Cheap family vacations are possible with this handy guide. 

What is traveling if you do not get to share it with the people you love? For most, once you start a family, solo traveling can easily be a thing of the past. After you have closed the chapter on your days of solo traveling, your next travel experiences are ones that will include your entire family. However, if you ask any parent, they will tell you that traveling with children can be hard. For starters, it can often quickly lead to pricey trips. While that might seem the case, it actually does not have to be that way. Today we are going to go over some of the top cheap family vacations that you can go on today.

Our handy guide will include a couple of international destinations that are perfect for families. In fact, many of these destinations are places that you can enjoy best if you bring along your entire family. Along with that, we have listed some of our favorite states. These states are ones that offer some of the most rewarding experiences. Many of these states have attractions that were distinctly made for families who are traveling together.  Finally, we will wrap up by sharing some of the top tricks for snagging great deals on flights, hotels, and everything in between.

1. Explore the Coasts of Florida

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You do not have to say goodbye to clear blue waters and sunny skies that tropical vacations have to offer once you have children. In fact, there are plenty of amazing beachy places to go to if you are looking for cheap family vacations. If your main objective in traveling is chasing after those sunny skies and clear blue waters, then one of the best places to go to is Florida. Florida offers some of the best cheap family vacations if you really know what to look for.

When you think of Florida, there are some specific beaches that may come to mind. Some of the popular ones include the beautiful Keys and the fabulous waters of Miami. However, there are plenty more underrated beaches that are more family friendly. Better yet, you can visit them at a fraction of the cost.

One of those beaches can be found on the eastern seaboard near Tampa Bay. This beach is actually a coastal island called Anna Maria Island. Anna Maria Island is home to some of the softest sand that the south has to offer. Couple that soft sand with crystal clear turquoise waters and you are sure to think that you are on a tropical island somewhere. Better yet, because the island is underrated in nature, staying on Anna Maria Island can be quite affordable.

Another one of the best beaches in Florida that makes for the perfect destination of cheap family vacations is Panama City Beach. Panama City Beach is right on the panhandle and is the best destination to go to if you are looking for fun in the sun without the tourism. Staying on Panama City Beach will certainly not break the bank. This is especially true if you book your stay ahead of time. Once you are on Panama City Beach, you can venture out an hour west to the beautiful Destin Beach. Destin Beach, like Panama City Beach, is home to beautiful blue waters that are as sparkling as they are clear.

Wherever you choose to go in Florida, you will quickly find that is one of those states that will not disappoint, no matter how you break it down. From wonderful beaches to some of the best national parks that the country has to offer, Florida is the place to be if you are traveling with children.

2. Explore Arizona

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Another one of the most popular destinations is the states of Arizona. For starters, Arizona is home to the beautiful Grand Canyon. For getting lost in the wilderness and exploring the beauty of the west, nothing compares to the wonderful experience of the Grand Canyon.

What makes the Grand Canyon a great destination for great cheap family vacations is the fact that it is rather accessible no matter where you are flying from. To get the best deals on tickets, the smartest thing to do is to book your seats at least three months in advance. Plane tickets out to the west coast can get pricey. However, if you watch the airfares and plan your trip just right, you can snag tickets for as low as $150!

When you get to the Grand Canyon, there is so much for kids to do. With all the hiking trails available, you do not have to spend big bucks on going to landmarks that cost astronomical fees. instead, this cheap family vacation allows you and your family to get in touch with nature. Explore the rough terrain and scramble rocks as you get one-on-one exposure to the beauty of the Grand Canyon.

Some of the top destinations that you should look forward to when you are traveling through the Grand Canyon is the beautiful Antelope Canyon. Antelope Canyon is home to some stunning locations that are begging to be photographed. In fact, even if you are not a traveler, you have likely stumbled on photographs of the iconic Antelope Canyon.

If you are traveling with experienced hikers, then hiking the wave is another great destination to take advantage of. What makes the Wave such a great location is the fee for hiking it is not burdensome at all. This makes for one of the best cheap family vacations. Not only that, but once you are out experiencing the nature surrounding you, you are sure to fall in love with the indescribable beauty. If you do plan on hiking the Wave, you will need to plan ahead. Due to conservation, there are only a limited number of people who can hike the wave. To secure your spot, you will need to reserve a permit ahead of time. Otherwise, you risk the issue of not being able to explore it.

3. Explore Cancun, Mexico

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If you are looking for a tropical getaway that is perfect for the family, then chances are you have looked at Nassau, Bahamas first. While the Bahamas make be the prime time location to get away, they aren't technically the best locations to go to if you are looking for cheap family vacations. Instead of searching around the Bahamas for the perfect vacation, aim your focus a little bit more towards the Yucatan Peninsula. You get the same great waters at nearly half the price.

