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When you want to travel more with your family, likely you’re looking for the best cheap destinations. If it allows you to travel more, there’s nothing wrong with going cheap. Just because a destination may be cheap, doesn’t mean it won’t be fun. I’ve pulled together 7 cheap destinations for family travel to consider this year. In fact, I think a few of these destinations may surprise you.
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Cheap Destinations In the United States
New Orleans keeps popping up on my radar lately as a place to travel with your family. However, I’d suggest heading to the heart of Cajun and Creole country in Lafayette, Louisiana. Lafayette is also considered the happiest city in the US. Plus, it’s one of the top foodie destinations. Stay in an Airbnb and find all the mom and pop restaurants you can for extra savings, but still enjoy extraordinary dining.
Lafayette offers up plenty of music traditions and you’ll likely hear a Zydeco band at least once while you’re visiting. Many free or cheap events take place in town and check the Events page at Lafayette Travel for up to date free and cheap concert events.
Southern Utah is known for the Mighty 5 National Parks. They are Arches, Bryce Canyon, Canyonlands, Capitol Reef, and Zion National Parks.
Once you fly into Salt Lake City, you can keep the rest of the vacation on the cheap side by driving. Within a week’s time and at about 200 miles per day, you can visit all the highlights of the Mighty 5.
I’d recommend doing one better than renting a car, and rent an RV. This way you have your vehicle and accommodation in one. Never camped with the kids before? Be sure to read these tips on camping with your family, and why you should go.
Since the National Parks are the attraction in themselves, it’s a cheap destination for family travel. A U.S. National Park annual pass is $80 for a vehicle for a driver and all passengers. Plus, children age 15 and under are free. Where else can you visit 5 places for less than $20 each for the entire family? Bonus… you can use the annual pass at National Parks near you.
New York City
Don’t get me wrong. New York City can be expeeeehensive. But hear me out. The operative word here is can. There are a lot of ways to keep the cost down.
One, you can generally find cheap and direct flights to the three main NYC hubs. If you stay outside the city, you’ll also drop the cost. And then there’s food. Let me tell you how many cheap places a family of 4 can eat for in the Big Apple. We often sat down and spent less than $30 a meal. Plus, we grocery shop to eat even cheaper.
Stay away from Times Square and all the tourist attractions. That’s where you’ll spend the big bucks. But, if you want to do some of the tourist attractions, look at buying a Sightseeing Pass.
Minneapolis, Minnesota is one of those cheap destinations that will surprise you. Urban by nature, but nature in all of the urban areas. In fact, that’s their motto, “City by Nature.” They state that you’re always 6 blocks from a park, a must when you’re traveling with young kids.
The city of Minneapolis has vibrant and diverse neighborhoods, Midwestern kindness, and world-class entertainment. From their website:
Meet the biggest underestimated place in the north. A dramatic riverfront skyline, three professional sports stadiums within 1.3 miles, so much art you’re literally surrounded by it and a theater on almost every corner. A culture committed to perfecting the craft of the brew, one of the best park systems in the nation, and a foodie paradise .Minneapolis.org
Cheap Destinations Internationally
Just like some of the US cities above, Poland is an oft-overlooked country to visit in Europe. Because of it’s proximity to Western Europe and Eastern Europe, you get the best of both sides of the continent. In Poland, simply walking the streets of Krakow or Warsaw, for free, provides a wonderous view of ancient architecture, exquisite hand made crafts from local artisans and yummy food.
Chances are, you grew up with some Polish influenced cuisine near you, and this is one of those places that the kids won’t turn their nose up at.
And when the kids tire of looking at churches and old buildings, Poland has dramatic mountain landscapes, lakes, and hiking trails to set out on. Check out all the Natural Beauty of Poland here.
If you’ve wanted a Grecian vacation, but didn’t want to pay the exorbitant costs, consider heading a bit north to Albania. Along the Adriatic sea, the popular seaside town of Durres offers highly rated apartments and hotels for under $500 a week.
Just like its neighbor Greece to the south, Albania and Durres are full of history dating back 1500 years. Albania is not a big country, so you could easily book a week at the beach and use that as a home base for exploring the rest of the country. See the Best of Albania here.
Do you want the European influence, without the long international flight? Consider Montreal, Canada. Wandering around the charming streets will have you forget that you’re in Canada until you interact with the Canadians of course.
Montreal is a dual-language city, so it’s a fantastic place to practice your French.
Free and cheap things to do in Montreal, you ask? This is another metropolitan city that boasts lots of green spaces. Visit Mount Royal Park, St. Lawrence River, or rent some bikes to view the European architecture.
Do you have a favorite cheap destination for family travel on your bucket list? Let me know! Comment or share this list.