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Budget Destinations For Families: Where to Go For Your Next Family Vacation

Traveling with kids can be quite expensive-and that is an understatement! In the days of just you and maybe a significant other, you just have to worry about costs for you. But add in a couple of kids and that price increases dramatically! Instead of buying one plane ticket you are now buying multiple plane tickets, and those costs add up! Instead of staying in a hostel, you may now be searching for hotel accommodations more suited to a larger family, and that is bound to increase costs! But don’t let this deter you from traveling with a family. Instead, explore some great budget destinations for families!

grandparents with their granddaughters standing by the shore
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Photo by RODNAE Productions on Pexels.com

Finding destinations that align with your desired attractions and activities that also aligns with your budget can be tricky. This is not an impossible task though! When planning you perfect budget family vacation, be sure to consider the cost of things such as:

  • Air Travel
  • On-ground transportation
  • Accommodations
  • Food
  • Activities/Attractions/Tours
  • International/travel fees
  • Shopping/Souvenirs

While traveling on a budget may seem impossible when sporting two, three, four, or more kids, with a bit of planning and knowledge of the perfect budget destinations for families, you can make your dream vacation reality! Below you will find some of the best budget destinations for families as recommended by experienced travel bloggers from around the globe.

Sicily, Italy

Recommended by Annabel from Smudged Postcard

If you’re keen to visit Italy but you don’t want to break the budget in some of the country’s more pricey destinations, head south to Sicily. It’s not cheap in the same way as Eastern Europe or South East Asia, but relatively speaking its good value for the money. And Sicily with kids is a really fun adventure and one of the best budget destinations for families in Italy.

Accommodation is certainly cheaper than the mainland – the best option is to stay at an agritourism where you often get the best of both worlds – self catering and a restaurant on site. Many cultural attractions in Sicily are free to children so days out don’t cost the world. Highlights include active volcano Mount Etna, Taormina with its Greek amphitheater, puppet shows in Syracuse, lots of castles to explore, and some incredible beaches. Food is very kid-friendly – bowls of pasta, slices of pizza and delicious gelato will go down well with even the fussiest children.

Allow around €100 (~$122) per night for accommodation. Self-catering is a great way to keep costs down but if you choose to dine out, you can eat well on €40 (~$48) for a family of four if you look for restaurants away from tourist hotspots. House wine is incredibly cheap and usually delicious!

Mount Etna. Budget Destinations for families
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Mount Etna. Photo Credit: Smudged Postcard

Agios Prokopios, Greece

Recommended by Sylvie from Travels With Eden

Agios Prokopios is a small tourist resort on the island of Naxos in Greece. Although Naxos is not normally of as a budget destination, the island is possible to visit on a very tight budget. The resort of Agios Prokopios features one of the best beaches in Greece for families – a long white sand beach overlooking the island of Paros, making it one of the best budget destinations for families.

There is also a small shopping street with a bakery, supermarket and all the amenities you’ll need. The supermarket is a SPAR supermarket, so it is cheaper than most supermarkets you’ll find on the Greek islands. Along the beachfront, there is a vast range of tavernas and takeaways with Pitta Gyros starting at just 2 euro. 

The best place to stay in Naxos is the Ioanna Apartments. We paid under 50€ (~$61) a night for two adults and a child. The small complex is just a short walk to the beach and features an outdoor pool and kids’ pool. Each room has a fully furnished kitchenette so you can cook cheap meals and a balcony. Other places to stay in Naxos start at just 39 € (~$48) a night.

A regular bus service runs from the area of Plaka (a vast beach backed by dunes) to Hora. Bus tickets will cost you just 1.80€ ($2.20) each way.  Hora is the capital of Naxos where you can explore the old town and see the historical sites of the temple of Apollo and Kastro castle.

Agios Prokopios Naxos, budget destinations for families
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Agios Prokopios Naxos. Photo Credit: Travels With Eden.

Dominican Republic

Recommended by Chris from Punta Cana Travel Blog

The Dominican Republic is a great budget destination for your next family vacation, as it is the cheapest country in the Caribbean and has something to offer for every kind of traveler. When visiting, you have two main choices for organizing your holiday.

The first one is a typical package holiday: even an all-inclusive resort might seem expensive at first glance, it is a great option to exactly plan your travel budget. You just book your vacation for a certain amount of money and that’s all you need to spend for the entire vacation. Food, drinks, entertainment, pool, family suites, beach access and so much more are already included in your stay. If traveling in low season, you can score deals in some decent budget all-inclusive resorts in Punta Cana from as low as 110 USD per family (2 adults + 2 children under 12 years) per room incl. taxes and all services mentioned above – an incredible bargain!

