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8 Family Budget Travel Ideas

Need some Family Budget Travel Ideas? It’s easier than you think to vacation inexpensively. Find out how you can make your family vacations both fun and inexpensive!

Need some Family Budget Travel Ideas? It's easier than you think to vacation inexpensively. Find out how you can make your family vacations both fun and inexpensive!

Family Budget Travel Ideas

Going on vacation seems to get more expensive with each passing year. But, in truth, it doesn’t have to be. There are many deals to be had and many family budget travel ideas that won’t make you feel like you’re totally roughing it. Let’s explore the ideas 🙂

Take Shorter Trips

Almost everyone lives within a day’s drive to some sort of fun activity or event. Do a quick Google search for “fun activities for family near me” and you may be shocked at what you’ll find. There are water parks, museums, fun roadside attractions. With day trips, you can still stay in a hotel for one or two nights so it feels more like a vacation. Leave on Friday night and come back on Sunday stopping at every roadside attraction along the way. For kids, this is a fun way to spend their vacation!

Plan a Staycation

It’s crazy, but people probably come to your area for vacations. You’re just used to it so you don’t think you have anything to do where you live. But you most certainly do! You can find out just what you have by going to your visitor’s center by looking it up on Google and they’re sure to have a lot of information for you to find fun things to do in your own town or a very nearby town – no hotels needed.

Another idea is to ask friends about their favorite place to visit in town. You may be surprised by what you discover!

Learn Free Days

Every museum and many national parks have designated free days where they’re open to the public free of charge. You can go to the National Park Service [1] website to find out the information. You can find out what day the Smithsonian offers free days around the country at the Smithsonian Magazine website [2]. When you know the free dates, you can plan your vacation around them.

Our local library offers free passes to local museums and attractions. You can even reserve them for a specific day. Check your library to see if they offer any cultural passes for your family to use for an exciting outing.

Go Camping

No, don’t rent an expensive cabin. Those can cost as much as an expensive hotel with room service. If you and your family like nature, go on a real camping trip with tents (this camping checklist [3] will make sure you have everything you need). There are free camping sites around the country [4]. If you have the equipment, and the gas to get there you can camp and see the sights rather cheaply.

Before you head out on your epic outdoor adventure, grab your Family Camping Checklist so you have everything you need! FREE printable checklist!


Did you know that you can use your vacation time to travel and volunteer thus saving money in the process? Plus, you get to teach your children about the importance of community involvement. You can find family volunteer destinations at various websites such as Elevate Destinations [4].

Travel Off-Season

This can be difficult when you have kids in school, but it depends on your child’s school policy. However, you can travel overseas in your summer to places like Australia and it will be their offseason since it’s their wintertime. There are also amazing deals for summertime in places like Vietnam, US Virgin Islands, Belize and even Arizona are inexpensive in the summertime.

Vacation Like a Local

If you want to go to another country for your vacation instead of picking a fancy resort to stay in, find out where the locals like to stay. You can often find such deals using AirbnB.com [5], but you can also join “expatriate” groups on Facebook to find out the best places to stay like a local inexpensively.

Shop for All-Inclusive Deals

You can also purchase “all-inclusive” vacation packages inexpensively if you’re willing to wait until the last minute. Basically, you will know when you want to travel and have a budget set up, then pick your destination last minute using a website like Go Last Minute [6].

This is for the adventurous – but it can be fun and inexpensive! For instance, you can save over a grand per person on all-inclusive trips to the Bahamas if you are ready to leave tomorrow.

Family Budget Travel Tips

Once you’re on your vacation stick to your budget. Have a pre-set budget for eating out, buying souvenirs, and “stuff” at gas stations. Every little bit can add up if you don’t plan your budget in advance and stick to it. If you’re driving, try packing a picnic lunch to save money on eating out altogether. You’ll still have a blast and experience less stress planning next year’s budget vacation.

Where’s your next family vacation?


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