If you’re trying to decide where to take the family on summer vacation but are worried about your budget, don’t stress! It is possible to have an awesome trip without breaking the bank!
To find that destination that fits your family’s budget, consider places that are a little different. By this I mean avoiding the headliner destinations like Disney, major cities like San Diego or Chicago, or the super popular beaches. While I love all of those places, they aren’t always the most budget friendly. Also, look for places that are either off the beaten path or have plenty of capacity in terms of lodging. This can often mean lower prices!
While budget friendly means different things to different people, here are some ideas with enough options to fit your family’s budget.
- Colorado Springs, Colorado: Colorado Springs combines the best of city amenities and outdoor adventure. Because Colorado Springs is a good size city, there are plenty of lodging options to fit your needs and budget. There is LOTS to do in Colorado Springs much of which costs little or no money. You’ll have no problem finding plenty of activities your family will love.
- Branson, Missouri: This vacation town is nestled in southern Missouri and has a variety of lodging options that won’t break the bank. This town has family oriented shows and activities galore. Branson even has a theme park, Silver Dollar City, which is actually pleasant as far as theme parks go. Silver Dollar City is a cozy park with much to please the kids and adults. And, a season pass is very reasonable making a multi-day visit a great bang for your buck! Trust me, your kids won’t want to leave!
- Big Sky, Montana. Yes, I admit I am partial to summertime in the mountains! Big Sky, Montana is the nation’s largest ski resort. That means there is a large supply of lodging available at significantly reduced rates during the off season. Trust me, a ski in/ski out cabin is an awesome place to spend a summer vacation! Big Sky is beautiful during the summer and there are so many family friendly outdoor activities to enjoy. And, Yellowstone is only a short drive away!
- Northern California. You may wonder how California could possibly be budget friendly. Northern California is home to the Redwood State and National Parks. This natural beauty is spread out over a large area, so you will find a variety of small communities along the coast which makes a great base for exploring this national treasure.
- Coastal Maine. Why not consider a different kind of coastal getaway rather than a traditional beach vacation? Maine has 3,478 miles of coastline – that’s more coastline than California! There are charming communities all along the Maine coastline which means there are lots of lodging options. You can get that quintessential Maine experience in so many different places, so you aren’t limited to the more well known (and pricier) resort towns.
- Arkansas. The Natural State offers the best of both worlds for your summer vacation. Arkansas is a small state, so you can enjoy the amenities of a small city or town such as the Clinton Presidential Center in Little Rock or Crystal Bridges Museum in Bentonville but still be close to nature. Opportunities for outdoor adventures are as abundant as they are diverse. From the State’s beautiful lakes to its scenic mountains, options for outdoor fun include water sports, hiking, climbing, caving, floating, digging for diamonds, biking, birding, and much more! Visit the first National River, the Buffalo National River, or America’s first lands to be set aside for natural features, Hot Springs National Park. If you love the outdoors, you’ll find something to suit your fancy in Arkansas! And best of all, your vacation dollars will go along way in this budget friendly state!
- The 4 Corners. This area of the country where New Mexico, Arizona, Utah, and Colorado converge offers a variety of adventures! Explore Mesa Verde National Park and Hovenweep National Monument to experience the rich Native American history of the area. Take a day trip to Monument Valley and try to name all of the movies filmed in this area of the Wild West. Trek the mountains of the San Juan National Forest. There is so much to do here, you’ll probably just need to plan to go more than once!
Don’t let a limited budget keep you from enjoying a family vacation. For tips on stretching your budget, check out 7 Secrets to Stretch Your Vacation Budget Without Sacrificing Fun!
There are so many awesome places to visit in this great country! So, hop in the car and explore someplace new!