15 Cheap Family Holiday Ideas You Try

Updated on: by Amy Kennedy

Did you know that family holidays don’t have to break the bank? 

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Yes, it’s true! Contrary to popular belief, you don’t need to drain your savings account to enjoy a memorable vacation with your loved ones. 

Imagine exploring fascinating destinations, engaging in thrilling activities, and experiencing new cultures—all while sticking to a sensible budget.

This blog post guides you through 15 cheap family holiday ideas that will ignite your wanderlust and fuel your imagination. 

Each suggestion has been carefully selected to cater to different tastes, preferences, and budget constraints.

Cheap Family Holiday Ideas

  1. Camping Adventure

Embark on a budget-friendly camping adventure with your family and reconnect with nature. 

Camping allows you to escape the hustle and bustle of everyday life and immerse yourself in the great outdoors. 

Look for local campgrounds or national parks that offer affordable or even free camping options. 

Many national parks have designated campsites with reasonable fees, and some even offer discounted rates for families. 

Check out websites like Recreation.gov or Hipcamp for affordable camping options near you. 

Remember to pack your camping essentials such as a tent, sleeping bags, cooking utensils, and outdoor gear. 

Camping offers opportunities for hiking, fishing, stargazing, and enjoying quality family time around the campfire. 

So grab your gear, set up camp, and create lasting memories while keeping your budget in check.

  1. Beach Getaway to Less Touristy Areas

Escape to a budget-friendly beach getaway in less touristy areas for a more affordable and relaxed vacation. 

Skip the popular and crowded beach destinations and opt for hidden gems that offer beautiful coastlines and fewer crowds. 

Look for coastal towns or lesser-known beach destinations that offer affordable accommodations such as guesthouses, budget-friendly hotels, or vacation rentals. 

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Explore local tourism websites or travel platforms like Booking.com or Airbnb to find affordable beachfront properties. 

Consider destinations like Zadar in Croatia, which offers stunning beaches and affordable accommodation options. 

Alternatively, explore coastal towns along the coastline of Mexico’s Riviera Nayarit, where you can find pristine beaches and budget-friendly resorts. 

Enjoy sunbathing, swimming, building sandcastles, and taking leisurely walks along the shoreline without breaking the bank.

  1. City Exploration with Free or Low-Cost Attractions

Discover the wonders of cities without straining your budget by exploring free or low-cost attractions. 

Many cities offer a range of affordable or even free activities that the whole family can enjoy. 

Look for cities with public parks, gardens, and playgrounds where your kids can have fun at no cost. 

Take advantage of free museum days or discounted family rates to visit cultural and historical attractions. 

Explore local markets to experience the vibrant atmosphere and try affordable street food. 

Utilize public transportation or consider renting bicycles to get around the city economically. 

Some cities also offer city passes or discount cards that provide access to multiple attractions at a reduced price. 

  1. National Park Visit

Immerse your family in the wonders of nature by planning a budget-friendly visit to a national park. 

National parks offer breathtaking landscapes, diverse wildlife, and countless opportunities for outdoor activities. 

Many national parks have affordable entrance fees or even offer free admission on certain days. 

Research national parks near your location and explore their official websites for information on admission fees and park amenities. 

Consider destinations like the Great Smoky Mountains National Park in the United States, known for their natural beauty and affordability. 

Pack a picnic, lace up your hiking boots, and set off on memorable trails to discover stunning vistas and hidden treasures within these protected areas.

  1. Road Trip to Nearby Destinations

Embarking on a family road trip to nearby destinations is an affordable way to create lasting memories and explore the beauty of your own region. 

Research and plan a route that takes you through scenic landscapes, charming towns, and points of interest. 

Check out local tourism websites or use mapping platforms like Google Maps to discover hidden gems along the way. 

Look for budget-friendly accommodations such as roadside motels, bed and breakfasts, or campgrounds. 