The second option is an individual holiday, which will allow you to explore the Dominican Republic in the most authentic way with all its beauty and diversity. Pristine beaches, secluded waterfalls with natural pools, crystal-clear lagoons, several animal watching opportunities and plenty of other kid-friendly activities are awaiting you on a tour through the country. Depending on your style of travel, you can either rent a car and do a road-trip in the Dominican Republic or just pick one or two fishing villages which are reachable by public transport. You can find family apartments in those places close to the beach starting from 60 USD per night. Cars can be rented for around 50 USD per day incl. all insurances. In case you decide on public transport, a trip of 3-4 hours in a comfortable air-conditioned bus usually sets you back at around 8 USD per person.

You can also do a mix of both, which is another way of traveling the Dominican Republic on a budget. If you book a cheap all-inclusive resort and have a rental car to drive around, you can individually explore the surroundings and are not relying on pricey excursions.

El Cortecito Beach, Punta Cana.
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El Cortecito Beach, Punta Cana. Photo Credit: Punta Cana Travel Blog

Sri Lanka, South Asia

Recommended by Greta from Greta’s Travels

If you’re looking for the best budget destinations for families, then Sri Lanka has to feature on your list. Located in the Indian Ocean, this beautiful island nation is home to gorgeous natural landscapes, delicious local cuisine, friendly locals and lots of fun travel activities, all for an affordable price tag.

You can comfortably have a great trip to Sri Lanka spending between $30 and $40 per person per day, sometimes even less. When it comes to accommodation you can easily find nice apartments or guest houses for around $30 a night. Eating in Sri Lanka is also very cheap, with most meals at local restaurants priced between $5 and $10. You might end up spending more if you stay in fancier resorts or eat at western restaurants, but still for very affordable prices compared to other destinations in South East Asia.

Travelling around Sri Lanka can also be very cheap, with the local trains and buses never costing more than $5 per journey. You can also get a private car and driver for around $50 a day, which would give you even more flexibility.

The prices of tours and activities vary, with entrance to some of the most popular attractions like Sigiriya priced at $30, compared to the nearby Pidurangala Rock which is only $3. There are also many free activities in Sri Lanka, like hiking Ella Rock, Little Adam’s Peak or swimming in Diyaluma Falls.

Sri Lanka is also the perfect destination for families thanks to the wide variety of landscapes and activities. Children can enjoy a fun day outdoors surfing or elephant spotting one day, and the following day learn about Sri Lanka’s history and culture on a temple visit.

China

Recommended by Lotte from Phenomenal Globe Travel Blog 

China may not be the first country that comes to mind when you are looking for budget destinations for families. That’s a shame really, as China is a beautiful country and very suitable for a cheap family trip.  

China is a very big country and there are countless things to do. From exploring Beijing with kids to walking on the Chinese wall, to relaxing on a beautiful beach (yes, China has those as well) or a visit to the Chengdu Panda Base.  

For a successful China family trip, the most important thing to do is choosing an area you want to visit. Despite the fact that you can easily travel large distances within the country by superfast trains, you will have a more relaxed trip by basing yourself in a nice city (not Beijing or Shanghai, they are much more expensive) and explore the area around it by (multi) daytrips.  

The average daily travel budget in China depends on several factors, such as the type of accommodation, whether or not you are using public transport and if you are eating at local restaurants or sticking to western cuisine (please don’t, there are so many delicious Chinese dishes!). That being said, China isn’t expensive and you can comfortably travel for €100 a day as a family.

China. Budget destinations for families.
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China. Photo Credit: Phenomenal Globe Travel Blog.

Mexico

Recommended by Katja from Globetrotting

If you’re looking for a family holiday on a budget then Mexico is a great option. Sure, some of the most popular destinations such as Tulum are not as wallet-friendly as they used to be but, if you know where to look, then you can have a great family vacation without breaking the bank.

One of the best budget destinations for families for a cheaper Mexican holiday include the Riviera Maya coastal town of Playa Del Carmen. There you can find some small all-inclusive family hotels for around $130 / night and holiday rentals for even less.

Other beachside towns for families on a budget include Mazatlán, one of the oldest international resort towns in Mexico. Loreto, in Baja California, is another good option. Not only does the resort offer cabanas and small hotels on offer for around $90/night (depending on the season, of course), this is one of the best destinations in Mexico for sea kayaking and whale watching.

Away from the beach some of Mexico’s “pueblos magicos” (magical towns) are a great way to explore the countryside. Some of our favorites include the lakeside colonial town of Patzcuaro and the historically significant town of Malinalco.

Pelican in Baja California, budget destinations for families.
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Pelican in Baja California.

