The Best Budget-Friendly Trips in the U.S. for Families


How many times have you had to put your trips on hold due to budget? How often do you daydream about going away for the weekend, but lack of funds holds you back? What happens when you want to get away, but your New Year’s resolution is to spend less?

Planning a budget-friendly family vacation can be tricky. Most people crave that family vacation to lounge, swim, hunt, camp and play but think it is too expensive and often talk themselves out of it.

When you add in transportation and lodging costs, along with meal and activity expenses, the total price can quickly soar into the thousands. But finding a destination that appeals to your multigenerational group without breaking the bank is possible.

There are plenty of destinations, especially here in our own backyard, where you can go to enjoy a break while still keeping within budget. Whether you’re hoping to relax on the beach or explore America’s national parks, you’ll find a getaway to suit your family’s needs.

To help you start brainstorming and plan your trip, here are four of the most budget friendly destinations for families in the U.S.

Yellowstone, Wyoming.

No other spot on earth resembles this national park. The vast natural abundance (3,471 square miles of green!) hypnotizes guests with its mountains, canyons, geysers and subalpine forests. Bring a tent and arrive ahead of schedule to take advantage of the campgrounds (seven are first-come, first-served and five require reservations; ranging from $15–$47.75 per night). Pack your vehicle with a cooler of campfire foods and snacks to get you through as the weekend progresses.

Grand Canyon Arizona

This place is a tourist magnet, managed by the National Park Service, offers stunning sceneries and fun activities, varying from hikes to horseback riding to white water rafting. A money-saving tip that doesn’t compromise the fun is to choose camping over other housing accommodations. Campgrounds at the Desert View Campground, for instance, cost only $12 per campsite per night.


Myrtle Beach, South Carolina

Myrtle Beach has been a popular beach destination for a long time. This is a superb spot to visit for families, singles, and everyone in between. From the beach to golf courses to nightlife options there is something for everyone. Flight costs are affordable to encourage tourists to travel there. Hotels are everywhere as well as air b-n-bs, and other apartments and housing arrangement for rent, which are always a nice and affordable option especially for families.

Tucson, Arizona

If you can endure high temperatures, consider Tucson. This desert city offers a lot of nature and outdoor adventure in the Saguaro National Park and the Mount Lemmon Scenic Byway, as well as a rich culture and history. Due to climate changes, lodging rates drop as much as 60 percent during the winter to summer period. U.S. News and World Report’s Best Affordable Destinations rank it as the 4th most affordable city and seventh for Best Golf in the United States. Fun, free activities in Tucson include visits to the Mission San Xavier del Bac and the Turquoise Trail.


PUBLIC NOTE: The opinions expressed in this article are the author's own and do not reflect the view of the Urban Intellectuals, affiliates or partners.


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