Cancun happens to be one of the best locations if you are looking for cheap family vacations. Contrary to popular belief, it is not your typical spring break, party goer, destination. In fact, there are so many things for kids to enjoy in Cancun that it is one of the best destinations if you are looking for cheap family vacations.

Not only that but when compared to the Bahamas, you get an atmosphere that is pretty much the same. With some of the best food, entertainment, and beaches around, Cancun really has it all.

Not only that but the best part is you get everything that you could want out of a tropical vacation at a fraction of the price. When you book airline tickets and hotel accommodations, you can snag deals that are as low as $300 a person. The best part is that when you are in Cancun, you do not have to worry about paying extra for transportation. Everything you need is right within walking distance. If it is too far to walk, then you can certainly take the bus. After all, public transportation will only set you back a  handful of change.

4. Go on a Cruise

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One of the best ways to go on cheap family vacations is by taking advantage of cruises. Cruises are another one of the most underrated ways to travel. For starters, you do not have to worry too much about your child getting lost when you are on a cruise. Not only that, but you do not have to be attached to your children for the duration of your trip either. Many cruises offer daycare and children accommodations so that parents can get away and relax without their kids in tow.

Along with the freedom to actually enjoy your vacation, cruises offer the ability of everything on board. You do not have to worry about funneling out more money for food or entertainment. Rather, many things that you can do on the boat are covered by your cruise ticket. This means that instead of worrying about having to spend money on entertainment and food, you have to worry about how you are going to have time to take advantage of all the activities there are to do!

There is a range of cruises that you can choose from. However, the ones that you pick do have an impact on whether or not you will be dishing out tons of money to have fun. One of the best cruises to go on when it comes to cheap family vacations are Disney Cruises. Disney Cruises have so much to offer that kids will have absolutely love.

Lastly, the time that you book your cruise makes a big difference in price as well. As hurricane season sets in, many seasoned travelers know that this is the time to book your ticket. Some of the best times to snag a cruise ticket for cheap is right at the start of hurricane season. This is when many cruise lines look to sell out tickets for cheap because they know it may be difficult to fill ships. Although you run the risk of getting stuck in a hurricane, chances are if you go at the start of hurricane season, you are likely to avoid any weather that might impede your travels. Without a doubt, one of the best ways to go on cheap family vacations is by setting your sights on a good old fashioned cruise.

5. Visit Thailand

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For many, Thailand might seem like a destination that is totally out of reach. However, when it comes to cheap family vacations, you are sure to be surprised. When exploring Thailand, you will find that the most expensive thing will typically be your plane ticket to get there. However, once you land on Thai soil, you are in for a treat.

Everything from food to housing to entertainment is incredibly affordable here in Thailand. If you are traveling with a large group of kids, then this affordability can be super helpful. You can actually plan out an itinerary that will allow you to do a range of things without having to worry too much about money. The popularity of Thailand has grown exponentially the last couple of years because of this affordability.

The little known secret that Thailand's affordability has been luring travelers in has now become common knowledge. When you get to Thailand, there are so many things you can take advantage of. However, one of the top things that you need to do in Thailand is to visit the stunning beaches here. The stunning turquoise green and emerald beaches are simply out of this world.

Not only that but if you are lucky enough to find a fisherman to take you out onto one of the many islands, you are sure to find a treat. Many of the islands here are home to monkeys who love goofing off. For many children, this is an experience that is once in a lifetime. Not only that, but many of the memories that are made here in Thailand are ones that are going to live with you forever. Without a doubt, cheap family vacations truly do start here in Thailand.

6. Explore Yellowstone National Park

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Another one of the best places to go to for a cheap family vacation is the stunning Yellowstone National Park. Yellowstone is home to over 4,000 square miles of lush greenery, waterfalls, and rock formations. Some of the most popular landmarks that call Yellowstone home includes the world famous Old Faithful. Old Faithful is a geyser that shoots steam into the air up to 180 feet every 90 minutes. Alongside Old Faithful, visitors can expect to find beautiful colors everywhere. From the rainbow hot springs to the fall foliage surrounding them, the beauty here is simply stunning.

The beauty of the world in this national park is not limited to just the landscape either. Some of the most majestic creatures call Yellowstone National Park home. In fact, you should expect to find a range of animals that call Yellowstone home. Some of these animals include bighorn sheep, wolves, bear, and the favorite bison. If you are traveling with family, then experiencing Yellowstone National Park is one of the best bonding experiences. After all, what better place to learn all about the beautiful wilderness that America has to offer.

