Cheap Family Vacations: Budget-Friendly Getaways Everyone Will Love

When it comes to travelling with kids, the budget is always top of everyone’s mind. But it is possible to have an affordable family getaway without skimping on fun and experiences everyone will enjoy.

In this article, we'll explore some of the best cheap family vacations where you can spend quality time together without breaking the bank. Read on for the full list of top picks, and start planning your next affordable family vacation everyone is sure to love.

Planning an affordable family getaway can seem like an impossible task with ever-rising travel costs, but there are still destinations worldwide where you can vacay on a budget.

  1. Orlando, Florida
  2. San Diego, California
  3. Yellowstone National Park, US
  4. Niagara Falls, Canada
  5. Culebra, Puerto Rico
  6. Bali, Indonesia
  7. Hoi An, Vietnam.

1. Orlando, Florida

Cheap Family Vacations - CabinZero

Lake Eola Park is a scenic lakefront park perfect for picnics. Photo by Gabriele Maltinti -

Ranked as the top place for cheap family vacations from Forbes, Orlando can prove its appeal with several entertainment options. All the theme parks have these tickets that allow you to get way cheaper multi-day passes instead of paying full price each time. 

Places like Gatorland, SEA LIFE Orlando Aquarium and Ripley's are a total blast, but each person can get in for $50 or less. Then you've also got free options, like Lake Nona and Disney Springs, where you can burn energy without spending cash.

Although Disney and Universal onsite hotels offer proximity and perks, they can be expensive. Look for hotels on International Drive (I-Drive), the main tourist corridor in Orlando.

2. San Diego, California

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Balboa Park Botanical Building is completely free for families visiting San Diego. Photo by Kit Leong on

San Diego has tons of free stuff for families to do that you won't even spend money on. You can have fun at one of the best United States beaches, like Coronado Beach and La Jolla Cove, without paying anything to hang out and enjoy the views. 

Old Town San Diego is also a blast for free activities. The historic buildings have free museums where you can learn about the area's history. Plus, there's always live music going on, with bands playing mariachi or folk dances. Even baseball games are free—you can watch them at Petco Park, with tickets starting at $1.

Another way to maximise your San Diego experience without breaking the bank is to get one of those Go San Diego passes. It gives you entry to several big attractions, such as the zoo, museums, and amusement parks. It's way better than having to buy every ticket separately.

3. Yellowstone National Park, US

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Such a scenic natural wonder to admire. Photo by Zack Frank on

You won't run out of things to do at Yellowstone National Park. There are awesome hiking trails all over 63 miles, just winding through those wild landscapes and epic views. Families can also enjoy breathtaking views of the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone from scenic drives along its north and south rims.

Camping in Yellowstone is cost-effective. The park has 12 campgrounds where you can stay in your tent or RV, which is cheaper than traditional lodging options.

Then what's even more cash-positive is all the nearby attractions just outside the park you can check out on a day trip, like Earthquake Lake or the Thermopolis hot springs are just a few bucks to check out their crazy natural features.

4. Niagara Falls, Canada

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Niagara Falls attracts millions of visitors annually. Photo by Nicholas J. Klein on

Planning cheap family vacations to Niagara Falls is doable with some research. Just walk along the famous Clifton Hill Strip - the lights and sound show are free entertainment.

The kids will also love seeing candy being made through the giant windows at the Fudge Factory. You can even pack a picnic one day from the grocery store to take in the views without forking over a fortune at restaurants.

Hornblower Cruises offers close encounters with the Canadian Falls from the river for a soaking adventure. Families can expect to get drenched from bow to stern, laughing gleefully alongside fellow passengers in this memorable "ride." Adventure-seekers of any age will love this unique perspective on the falls' relentless power.

5. Culebra, Puerto Rico

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A small paradise for the whole family to unwind. Photo by sonu_visuals -

As one of the smaller islands off the coast of Puerto Rico, Culebra has a laidback charm. Budget lodging options start under $200 per night, saving hundreds compared to comparable resorts elsewhere. 

Culebra's charm lies in exploring the outdoors on a limited budget. Natural attractions like Flamenco Beach, Dewey Harbour, and Tortuga Beach make the island an oasis away from busy tourist areas. Families can enjoy free beach swims and hikes, spotting hermit crabs, seashells, and seabirds without entrance fees. 

For travellers looking for affordable family vacation ideas, snorkel and kayak rentals provide inexpensive adventures. Ferry rides from Fajardo offer scenic commutes at reasonable fares, and cars are optional once on the island.

6. Bali, Indonesia

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Bali offers serene natural beauty for a family trip. Photo by boyloso on

Bali offers incredible value for families looking to stick to a budget. Beautiful beaches and delightful culture are just around every corner. And the best part? Many highlights won't cost a fortune. 

World-class snorkelling and swimming are free at places like Padang Padang, Dreamland, and Medewi. Kuta Beach might have fancier resorts, but local warungs along the sands serve up plates overflowing with noodles, rice dishes, and curries starting at $3 - $5. Even iconic sites like Uluwatu Temple and Mount Batur are free to explore.

Accommodations in Bali also provide incredible value for multi-night family vacations. Staying in beachside towns like Sanur, Candidasa, or Lovina offers budget-friendly lodging right along the shore. Vacation rentals provide even more savings, with whole apartments or homes starting around $60-100 nightly near beaches and attractions.

