Looking for inexpensive family vacations? Taking a family vacation doesn’t have to cost you a small fortune. There are so many choices, with various activities like exploring cities, fishing, hiking, or just relaxing at the beach away from everyday life! This guide will help you locate cheap places to travel in the US without breaking the bank!
Breathtaking mountains and forests surround the beautiful “Emerald City” a.k.a Seattle. There are so many fun and affordable activities for kids and adults. There are two national parks outside of the city, Olympic National Park and Mount Rainier National Park, which are great for outdoor adventures. Try kayaking or paddleboarding with the entire family.
Next, take a stroll through downtown Seattle where fish fly, at the infamous Pike Place Market. This market is full of restaurants, unique boutiques, and the very first Starbucks! How interesting is that? Seattle is also filled with family-friendly attractions like the Seattle Aquarium and the Museum of Flight. Seattle is one of the cheap places to travel in the US that will give you a great getaway without flexing your wallet!
Interesting Fact: Grab a cup of coffee at the first Starbucks store which was established in 1971 at Pike Place Market in downtown Seattle, Washington.
Whether you are looking to book a family vacation or a romantic getaway, Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, is one of the cheap places to travel in the US to give you a very fulfilling vacation. Split into a few different sections, Myrtle Beach stretches for over 60 miles, offering plenty of sandy beaches and sea for a fabulous time. The Myrtle Beach boardwalk is the main area where you’ll find most restaurants, attractions, hotels, and resorts. The SkyWheel is worth a ride to get a spectacular view of the area at night, and the wheel is also lit up with thousands of lights!
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South Padre Island is the ideal destination when looking for cheap places to travel in the US. The breathtaking island has loads of free activities and affordable hotel rooms for the entire family. The barrier island is known for its gorgeous white sand-filled beaches and abundance of wildlife, such as sea turtles. If you enjoy swimming, water sports, or sunbathing, South Padre Island is the most exciting place to be.
Insider Tip: Do you enjoy birding watching? If so, South Padre Island is the perfect place to get a glimpse of 350 different species of birds. Birdwatching is a relaxing and inexpensive way to connect with nature and enjoy cheap places to travel in the US.
From the Ocala National Forest to Silver Glen Springs, Ocala is filled with fun outdoor adventures. This is one of the best and most cheap places to travel to in the US. The gorgeous lush forests sit next to beautiful horse farms, where locals and tourists can explore a different side of sunny Florida.
There is plenty of fun and affordable outdoor activities for everyone in Silver Springs State Park. Enjoy horseback riding, boat rides, wildlife watching, or hike through the untamed woods in the largest sand pine forest in the world. Nature enthusiasts find the park’s freshwater streams and rolling hills to be the perfect escape from the big city.
Interesting Fact: In the 1940s, horse breeding farms were found throughout Marion County in Florida. Today, there are more than 70,000 acres of thoroughbred breeding and training farms around Ocala.
There is no place better for a perfect winter weekend getaway (not to mention, cheap places to travel in the US) than Petoskey. Located in the northwest of Lower Michigan and beautiful Traverse Bay, the conditions are always ideal for snow bunnies who need their fix of adventure in the winter months. Three ski areas combined offer more than 160 downhill ski runs, cross-country ski trails, and snowboarding courses.
Resorts like the Inn at Bay Harbor make it comfortable, affordable, and easy to focus on one recreational area during your trip and return to dining and comfortable resort amenities after a day on the slopes. Another great option is to grab a different ski area each day of your trip at Boyne Highlands, Boyne Mountain, and Nub’s Nob. Petoskey, Michigan, is one of the best cheap places to travel in the US for the entire family.
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In winter, this beautiful skiing haven is just 1.5 hours from Los Angeles. It can get crowded—and prices are at their peak.
A summer visit to Big Bear Lake can be just as much fun, and you can leave the snow pants, mittens, and scarfs at home. Ziplining, mini-golf, mountain biking, and more are available, and the lake is available for fishing and swimming. While summer tourism traffic is always on the rise, there are still great deals to be had on accommodations, too. This is one of the best and most fun, cheap places to travel in the US for a quick getaway.
If you are really aching to get out from the house and a tropical vacation but it’s just not on the table, then head over to Pennyrile Forest State Resort Park. It seems unlikely, but the beach has beautiful white sand and emerald water that matches the Caribbean. Kentucky is one of the cheap places to travel in the US, where you will still feel like you are on an exclusive tropical vacation. It can get crowded on the weekends, so consider planning a few weeknights at the park and enjoy relaxing on this tropical-like beach in Kentucky.
With a gorgeous lake and plenty of opportunities for inexpensive adventure, Lake Tahoe makes a terrific family vacation destination in all seasons when you’re seeking cheap places to travel in the US. In summer, your bold teens and active kiddos may enjoy swimming and various water activities, including paddleboarding and kayaking. And in winter, you may just want to unwind in a cozy cabin or go on a snowboarding and skiing adventure with the entire family.
South Lake Tahoe is filled with budget-friendly restaurants and hotels. While they are not as glamorous or as expensive as the places you’ll find in Incline Village or Tahoe City; your wallet will thank you. Lake Tahoe is one of the most exhilarating yet cheap places to travel in the US for you and your entire family.
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At Mesa Verde National Park in southern Colorado, visitors can retrace the ancient footsteps of the ancestral Puebloans who once lived in the park’s magnificent cliff dwellings, and the entrance fee is quite affordable. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is home to 4,500 of the most well-preserved archaeological sites in the United States. These sites include Cliff Palace, which contains 150 rooms, 23 kivas (chambers used by male Puebloans), and once had a population of roughly 100.
You can easily get budget-friendly lodging by camping at Morefield Campground, which offers a picturesque canyon setting just four and a half miles from the park entrance. If camping isn’t your thing, then you can stay at one of the nearby hotels starting at under $60 a night. This is one of the most educational and cheap places to travel in the US and will keep the entire family captivated.
Gatlinburg is the gateway town to Great Smoky Mountains National Park, a top nature destination for nature enthusiasts looking for cheap places to travel in the US. With more than 900 miles of hiking trails and some of the best fly fishing in the country, there are plenty of free outdoor activities to experience, once you pay the affordable admission fee to the National Park. This is clearly one of the best cheap places to travel in the US when spending time outdoors.
If you are back in Gatlinburg, take a walk down Parkway, which is the town’s main street. Here you’ll find a mix of unique restaurants, quirky mom-and-pop shops, and beautiful, yet affordable, hotels. The 400 foot-tall Gatlinburg Space Needle is also here. Of course, there is a small admission fee, but the 360-degree view from the observation deck is money well spent. There are also two floors of arcade-style video games at the base of this attraction that kids and adults will enjoy.
There are some locations that you may have never considered as a cheap destination (like Seattle), but you will be surprised at how far your dollars can go when you have the inside scoop. Whether you travel on a group tour or independently, from the West Coast to the East, these ten cheap places to travel in the US are the best if you’re on a budget. You and your travel companions will not be disappointed!
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