5 Affordable and Rewarding Vacations for the Whole Family

Planning a vacation can be overwhelming. Choosing a destination, finding a hotel and booking activities that everyone will enjoy can be a hassle — especially when you’re on a budget.

From saving for a vacation to choosing the destination to finding a hotel and booking activities for everyone to enjoy, planning a getaway for the whole family can be overwhelming — and even more so when you’re on a budget.

To help ease your worry, here are five family- and wallet-friendly vacation spots, ranging from beaches and national parks to sophisticated cities — all of which provide an opportunity to make memories that will last a lifetime and won’t break the bank.

Myrtle Beach, South Carolina

Myrtle Beach is a 60-mile string of beaches along the Atlantic coast. The city boasts the SkyWheel, one of the country’s tallest Ferris wheels, along with arcades, amusement parks, a range of dining options and world-renowned golf courses. And with the average daily cost per person totaling $62 for budget travelers according to travel blog budgetyourtrip.com, family-friendly fun can also be affordable.

Travel tip: Consider renting a home if hotel rates are too pricey. Also, check out Myrtle Beach Area Convention and Visitors Bureau for discounts.

Destin, Florida

Situated in Florida’s panhandle, the Emerald Coast averages more than 220 days of sun every year. Called the “world’s luckiest fishing village,” Destin is known for its beautiful white sand and emerald water. Families can enjoy Henderson Beach State Park for just $6 per day for up to eight people in a single vehicle. Other area attractions include boat tours, golfing, shopping, fishing, amusement parks and more.

Travel tip: Plan your trip for April or May for warm water, low rainfall and average high temperatures of 76 and 83, respectively.

Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming

Home of the iconic Old Faithful geyser, Yellowstone National Park is nearly 3,500 square miles of wilderness recreation and natural beauty. For nature-loving families, Yellowstone is the perfect spot, featuring alpine rivers, hot springs, green forests, bears, bison, antelope and elk. Be sure to bring a tent and take advantage of the campsites available at the park, which range between $15 and $47.75 a night.

Travel tip: Skip the takeout and pack your own food.

Branson, Missouri

Nestled in the Ozark Mountains, Branson, Missouri, is famous for its entertainment and music, which is comparable to that of Las Vegas, with the Branson Famous Theatre boasting multiple shows at any given night. If your family tires of the shows, Branson is also home to the Titanic Museum Attraction and Silver Dollar City amusement park.

Travel tip: While parking is free and abundant throughout most of Branson’s historic downtown, skip the car and hop on the free trolley, available from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., seven days a week, from March through December.

Calgary, Alberta

And for those of you looking to get a bit farther away, consider this cosmopolitan Canadian city: Calgary.

Home to plenty of dining, shopping and nightlife, as well as Old West-style charm and natural beauty, a vacation in Calgary costs 32 percent less than the average trip, according to travel site Kayak.com. Additionally, the average cost of a plane ticket from the United States to Calgary will run $328.67. You can also see the animals at the most visited zoo in Canada, the Calgary Zoo, or simply enjoy the view — all the way from the prairies to the Canadian Rockies — from 627 feet up in the 360-degree observation deck at the Calgary Tower.

Travel tip: Depending on where your starting point is, consider turning your vacation into a road trip to cut back on airfare costs.

With so many options to choose from, the perfect family vacation is just a few reservations away. As you continue your search for the perfect getaway, set your budget but be sure to know how much you have already saved and how much more you need to reach your vacation savings goals.


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