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affordable family vacation

Affordable Family Vacation Destinations in the USA

With summer in full swing, families across the United States are gearing up for vacation. Affordable family vacation destinations are highly sought after at this time of the year. 


But for many, the choice in destination boils down to affordability. Not everyone can afford to take the family on a trip halfway around the world or book a weeklong stay at a posh resort.


It can feel overwhelming for families who want to travel but feel as though they don’t have the means to do so. It is true that overall, prices, in general, have increased from everything to gas, food, and even airfare. 


Fortunately, many fabulous vacation destinations remain within the budget of working-class families.


In fact, most of the destinations on this list offer activities that are completely free to visit! Not only that, but they are historical landmarks that are very educational for children to visit. 


Even if you can feasibly swing an exotic trip overseas, economic uncertainty may drive you to stick closer to home and save money in the process.


After all, who wouldn’t want to explore the country that they live in? The great thing about the United States is that it’s expansive and offers something for everybody. From golden Floridian beaches to the Grand Canyon, there is so much to see. 


Budget-friendly hotel finder websites and discount travel experiences are what you’re after. They are key in looking for affordable family vacation destinations. 


With this in mind, let’s take a look at seven affordable family vacation destinations across the United States.

affordable family vacation

7 Affordable Family Vacation Destinations in the USA 

Portland, ME

First up on our list of affordable family vacation destinations will be Portland. While it’s the largest city in Maine, Portland would be considered a small town in most states.


Tucked away in the northeastern-most part of the country, it’s no surprise Portland doesn’t make it on many lists of vacation destinations. Nobody knows it’s there!


But their loss is your gain, as minimal demand means affordable accommodations and attractions.


Between the city’s iconic Arts District and impressive Victorian architecture, families can spend several days happily soaking in all that Portland offers.

affordable family vacation

Philadelphia, PA

Next on our list of affordable family vacation destinations, we have Philadelphia. We all know the capital of the United States is Washington, DC, but it wasn’t always that way. 


In fact, few people remember that Philadelphia was the capital city while the swamps of Maryland and Virginia were converted into the new capital.


Given the city’s earlier role in American Independence, this should be no surprise.


Fast forward three centuries and Philadelphia is an underrated tourist destination that every American should visit at least once.


From the historical significance of Independence Hall to the flavor profile of an authentic Philly cheesesteak sandwich, your family will walk away enlightened and gastronomically satisfied.

affordable family vacation

Washington, DC

The nation’s capital is consistently ranked as one of the most expensive cities to live in. But when it comes to visiting, Washington DC is one of the most affordable family vacation destination options.


The reason is simple: most attractions are accessible and free to the public.


Whether walking along the National Mall or soaking in the treasures on display at the Smithsonian, most things to see and do are considered public property and thus free to enjoy. The items for sale in the gift shops are another story.

affordable family vacation

Louisville, KY

For most outsiders, Louisville is known for two things: horse racing and baseball bats.


While the Kentucky Derby and Louisville Slugger are both iconic pieces of Americana, there’s more to see and do in the river city.


For instance, the Muhammad Ali Center is a mecca for boxing fans, while the Belle of Louisville is a throwback to the era of steam power.


Combined with the city’s many museums and cultural hotspots, it’s no surprise Louisville is a budget-friendly travel destination for most families.

affordable family vacation

Memphis, TN

Memphis is another underrated and overlooked American vacation destination.


The Home of the Blues, Memphis is also home to Beale Street, Graceland, and the National Civil Rights Museum.


The latter is contained within the grounds of the old Lorraine Motel, which will live in infamy as the place where Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated in 1968.

affordable family vacation

Detroit, MI

America’s Motor City is synonymous with high crime rates and urban decay.


But like most cities with a reputation for danger, it depends on which part of town. The truth is that numerous sections of Detroit are safe for families to visit and explore.


The Detroit Institute for the Arts has one of the most impressive art collections of any museum in the country.


The Motown Museum provides an entertaining and thought-provoking showcase of the role of Detroit-area musicians in the history of popular music. Any gearheads in the family?


If so, then the Henry Ford Museum of American Innovation is also an essential stop.

affordable family vacation

St. Louis, MO

The last affordable family vacation destination on our list is Saint Louis, MO.


The Gateway to the West is defined by the architecturally impressive Gateway Arch located along the city’s riverfront. But there’s more for families to see and do in St. Louis than ride the elevator to the top of the Arch.


The St. Louis Zoo is considered one of the best in the country, while the City Museum defies the expectations of most children by giving them an indoor playground on steroids.


St. Louis Cardinals baseball is something special, as well as Ted Drewes Frozen Custard. Love it or hate it, thin-crust pizza topped with Provel cheese – known as St. Louis-style pizza – is worth trying at least once.

affordable family vacation

To Conclude 

Are you and your family overdue for a vacation? Is the cost of such a trip getting in the way?


As stated before, the rising costs of airfare, gas, hotels, and food can make a family feel hopeless when it comes to vacations. It can feel impossible to fit into a working-class budget. 


But traveling can be made possible for everyone! By being resourceful, it’s completely possible for a family to save money as well as travel across the United States. 


If you are wanting to travel with your family soon, consider choosing one of the more affordable vacation destinations across the United States. Chances are you’ll get your money’s worth and more.


Whether you choose to visit the infamous Motor City in Detroit or the nation’s capital in Washington DC, there are so many different options. All of these have a wealth of history available for free!


There’s one thing for certain: Never underestimate the power of sightseeing! Bring your camera and make memories that will last a lifetime for not just you but your children too. This is so helpful for an affordable family vacation. 


Don’t forget that you can also use different kinds of hotel finders to find the best deal on lodging while you travel across the United States. The same goes for airfare and car rentals- never choose the first option! 


Don’t be afraid to shop around for prices- don’t choose the first one that you see. With all of this in mind, hopefully, you’re able to plan the affordable family vacation of your dreams! 


Julie Steinbeck is a freelance writer from Florida. She enjoys covering topics related to business, finance, and travel.

Satyne Julianna Doner

Satyne Julianna Doner is currently a sophomore studying business management in sunny Tampa, Florida. A born bibliophile, she spends most of her free time curled up in a fantasy book or writing her own. When she isn't studying, reading, or writing, she is an avid equestrian and staunch supporter of rehabilitating retired racehorses. She owns one horse, named Hurricane, who keeps her grounded in all her endeavors.

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