Malaysia, Asia

Recommended by Jackie Szeto & Justin Huynh from Life of Doing

Malaysia is one of the budget-friendly and family-friendly spots to visit when you’re in Southeast Asia. The country has a variety of opportunities for families and children to enjoy such as the city life in Kuala Lumpur (also referred to as KL), interactive street art in Penang, beaches along the Peninsula, and more. 

Starting your Malaysia trip in Kuala Lumpur is ideal as it’s the main capital and has an international airport. It’s recommended to budget at least $35-$50 USD per person per day. Accommodation cost will vary if you want to stay in a hotel, guesthouse, or rent an Airbnb. The starting cost of a hotel room with 2 beds in KL is $50. Transportation is affordable as you take local trains, Grab ride-hailing (similar to Uber), or take domestic flights to other parts of Malaysia. 

As with visiting attractions, many of the attractions are free. The more expensive attractions have a fee of $10 and up. In KL, children will love the Bird Park and Butterfly Park to see wildlife up close. Head to Johor Bahru as a day trip from KL to visit Legoland theme park.

Malaysian food is cheap as you can eat between $3-$5 per person at food stalls or casual restaurants. Try iconic and flavorful dishes such as nasi lemak (rice with meat, vegetables, peanuts, and dried fish) or laksa (hot noodle soup), and iced teh tarik (milk tea) for a refreshing drink. 

Enjoy your time in Malaysia!

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, budget destinations for families.
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Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Photo Credit: Life of Doing

Bali, Indonesia

Recommended by De Wet & Jin from Museum of Wander

Blissful Bali needs no introduction. This island paradise has welcomed travellers of all shapes, sizes, ages and budgets for decades, and will continue doing so in the future.

Bali is so popular because it offers exceptional value for money. Most people can afford the luxury to splurge on a private pool villa or stay at a boutique resort. There really is something for every budget and taste.

Umalas Retreat is a fantastic private pool villa for your family holiday in Bali. The affordable villa even comes with your own private chef, so moms can also have a real holiday. Umalas is the perfect base for exploring the island and all its attractions.

Bali has so much to see and do, which makes it perfect for families. Whether you’re looking for action packed activities, cultural exploration, shopping or simply relaxing by the pool or beach, there is something for young and old out there.

Bali is also a good place to expose your children to a different culture, as most of the ceremonies are open to anyone to attend. Don’t be surprised if you get invited to attend one of these ceremonies with your family. 

The Bali Safari Park, Bali Bird Park or the Sacred Monkey Forest are sure to be a good day out for the whole family. Moms will have more than enough opportunities for shopping in Ubud or Seminyak, while dads might want to take a surfing lesson, go diving or deep sea fishing. Bali offers families the exotic without having to leave your home comforts behind. In fact, you’ll feel like royalty during your stay in Bali without breaking the bank. 

Bali beach, budget destinations for families
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Bali. Photo Credit: Museum of Wander.

Myanmar, Asia

Recommended by Sally from Our3kidsvtheworld

Myanmar is probably one of the last frontiers when looking to plan a budget destination. Myanmar is renown for having the friendliest people in the world but they also have many very exciting and new places to visit. Yangon is steeped in history from when the English ruled, though soon after gaining independence from the British, Myanmar suffered a coup and become a military dictatorship. The military were overthrown in 2010 and since this time, Myanmar has slowly been opening up to the world. 

Bagan was granted the title of a UNESCO World Heritage Site only in 2018 after trying for many years. Bagan consists of over 3000 temples and pagodas scattered around the area and many are still fully intact and you are able to enter and explore them. You can hire e-bikes for 2 days and ride around the area visiting as many temples as you like. Its definitely the best way to explore Bagan. 

There are many other amazing places to visit in Myanmar. Mandalay, the centre of Burmese culture, is more industrial than the capital city of Yangon however historically is was the capital city and is home to the last emperors palace. Inle Lake is a must when visiting Myanmar, often referred to as the Venice of the East. Inle Lake takes on a life of its own and the stilt houses and famous fisherman are definitely something you must see. 

Myanmar caters to all budgets, making it one of the best budget destinations for families. You can find accommodations for as little as $50 per night (this would be more like a hostel/guest house type of accommodation). Take USD when travelling in Myanmar and make sure you have crisp, brand new notes or they won’t be accepted. Getting around is very easy with the JJ Express Coaches, which are very affordable and will get you around the whole country. Download their app and book as you go

Find more to do in Myanmar with Kids!

Myanmar. Budget destinations for families
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Myanmar. Photo Credit: Our3kidsvtheworld

Sarajevo, Bosnia

Recommended by Ellis from Backpack Adventures

Sarajevo is one of Europe’s most multicultural capitals. In the heart of the Balkans it is where east meets west. Where you feel you are in Europe or somewhere in the middle east at the same time. Mosques and churches stand next to each other and in its center you will find both modern shopping streets as well as cobbled stoned alleys of the traditional old town from Ottoman times. 

