We all need a break from life now and then. Even kids crave an occasional escape from the stresses of schoolwork to head on a grand adventure someplace new and exciting. Finding inexpensive, family-friendly destinations often involves a balance between affordability and offering engaging activities. Here are ten destinations for fun family time without killing your savings.
It doesn't get more exotic than the streets of Marrakech and Fez, two culturally rich cities of Morocco wafting with the sweet smell of spices coming from its markets and food vendors. With a slew of interesting activities, such as camel rides, sand surfing, and shopping around in bustling souks, your kids will stay entertained no matter what you choose to do as a family. If possible, try staying a night or two at a low-budget riad to save money while being provided a relaxing place furnished with desert oasis vibes.
Thailand is a popular choice when considering the costs of the trip and the variety of different activities that this Southeast Asian paradise has to offer. Whether you're ziplining through Chiang Mai's tropical forests, haggling at colorful floating markets, or participating in watersports at the numerous picturesque beaches of Thailand's surrounding coastline, you and your kids can easily fill up precious vacation days with memorable family moments.
This beautiful peninsular country is a fantastic destination for families seeking budget-friendly options outside peak season. Greece has some of the most gorgeously unique seaside towns in the world. The stylistic architecture, delicious local cuisine, and historical sites, like the Parthenon and Palace of Knossos, all beckon worldly travelers for an in-depth and up-close viewing to capture the country's overall splendor. Other fun things to do in Greece include:
- Snorkeling at the beach.
- Horse trekking through olive groves.
- Sailing around in Greece's pristine coastal waters.
Just a small hop across America's southern border, Mexico is easily accessible and has many sights and things to do for a fun family experience. If your kids are adventure seekers, I'd suggest swimming in one of Mexico's many cenotes (a.k.a. sinkholes) or riding a gondola down Xochimilco's canals. Otherwise, a relaxing day sunbathing on a white-sand beach or visiting ancient Mayan ruins like Chichen Itza should be enough to give your kids an unforgettable time in Mexico.
Vacationing in Europe on a tight budget can be challenging to accomplish. Thankfully, Portugal offers a thorough southern European experience without the need for deep pockets. The Algarve region has scenic beaches, affordable accommodations, and reasonable dining options, while Lisbon and Porto provide visitors with an in-depth view of the country's rich culture and history. Furthermore, the Harry Potter Library (Lello Library), Benagil Cave, and fairytale castles lining the sides of Sintra's mountains are some of Portugal's best locations for families hunting for a unique adventure.
6. Budapest, Hungary
As for the eastern side of Europe, Budapest remains one of the brightest gems in the region and represents all of what makes this part of the world so alluring. The biggest perk is the diverse selection of attractions suitable for single travelers and families. Whether you want to soak in a thermal bath, attend a show at Capital Circus, or walk around the Budapest Zoo and Botanical Garden, your children will have an amazing time.
Known as the “Pearl of the Orient Seas,” the Philippines is an archipelago boasting over 7,000 beautiful islands, home to a flourishing of exotic wildlife and ecosystems. One of the most highly regarded beaches in the world is Sila Island's Pink Beach, where the name is undoubtedly used to describe the pink hue of the sand. Aside from the relaxing beaches and biodiversity, families can also attend a tour of the various indigenous tribes in Palawan or admire the awe-inspiring Spanish Colonial architecture in Cebu.
Even more affordable than Thailand, this remote destination is an immersive cultural experience that can be afforded for a fraction of the price compared with other Asian countries. Kids can get involved with some of Vietnam's more creative aspects by learning a new trade, like lantern making or taking a cooking class. Add Hanoi's Old Quarter and Ha Long Bay's emerald-green seascape to your family's itinerary for sightseeing. If your trip coincides with Vietnam's Lantern Festival, then taking a stroll through Hoi An's brightly lit streets is like an ethereal dream come true that will surely light up your children's eyes.
9. Cape Town, South Africa
The flight to South Africa can be pretty expensive, but thankfully, that's the heftiest cost of the whole trip. Once in Cape Town, the accommodations, food, and attractions are pretty affordable. Some must-do activities include a scenic drive through Cape Point Nature Reserve, observing penguins at Boulders Beach, and mingling with the crowds at the V&A Waterfront. Lastly, the trip wouldn't be complete without an aerial cableway ride up to the top of Table Mountain, where the view overlooks the entire city.
10. National Parks, USA
America is such a vast stretch of land that it covers a wide range of ecosystems across all 50 states. Though every national park has unique features, they're all extremely family-friendly and have cheap entrance fees. For families that intend to do some park hopping, purchasing a yearly pass would be the most sensible way to save money. Most parks are great for camping, hiking, biking, and water activities, depending on which park you choose. Some classic choices include Arcadia, Yellowstone, and Redwood National Park.
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