Consider visiting local attractions like historical sites, nature reserves, or local festivals that offer affordable or free admission. 

Pack a cooler with snacks, prepare a playlist of family-favorite songs, and hit the open road for an adventure-filled journey that doesn’t stretch your budget.

  1. Staycation and Local Exploration

A staycation allows you to enjoy a family holiday without the need for expensive travel or accommodation. 

Explore your own hometown or nearby cities as if you were a tourist. 

Research local attractions, museums, parks, and recreational activities that offer affordable or discounted rates for residents. 

Check local event listings for free community events, concerts, or festivals that you can attend. 

Plan day trips to nearby towns, nature reserves, or beaches for a change of scenery. 

Look for affordable dining options, such as local eateries or food trucks, to try new flavors without spending a fortune. 

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Embracing a staycation not only helps you save money but also allows you to discover hidden gems and appreciate the beauty and culture of your own region.

  1. Farm Stay Experience

Experience the charm of farm life by opting for an affordable farm stay with your family. 

Farm stays provide a unique opportunity to learn about agriculture, interact with animals, and engage in hands-on activities. 

Many farms offer affordable accommodations ranging from rustic cabins to family-friendly cottages. 

Check out websites like Farm Stay U.S. or Farm Stay UK to find farm stay options in your desired location. 

Depending on the farm, you may get the chance to milk cows, collect eggs, feed farm animals, or participate in agricultural tasks. 

Enjoy the tranquility of the countryside, explore nature trails, and savor farm-fresh produce. 

A farm stay allows your family to disconnect from the hustle and bustle of city life and embrace a simpler way of living while staying within your budget.

  1. Volunteer Abroad

Combine travel and a meaningful experience by engaging in an affordable volunteer program abroad. 

Many organizations offer affordable volunteer opportunities where you can contribute to community development, environmental conservation, or wildlife rescue projects. 

These programs often provide accommodation, meals, and local support at a reasonable cost. 

Research reputable volunteer organizations like Volunteer World or GoEco to find affordable and ethical volunteer projects suited for families. 

Engage in activities such as teaching, construction, or environmental conservation while immersing yourself in a new culture. 

Volunteering abroad allows your family to make a positive impact, broaden your perspectives, and create lifelong memories while being mindful of your budget.

  1. Cultural Exchange Program

Immerse your family in a different culture by participating in an affordable cultural exchange program. 

These programs facilitate connections between families from different countries, allowing you to experience life in a new place while hosting a family from that location in return.

Look for reputable organizations like AFS Intercultural Programs or World Learning that offer affordable cultural exchange opportunities for families. 

Through a cultural exchange program, you can gain a deeper understanding of different customs, traditions, and languages. 

You’ll have the chance to form lasting friendships and create a global network of connections, all while keeping your budget in check.

  1. Outdoor Adventure in State or Provincial Parks

Explore the natural beauty of state or provincial parks, which often offer affordable entrance fees and a range of outdoor activities for families. 

These parks are ideal for hiking, biking, fishing, picnicking, and wildlife spotting. 

Research parks in your region or consider visiting well-known destinations like Yosemite National Park in California or Algonquin Provincial Park in Ontario, Canada. 

These parks provide a wealth of natural wonders and recreational opportunities, making them perfect for budget-friendly family adventures.

  1. Visit a Budget-Friendly Theme Park

Thrill your family with a visit to a budget-friendly theme park. 

Look for parks that offer discounted family tickets, special promotions, or off-peak rates. 

Some parks also have free entry for younger children. 

Pack your own snacks and drinks to save on food expenses. 

Discover family-friendly theme parks like Tivoli Gardens in Denmark or the Enchanted Kingdom in the Philippines for affordable fun and entertainment.

  1. Discover the Wild West at Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming

Embark on a family adventure in Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming, and discover the wonders of the wild west. 

As the first national park in the United States, Yellowstone is renowned for its geothermal features, diverse wildlife, and stunning landscapes. 

