The Best Affordable Family Vacation Ideas

May 30, 2024 by Partner Colorado Credit Union

Planning an affordable family vacation can be an exciting and rewarding experience. Here are some budget-friendly vacation ideas that offer fun and memorable experiences without breaking the bank.

National Parks Camping Trip

Explore the great outdoors by planning a camping trip to one of the many beautiful national parks across the country. National parks offer stunning scenery, wildlife viewing and affordable camping options. Consider parks like Yellowstone, the Grand Canyon, or Colorado’s very own Rocky Mountains, where camping fees are reasonable, and there are plenty of activities for the whole family to enjoy.

Outdoor Adventure Retreat

If visiting a national park doesn’t interest you, you could consider planning an outdoor adventure retreat with activities such as hiking, kayaking, zip-lining, or rock climbing. Many outdoor recreation areas offer affordable cabins, campgrounds, and guided tours for families to enjoy nature and outdoor adventures together. Whether it's exploring lakes, forests or scenic trails, an outdoor adventure vacation can be both thrilling and budget-friendly.

Waterfront Vacation

Opt for a budget-friendly beach vacation by choosing destinations with affordable accommodations and activities. Look for beach towns that offer free or low-cost attractions such as public beaches, nature reserves, and boardwalks. Consider destinations like Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, which offers affordable rental options and family-friendly activities. For a vacation that’s even more friendly to your wallet, you could consider options closer to home that still offer a water-front experience. You can rent boats or jet skis at many lakes in Colorado like Green Mountain Reservoir or Horsetooth Reservoir.

Road Trip Adventure

Embark on a road trip adventure to explore different cities, landmarks, and attractions within driving distance. Plan a route that includes stops at national parks, scenic drives, quirky roadside attractions, and affordable accommodations such as campsites or budget-friendly motels. Road trips offer flexibility and the opportunity to create lasting memories while staying within your budget.

Staycation Exploration

Discover hidden gems and attractions in your own city or state by planning a staycation. Research local museums, parks, historical sites, and cultural events that offer free or discounted admission for families. We’re lucky to live in one of the most beautiful states in the country. There are plenty of fun things to do in Colorado. Explore neighborhoods, try new restaurants, and participate in community activities to experience your hometown from a fresh perspective without the cost of travel.

Off-Season Travel Deals

Take advantage of off-season travel deals and discounts by planning your vacation during non-peak times. Off-season travel not only offers lower prices on accommodations and attractions, but also provides a more relaxed and less crowded experience. Whether it's skiing in the spring, visiting beach destinations in the fall, or exploring European cities in the winter, off-season travel can save you money while still offering an unforgettable experience.

House Swap or Vacation Rental

Consider a house swap with someone you know or a vacation rental for affordable accommodation options during your family vacation. Websites like Airbnb, HomeExchange, and VRBO offer a wide range of properties worldwide at varying price points. By swapping homes with another family you know and trust or renting a vacation property, you can enjoy the comforts of home while exploring new destinations without the high cost of traditional accommodations.

Remember to plan and budget for transportation, accommodation, meals, and activities in advance to ensure a stress-free and affordable family vacation. With careful planning and creativity, you can create unforgettable family memories without breaking the bank.

If you still need extra cash for your family vacation, consider a Home Equity Line of Credit (HELOC). A HELOC is a revolving credit line that allows homeowners to borrow money against the equity of their home for a specific period of time. It’s an easy and affordable way to fund your family vacation.