Yes, traveling with children in tow can be expensive, especially when you are looking to travel internationally. Yet these 10 destinations are budget friendly and the best vacation spots when on a budget.
Cheap Places to Travel
One of the biggest costs associated with any family vacation is transportation. How are you going to get there? Sites like Google.com/flights and Skyscanner can help you save on transportation. Skyscanner* is a comparison website that searches millions of flights and hotels to get you the best rate. Once you find the deal you can book directly with that carrier with no additional fees. Then sites like Fly4Free and Scott’s Cheap Flights help save more on transportation.
Below we asked friends and fellow family travel bloggers what their favorite budget-friendly city aboard was. These are the cities and tips they had. Click on the image to read more about each destination on their site.
Costa Rica is great for families. Food is inexpensive, outdoor activities and cultural sites abound. Flights to San José from the US can be found for under $200/$300. Plus you can often pay with US dollars for a favorable exchange rate.
Kirsten with KidsAreATrip.com says -
Stay outside Dubrovnik which is heavy with tourists, and head to one of the other cities for an authentic experience. Food is cheap, hotels are inexpensive, and attractions are cheap too. If you head to neighboring countries like Bosnia and Montenegro, there are even more bargains to be found!
LiLing with Trekaroo.com shared these tips -
Everything about Ecuador surprised me. This country stretches my idea of a country set on the equator. The dramatic Andean mountains run the spine of the country. It's green and cool at high elevations, warm and balmy at sea level and in the Amazonian rainforest area. It is a shame that the Galapagos as a destination completely overshadows the rest of Ecuador because this country oozes charm, history, and beauty. A Galapagos vacation will break the bank but you will find dramatic mountain towns from Quito to Cuenca that are very affordable. There are certainly luxury hotels in all the major cities, but we stayed in boutique hotels and vacation apartments, and we ate in local restaurants. We could not believe how far the US dollar stretched in Ecuador.
Kaylie with Happiness Travelsphere
the Black Forest in Germany is a surprisingly affordable European destination. Farm stay accommodation in this picturesque area provides options for even the tightest budget. Known in German as an 'Urlaub am Bauernhof' a hearty breakfast is often provided for no additional charge. Most accommodations in the Black Forest region will provide guests with a regional tourist card, this then allows for free local public transport and free or discounted admission to many attractions.
Catherine with Traveling with the Littles recommends Ireland for families.
Ireland can absolutely be an affordable and budget-friendly family destination. First, rent a car. Many airlines will offer a 'fly n drive' package to Ireland which typically translates into a 'free' (or nearly free) rent-a-car. Lots of people are apprehensive about driving on the left-side of the road, but it's not as hard as it seems. Renting a car allows you to take a self-guided vacation which gives you more flexibility in choosing your itinerary and your accommodations.
Second, for maximum savings visit during the shoulder seasons when plane tickets won't be exorbitantly high. Coincidentally, May/June and September are the best times of year to visit as they are the least rainy and have the best weather overall.
Third, get out of Dublin (in your rent-a-car) where all things are a lot cheaper. Similarly, do a little research and you'll find that some attractions that appear to cost money, are actually free.
Lastly, there are plenty of free attractions and free walking tours in Ireland. (Even in and around Dublin).
Jenna from This Is My Happiness recommends Rome for families.
Rome is one of the world’s greatest cities, but it can be surprisingly affordable for family travel. First, it’s easy to find low-cost flights into Rome. Stay in a small apartment near the center or a family-friendly hostel like the Beehive. Rome has many affordable, delicious options for food, and what kids don’t love pasta, panini, and pizza? Instead of the Vatican and Colosseum, Rome offers plenty of free or low-cost things to do, like visiting the Pantheon, National Museum, and the city’s many piazzas and fountains.
Brenda with DishOurTown.com says that the quintessential Italian Holiday, if done correctly, can be a budget breaker. An unexpected surprise is how all expectations are met at a more agreeable price in the region of Umbria. If you value the better things in life. Then this region is a value.
Jason at AnEpicEducation.com has been based in Merida for the last 1.5 years and continues to be amazed at what you get for the money. Jason at An Epic Education https://www.anepiceducation.com/things-to-do-in-merida-mexico/
We've been based here for the last 1.5 years and continue to be amazed at what you get for the money. The Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico: You don't have to fly halfway across the planet to find affordable adventures. Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula is safe, affordable and full of activities the entire family will enjoy. Skip the pricey resorts in Cancun and Playa del Carmen and explore smaller accommodation near pristine white-sand beaches. Or delve inland to Merida, the cultural capital of the region for exceptional food and cultural performances. Learn about the Mayans and jump into cool freshwater underground pools. It's full-on adventure without breaking the bank!
Nicola with GlobalMouseTravels.com says Amsterdam is a great budget destination with some simple forethought. There are plenty of affordable apartments or even a canal boat for something a little different. Frites and mayo, the classic Dutch snack, is perfect for peckish kids and pancakes (pannekoeken or poffetjes) are also an affordable treat and must have in the Netherlands. The city is made for wandering with beautiful canalside walks and fun parks to play in or hire bikes to join the locals and see the sights on two wheels.
Nancy with LuxeTravelFamily.com was used to spending 10 - 15 euro for a glass of wine on her earlier travels -
"On our first night, I ordered what I thought was a glass of wine for 11 Euros, slightly less than I'd been paying in Switzerland and the French Riviera - I was amazed when our server returned with the entire bottle!"
Regarding locations, we explored the Costa Brava and Barcelona. For families visiting Barcelona, Casa Camper is a decent choice. It's not a luxury property, but it is well-run, centrally located, and they offer 24-hour cafeteria-style food and non-alcoholic drinks included in the room rate.
For more ideas for affordable family vacations, take a look at these domestic destinations: