According to research from Credit Donkey, the average vacation costs $1,145 per person, which amounts to $4,580 for a family of 4. That’s a huge expense, and a lot of American families may not be able to afford that.
Even if you can’t spend that much on a family vacation, there are some great budget friendly U.S. travel destinations.
The following is a round-up of places that the entire family will love and won’t leave you dipping too far into your savings or maxing out your credit cards to afford them.
Williamsburg, VA is a great place to visit with your family. There’s plenty to do, and for the most part, it’s affordable. If you purchase a Williamsburg vacation package, you can save even more money on lodging and attractions.
U.S. News & World Report called Williamsburg the top place to visit in the U.S. They ranked it number two on their list of the best cheap summer vacations, and number five on their list of the best affordable destinations in the U.S.
Williamsburg attractions include Colonial Williamsburg and the Jamestowne Settlement. Once you feel like you’ve gotten all the history you can soak up, there’s also the Busch Gardens amusement park.
The area is also home to the Yorktown Battlefield, Water Country USA and the Williamsburg Winery which is only four miles south of the central part of the city.
Myrtle Beach, SC
Myrtle Beach is located on the coast of South Carolina. For decades it’s been a favorite of family travelers. The beaches are beautiful, the weather is nice, and it’s a very budget-friendly place to visit. There are putt-putt courses, amusement parks, and water parks, as well as shopping, dining, and entertainment
The Myrtle Beach area is also home to more than 100 golf courses and is near other great places to visit such as the seafood destination of Calabash, North Carolina.
Destin is located in Northwest Florida on what’s called the Emerald Coast. With the backdrop of the Gulf of Mexico, it’s easy to see where the name comes from. The beaches have soft, fine sand, there are plenty of places to stay including hotels and condo rentals, and it’s a laid-back place with plenty of budget-friendly options.
Destin is known for great fishing, snorkeling, water sports and places like Henderson Beach State Park. Henderson Beach State Park is east of Destin with 6,000 feet of shoreline and the possibility of spotting dolphins, sea turtles, and other wildlife.
Gatlinburg, Tennessee offers access to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. There are three entrances to the park in downtown Gatlinburg alone. Going to the National Park is also free, so you could spend a lot of your trip just enjoying hiking and the natural beauty you’ll find there, and it’s budget-friendly. There are also attractions such as Ober Gatlinburg, Ripley’s Aquarium, and Dollywood in nearby Pigeon Forge.
Yellowstone National park
Yellowstone National Park, spanning from Wyoming into Idaho and Montana, attracts more than four million visitors annually. You’ll likely want to see the hot springs and the pools surrounding them, the geysers like Old Faithful, and Yellowstone Lake. Yellowstone is frequently ranked as one of the best national parks in not only the U.S. but the world.
There are accommodations around Yellowstone such as The Cody Hotel, ranches, and B&Bs, or you can camp.
Like many large urban areas, visiting Boston is more affordable than you might think because there are just so many options for food, lodging and things to do. You’re inevitably going to find within those options things that will fit your budget.
Boston is known for its collegiate lifestyle, classic brownstones, and its history which is really the history of the United States. Boston boasts the first free public library and the first subway system as well.
Visiting Boston from June to October means you’ll be surrounded by tourists, but this is also when the weather tends to be best. There are a plethora of baseball games and outdoor concerts to enjoy during this time.
Many of the museums in Boston offer days and times with free or reduced admission, such as the Boston Children’s Museum. You can do the Freedom Trail, which is almost three miles long and starts at Boston Common.
If you want to enjoy all the city has to offer on a budget, consider purchasing either a Boston CityPASS or Go Boston Card, which will help you save on admission to the city’s top attractions.