views. Hiking along the trails as a family is an excellent bonding experience. Instead of hotels, families may rent cabins for less than $150 a night.
If you’d like to rough it, you can always pack some tents and enjoy your nights under the stars. The Grand Canyon is one of the most majestic places in the world. It’s an experience that will remind everyone that in this fast-paced world, some things stay still; and that, too, is beautiful.
6. Yellowstone, WY
Who hasn’t heard of Yellowstone? The greatest national park in the U.S. also happens to be one of the most affordable vacation spots in the country. There’s something here for every family. Feel like living in luxury in the woods? Bring an RV. Want to rough it? Take your family on a hiking trip. Most of what you spend will go to supplies and food, which you mostly will have to cook yourself, so you have to pack accordingly!
The almost 3,500 square miles of forest Yellowstone has to offer will keep your family in constant awe of how beautiful the park is. Being outdoors as a family is a great experience. It helps you bond with your children and you yourself will learn to appreciate the slower pace of life the outdoors can give you.
7. Seattle, WA
Seattle is a bustling metropolis with a lot of heart and a host of things to offer. No need to splurge on $500-a-night rooms here, because the attraction is the city itself, rather than your hotel room. Book a budget hotel and explore the city. The Space Needle, for example, gives its visitors a wonderful 360-degree view of Seattle and its surrounding areas. We recommend visiting it during sunset!
Another good place to visit is the Seattle Art Museum which hosts thousands of classic and contemporary art pieces the whole family will enjoy. To give your legs more of a workout, Seattle is also close to Mount Rainier National Parks, with trails made for hiking and mountain biking. If your family is made up of adrenaline junkies, you’ll want to visit here.
Let MPB Photography show you the cheapest way to travel the U.S. in this video:
The U.S. has 50 states, each of them with its own unique charm. These seven locations are just the tip of the iceberg, something to get your family started. Wherever you go, make sure you look for the best and most affordable options. While it’s good to choose a luxury hotel and just be done with it, it’s also great practice for you to be more practical with your money decisions. With that said, pack your bags, plan your budget, and just have fun!
Do you have your own recommendations on cheap family vacations? Tell us where you can go in the comments section.