Finally, Yellowstone is best when you spend at least a week here. This means that you will need to find the appropriate type of lodging.  When it comes to lodging at Yellowstone, there are a couple of ways that you can snag a place to sleep at an affordable price. If you are lucky enough to own a camper or be able to rent one out, then this form of lodging will allow you to explore with extreme flexibility.

If you do choose to stay in a hotel, then the iconic Kelly Inn West Yellowstone is one of the best places to call home during your stay here. They have a range of lodging options that are all family friendly. Not only that, but you will even get shuttle access to and from the park. For a family adventure that is all around us geared towards the outdoors, the Kelly Inn West Yellowstone certainly delivers.

7. Puerto Rico

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This next destination is one of the best places to go to if you are looking for cheap family vacations. What makes Puerto Rico so great is the fact that it is super underrated. This American territory does not get nearly as much credit as it should. However, when it comes to travelers, this level of inconspicuously has allowed Puerto Rico to remain a popular hotspot for those who know it is there.

Puerto Rico is a great place to go to if you are looking for cheap family vacations for a variety of reasons. For starters, flights to Puerto Rico or rather cheap. Especially if you book your ticket for about three months in advance or during the off season. Once you get to Puerto Rico, there is plenty for you to do. For starters, the main island is fairly small. You can explore the whole island without having to worry about figuring out your transportation issues. When you do find places to go and things to do, prices are somewhat affordable as well.

One of the best things to do in Puerto Rico is to find a local fisherman to take you to one of the popular Islands that call Puerto Rico home. While hiring a private boat might sound a little pricey, you are sure to be surprised at how affordable it can be. This private experience will have you feeling like you are on the vacation of a lifetime.

Along with that, there are plenty of family friendly beaches to visit on your stay here. Some popular destinations include the crystal clear blue waters of Icacos Island. Along with that, the island of Culebra is only a short ferry ride away. Everyone in your family is sure to enjoy the beauty that Puerto Rico has to offer.

Lastly, what makes Puerto Rico so great is the fact that it is incredibly rich in culture. Explore this impressive concentration of culture by sampling the local food and participating in local activities. Even strolling around the majestic city of San Juan is enough to transport you back to this territory Rich history.

Tips and Tricks for Finding Cheap Family Vacations

Some of the best ways to score cheap family vacations is by finding and using the right tools. Here are some of the top tools that you should keep in mind when you are trying to book cheap family vacations.

1. Use Groupon

Before you book your trip, be sure to check out Groupon first. Chances are if there is something that you want to do, there is a Groupon for it. Essentially, a Groupon is a discounted rate on a service, experience, flight, or hotel. One of the best ways to go on cheap family vacations is keeping an eye out for bundle hotel and flight packages. Oftentimes, when you book a flight and hotel package together on Groupon, you are more likely to save money than if you were to book the two separately.

2. Air B&B

If you are traveling with family and you are looking for a place to stay, then hotels are likely one of the first places that you will look into. Unfortunately, this is one of the top rookie mistakes that are made when you are looking for cheap family vacations.

There is a smarter way to find lodging when you travel with a large group. For starters, when you are traveling with a family, try to avoid hotels. Instead, you will want to aim for home rentals. Home rentals offer you the advantage of plenty of space so that everyone in your family can have a comforting not only that, but home rentals such as those found on Air B&B can be incredibly cheap. Especially if there are people in your group who will chip in.  This is especially true if you compare your price at staying in a hotel. If you are looking for one of the best ways to score cheap family vacations, then be sure that you are booking your lodging in an appropriate place.

3. Use Discount Airline

Discount airlines are so underrated. One of the best ways to go on cheap family vacations is by using budget airlines. Budget airlines tend to sell seat tickets at a fraction of a price than many other popular airlines. For example, a round trip ticket to Florida from the northern states can cost anywhere from $200 to $300. However, if you travel with Allegiant Air, you can snag deals that are as low as $40 a seat one way!

This big difference in price can make a huge impact on whether or not you dish out big bucks on your family vacation. For the ultimate way to save money and go on cheap family vacations, be sure to check with your a budget airlines First.

Final Thoughts

Who says traveling has to halt when you start a family? As a parent who travels with their children a lot, I can safely say that going on cheap family vacations is totally double. Not only that, but family vacations are perhaps one of the best experiences to check off your bucket list. Traveling to the best locations is not only figuring out where to go. It is also about figuring out the cheapest way to get there. Use this handy guide and you will be on the right track. 

Related article should be 10 Best Tropical Vacations

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Nadia El-Yaouti is a mother, English language arts middle school teacher, writer, and photographer. She lives in Central Virginia with her husband and two little girls. Although she considers herself a workaholic, Nadia’s greatest pride is being a mom. When she’s not juggling work, you can be sure to find her traveling the world with her little family.

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