7. Hoi An, Vietnam

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Photo by Curioso.Photography on

Hoi An rocks as a scenic and affordable family vacation in Vietnam. The old town area is super chill to explore on foot. Time Out listed Hoi An as one of the best places to visit in July.

Spots like the iconic Japanese Bridge are completely free, which is awesome. And it's magical in the evenings when the lanterns light up the alleyways.

Also clutch are the beaches right outside of town. Cua Dai Beach and An Bang Beach have gorgeous white sand and waves perfect for chilling or playing in the water. Since they're so close, you can walk or rent bikes. Setting up your own picnic instead of eating out saves big time.

Tips For Saving Money On Family Vacations

There are many hacks and tips to have a successful family holiday. The following tips will help you save money on everything from lodging to activities to maximise family bonding without busting your budget.

1. Prepare A Detailed Budget Breakdown

Budgeting is crucial when planning cheap family vacations. It can be a drag sometimes, but taking the time now to map out costs will save headaches later. Get out a notepad and start listing everything you can think of—transportation, lodging, food for the trip, and activities you've got in mind. Don't forget to account for the little extras, too, like toys or cinema tickets the kids will constantly be begging for.

2. Be Flexible

Use Google Flights' "Explore" feature. It’s simple: enter “anywhere” along with your travel dates and see the cheapest prices to fly to various destinations on those dates. Also, look for the cheapest days to fly within your desired travel window.

Sometimes, flying from a smaller regional airport can be significantly cheaper than a major hub airport. For instance, instead of flying from Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) to Lisbon, you could drive to San Francisco International Airport (SFO) and take a flight there. This move could save you hundreds of dollars, if not more.

3. Travel Insurance Is Worth It

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Insurance allows a stress-free family travel trip. Photo credit: Emmi

Unplanned expenses (foreign medical care, lost luggage, trip cancellation, etc.) could potentially ruin any family vacation budget. Travel insurance protects against these unwanted fees, so one sick kid doesn't translate to hundreds of wasted dollars. The policy would reimburse your costs, so you can rebook for another time or recoup some funds.

3. Consider Alternative Accommodations 

Staying in a vacation rental through sites like VRBO or Airbnb is a stellar cost-saver - you'll get more space for less than most hotel rooms. Camping is another ultra-budget lodging choice if you're outdoorsy - pack the tent and roast s'mores under the stars for pennies. And some destinations even have RVers for rent if "glamping" is more your style.

Affordable cruise lines or all-inclusive resort stays are also worth considering for families who love water-based activities. With activities, shows, meals and more included, you'll save more with a bundle versus paying separately for each component of your vacation. Not having to search and pay for each meal means more time together.

4. Low-Cost Activities For Families Are Still Fun

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A hike can be a wonderful bonding activity. Photo credit: Celie DEBUIRE.

As any of us knows, fun doesn't require high costs - only quality time together as a family matters. National parks are a great option. You can also search for free museum days or stroll through botanical gardens admiring nature's wonders. 

Some other cheap family vacations include hiking easy trails through scenic areas, visiting libraries for story time, and checking local listings for free concerts or festivals. And don't forget the bonding value of simple pastimes like going to the beach at sunset, stargazing after dark, or making sandcastles together.

5. Stock Up On Foods And Snacks

Pack your own instead of splurging on expensive airport snacks or roadside treats. Visit the local grocery store or market and load up on budget-friendly goodies, especially if you're staying in an apartment or condo with a kitchen. Pack plenty of healthy snacks to keep your family fueled throughout the day: fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, and yoghurt.

6. Use Travel Credit Rewards

Check different credit cards and your spending habits. Then, choose the one with the right travel rewards; this is also known as travel hacking. Many travel credit cards offer a sign-up bonus of points or miles, but you'll need to meet a spending requirement in order to earn it. Typically, using points for flights and hotel stays offers the best value. 

7. Pack Light



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Yes, you can travel with only a carry-on and a personal item, even for a family vacation. Instead of worrying about space, you can pack efficiently and even plan to do laundry along the way. Pack 10-day worth of clothes and travel somewhere for as long as you like. This is known as one-bag travel. 

In case you need to bring more stuff, buy one piece of luggage and check it in—you only have to pay a checked-free fee for one bag. Make sure that it is 62 inches or less.

If you want to save your family hundreds on baggage fees, check out CabinZero backpacks. CabinZero bags are designed to comply with the most common carry-on dimensions, ensuring a hassle-free check-in process.

More importantly, when you choose CabinZero, you're not just choosing a bag. You're choosing a travel companion that comes with a built-in global luggage tracker, a lightweight design for easy handling by all family members, and durable materials that withstand the rigours of travel.

Experience the comfort, convenience, and durability that only CabinZero can offer. Shop now for your CabinZero backpack, and sign up here to enjoy 15% off your first order.

Escape Without Breaking the Bank

To sum up, a family vacation does not need to put a huge dent in your finances. Remember to take note of our cheap family vacations and start preparing a packing list now.  The best moments are always about just being together, right? 

Don't hesitate to leave a comment to share your thoughts or recommendations. If you want to read about other topics related to travel and lifestyle, keep following us for more. Thanks for reading!

Ha Ngan

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