Best Cheap Family Vacations

Finding a destination that has multigenerational appeal and dining and hotel options that can accommodate groups can be difficult. Finding a vacation spot that won’t destroy your wallet can be even tougher. Based on traveler feedback, editor analysis and factors like sights and accessibility, U.S. News compiled a list of the best cheap family vacations so you won’t have to break the bank to take the kids on a fun trip this year. Use these rankings to start devising travel plans, and vote for your favorite affordable family vacation destinations below.


#1 in Best Cheap Family Vacations

Yellowstone’s geysers are sure to inspire young children and teenagers, while geothermic wonders like Grand Prismatic Spring and Mammoth Hot Springs will captivate visitors of all ages. Families can also participate in free ranger programs like wildlife workshops and narrated boat tours. Hotel rates are at their highest during the peak summer season, but you won’t have to worry about shelling out a pretty penny for a room if you bring your own tent or recreational vehicle.


#2 in Best Cheap Family Vacations

Yosemite’s numerous hiking trails, rushing waterfalls and towering sequoia trees are just a few reasons why this national park appeals to families looking for a fun, outdoorsy vacation. Summer is the busiest season, but if you plan a trip here in May or September, you’ll still get great weather and won’t have to deal with as many crowds. Camping is affordable, albeit popular, so you’ll want to book in advance. Consider a road trip here and add stops at nearby Kings Canyon and Sequoia national parks to your itinerary.

Washington, D.C.

#3 in Best Cheap Family Vacations

Full of free museums, iconic monuments, outdoor spaces and distinct neighborhoods to explore, Washington offers something for every type of family. Checking out the Smithsonian museums and popular sights like the Washington Monument, the Lincoln Memorial and the Tidal Basin are a must. For affordable eats, grab lunch at a food truck. Plus, families can explore the city by renting a bike, hopping on an electric scooter or taking the Metro. Spring, summer and fall are the best times to visit.

Outer Banks

#4 in Best Cheap Family Vacations

The North Carolina coast’s uncrowded beaches (which are free to visit) are its main draw, but families will also find historical sites, such as the Wright Brothers National Memorial. Meanwhile, budding pirates can hit the high seas with Pirate Adventures of the Outer Banks. After an active day, families can stroll along the Duck boardwalk or go ghost crabbing. To save on lodging, book rooms or vacation rentals a few months in advance.

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