Witness the powerful eruptions of the world-famous Old Faithful geyser and marvel at the vibrant colors of the Grand Prismatic Spring. 

Take a scenic drive through the park’s vast expanse, keeping an eye out for bison, elk, wolves, and bears. 

Hike the trails that lead to breathtaking waterfalls, such as the Lower Falls of the Yellowstone River. 

Camping and lodging options are available within the park, offering a chance to experience the magic of Yellowstone at different times of the day. 

With its unique combination of geology, wildlife, and natural beauty, Yellowstone National Park provides endless opportunities for family exploration and adventure.

  1. Explore the History of Colonial Williamsburg in Virginia

Step back in time and explore the rich history of Colonial Williamsburg in Virginia. 

This living history museum presents a meticulously restored 18th-century colonial town, allowing visitors to immerse themselves in the daily life of the past. 

Interact with costumed interpreters as they portray historical figures, engage in trades, and recount stories from the Revolutionary War era. 

Explore historic buildings, such as the Governor’s Palace and the Capitol, and witness demonstrations of period crafts and trades. 

Educational programs and hands-on activities are available for children, providing a fun and interactive learning experience. 

Colonial Williamsburg offers a glimpse into the birth of a nation and provides a unique opportunity for families to connect with American history in an engaging and immersive way.

  1. Discover the Magic of Disneyland in Anaheim, California

Embark on a magical journey at Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, California. 

Explore the original Disneyland Park, divided into enchanting lands such as Fantasyland, Adventureland, and Tomorrowland. 

Meet beloved Disney characters, enjoy thrilling rides, and experience spectacular parades and fireworks. 

Discover the neighboring Disney California Adventure Park, where you can immerse yourself in the worlds of Marvel superheroes and Pixar animations. 

With a variety of dining, shopping, and entertainment options, Disneyland Resort provides a captivating and immersive experience for families of all ages.

  1. Educational Farm Visits

Combine fun and education by visiting educational farms that offer interactive experiences for children. 

These farms provide opportunities for kids to learn about agriculture, farm animals, and sustainable practices. 

Look for local farms or educational centers that offer guided tours, workshops, or hands-on activities. 

Discover farms like Green Meadows Farm in the United States. 

Other Family Holiday Ideas You Can Try

Experience the Vibrant Energy of New York City

Get ready to immerse yourself in the vibrant energy of New York City

The “Big Apple” offers a myriad of exciting experiences for families.

From the iconic Times Square to the sprawling Central Park, there’s no shortage of famous landmarks to explore. 

Ascend to the top of the Empire State Building or Rockefeller Center for breathtaking views of the city skyline. 

Visit world-class museums like the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the American Museum of Natural History. 

Here, you can indulge your curiosity and learn something new. Indulge in diverse culinary delights, from street food to Michelin-starred restaurants, satisfying your taste buds with every bite. 

Experience the Thrills of Universal Studios Hollywood in California

The Universal Studios Hollywood is also a perfect holiday destination. 

It allows you to immerse yourself in the world of movies and entertainment. 

Located in California, it offers a thrilling and immersive experience for the whole family.

From thrilling rides to captivating shows, Universal Studios Hollywood has it all. 

Alternatively, you can embark on heart-pounding adventures like Jurassic World – The Ride. 

Here, you’ll come face-to-face with prehistoric creatures. 

You can also enter the wizarding world of Harry Potter at The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, where you can visit Hogwarts Castle and soar through the skies on Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey.


Planning a cheap family holiday doesn’t mean compromising on fun and memorable experiences. 

By considering these 15 affordable family holiday ideas, you can create lifelong memories without breaking the bank.

Each destination offers a unique blend of attractions, activities, and cultural experiences that cater to families of all ages. 

Whether you’re seeking outdoor adventures, historical insights, or thrilling entertainment, these affordable family holiday ideas provide diverse options to suit your preferences and budget.

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