Vacations can give you the opportunity to make beautiful memories with your kids while introducing them to new people and cultures. But vacations don’t come cheap. Whether you have the cash to cover the cost of a vacation or plan to take out a personal loan, rest assured there are budget-friendly places your entire family will enjoy.
Here is a roundup of some of the best places to travel with kids on a budget.
1. Yosemite National Park, California
If your kids like camping, you can’t go wrong with Yosemite National Park. It offers 1,169 square miles of attractions and 13 campgrounds you can reserve through the National Park Service. From group sites and RV sites to tent-only areas, Yosemite has it all. Why splurge on a fancy hotel when you can give your children a unique camping experience?
2. Prague, Czech Republic
Not only is Prague beautiful, but it’s also full of free and affordable kid-friendly attractions, making it ideal if you’d like to explore Europe on a budget. You can visit the largest castle in Europe: the Prague Castle complex (a UNESCO monument dating back to the 9th century), shop in historic Wenceslas Square, or explore the National Museum. Don’t forget the renowned Prague Zoological Garden, which houses more than 650 species, including more than a hundred listed as threatened.
3. Gatlinburg, Tennessee
Gatlinburg makes the perfect vacation destination for families who love the great outdoors. You can skip the five-star resort and stay at an affordable cabin and go on hiking, biking, whitewater rafting, and horseback riding adventures. While you’re there, follow the 8-mile loop of the Great Smoky Arts & Crafts Community to meet artisans and shop for unique homemade foods and handmade goods.
4. Williamsburg, Virginia
A visit to Williamsburg proves that history doesn’t have to be boring. Even if you don’t consider your kids history buffs, they’ll have a blast learning about life in the 18th century and chatting with historical interpreters and actors clad in Revolutionary War-era costumes. You may also want to visit nearby Jamestown Settlement, the site of John Smith’s Virginia colony, and travel to the Yorktown Battlefield and the American Revolution Museum at Yorktown to learn about the pivotal battle that resulted in the British surrender to the American colonists. Or spend a few days at Water County USA and Busch Gardens and save some money with combo admission tickets.
5. Punta Cana, Dominican Republic
Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic won’t disappoint for a family beach getaway. You can land a great deal at an all-inclusive resort and won’t have to take your wallet out to pay for the accommodations, most food, or entertainment while you’re there. Some of these resorts include Tortuga Bay Hotel, an acclaimed five-star luxury resort surrounded by the Caribbean Sea and miles of white sand beaches; Barcelo Bavaro Palace, featuring a paradisiacal beach, a gorgeous casino, and an array of day and night-time activities; and Iberostar Grand Bavaro Hotel that offers an extraordinary service experience, luxurious spa treatments and, of course, a variety of all-inclusive amenities. Many resorts also have kid’s clubs for your children to enjoy while you relax.
6. St. Louis, Missouri
There is no shortage of free and low-cost attractions in St. Louis. Take your kids to a dog agility show or animal barnyard. The City Museum also features a massive inflatable ball pit, a 40-foot-high Ferris wheel, and a 10-story slide. The Chess Hall of Fame, St. Louis Aquarium, and Missouri Botanical Gardens are other exciting hotspots, as is the breathtaking beauty of the 630-foot-high Gateway Arch in a park adjacent to the west bank of the Mississippi River. Visitors can travel in tram cars to the observation deck at the apex of the world’s tallest arch. The tram cars and the observation deck aren’t very roomy, so you may need to wait to get your trip to the top.
The Bottom Line
Traveling with kids doesn’t have to cost a fortune. There are many exciting, affordable places to discover. The next time you’re looking to book a vacation, consider U.S. destinations as varied as Yosemite National Park, California; Gatlinburg, Tennessee; Williamsburg, Virginia; and St. Louis, Missouri. If your budget and available time make it possible, consider a vacation in a Central European capital like Prague, Czech Republic, or a beach vacation in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic, and make it one to remember!
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