What makes this city such a great family destination is the amount of things to do in Sarajevo. It’s picturesque historic center is not the only attraction. Sarajevo also has interesting museums about its intriguing history. Sarajevo once belonged to the Ottoman empire and the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia before becoming independent after a bloody civil war. Sarajevo thus has many stories to tell about Europe’s history. 

Sarajevo also has a beautiful location surrounded by the green rolling hills. In winter the nearby ski resorts in Jahorina and Bjelasnica are great for all kinds of outdoor activities in the snow for both young and old. In summer, the mountains offer a respite from the summer heat in the city and there are several hiking trails. The easiest way to get up in the mountains and to get spectacular views over Sarajevo is by taking the new cable car from the city center to Mount Trebevic. 

Despite the amount of things to do in Sarajevo, it still is an off the beaten path destination in Europe. The result is that prices are still relatively low. The average daily budget for a family of four including accommodation could be as low as 50 euros (~$61). In Sarajevo you pay little, but get a lot in return.

Sarajevo. Budget destinations for families.
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Sarajevo. Photo Credit: Backpack Adventures.

New Zealand

Recommended by Bailey from My Queenstown Diary

Although not typically thought of as a “budget” destination, New Zealand can be a very cheap family holiday if done right. First of all, New Zealand is all about the great outdoors! National Parks in New Zealand are completely free to visit and there are some really incredible family-friendly hikes in Queenstown, Mount Cook, near Auckland, and spread across the country for that matter! 

But besides hiking, there are lots of other free things to do in New Zealand including swimming in natural hot pools, exploring waterfalls, and of course, lots and lots of beautiful beaches!  

Accommodation can be the biggest budget breaker on any holiday. Luckily, the best way to explore New Zealand is by camping! If you get a self-contained campervan or motorhome, you can actually camp for free in many locations around New Zealand. There are also paid campsites run by the Department of Conservation that cost as little as $10 NZD per night ($7.16 USD)! Cooking your own meals while camping will also make your NZ trip a heck of a lot cheaper too.  

If you get a motorhome, and stick to mostly free activities and cooking your own meals, it’s very possible to travel New Zealand for around $200 NZD ($143.22 USD) per day for a family. This includes your motorhome rental, gas, small camping fees, and groceries. Not too bad if you ask me! 

New Zealand camping.
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New Zealand. Photo Credit: My Queenstown Diary

Vietnam

Recommended by Rose from Where Goes Rose?

Vietnam is one of the cheapest places to travel in Asia, if not the world! This makes it one of the best budget destinations for families. It’s easy to live on $25 a day if not even less. There are fantastic hostels for $5 where you can meet other budget travelers and families. Many such hostels include breakfast, coffee and free beers in the room rate. If you are travelling as a group and have a higher budget, there are luxurious places to stay for not much more.

The food is truly a reason to add Vietnam to your Asia bucket list and of course, it’s incredibly affordable. Eat street food such as pho, bun cha and bahn mi for as little as $1. If you thought the food was cheap, you’ll be amazed at the price of the beer. ‘Bia hoi’ is the name for fresh beer brewed on-site at restaurants and bars. It’s surprisingly good and sold for as little as 10c!

Vietnam is not only cheap but an accessible place to travel thanks to frequent buses and trains. There are plenty of fantastic destinations to add to your Vietnam itinerary, including capital Hanoi, historical city Hoi An and big and busy Saigon known for its war history. Top activities include cruising by boat in Ha Long Bay, trekking in Sapa, exploring temples in Hue, canyoning in Da Lat and sandboarding in Mui Ne.

Vietnam.
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Vietnam. Photo Credit: Where Goes Rose?

Cape Verde, Africa

Recommended by Paulina on the Road

Cape Verde, also known as Cabo Verde, is located on the North-Western coast of Africa. It gives you an amazing holiday experience on a very minimal budget. The place is the combination of all the things from relaxing beach, adventures, celebrations like weddings and birthdays and more. Precisely, the archipelago has something for everyone; where the archipelago means a group of islands. 

You can travel to this destination at a low cost because the traveling, accommodation, and food are very pocket friendly. It is comparatively a cheap destination where you can get a lot for what you pay. The average daily budget for your vacation will be around $124 including food and travel. It is a great place for families, as well as couples because they can get cheap hotels easily. 

Visiting the island on a ferry ride is the most economic option to have a budget-friendly journey. You can stay in guest houses and can enjoy meals with families. This also saves a lot of your budget. It is best to visit the place with family because of the stunning beaches, beautiful sunshine, and affordable hotel accommodation. 

Whether you are with your family or a group of friends, there are a lot of things to do in Cape Verde. You can enjoy horse riding at Santa Maria beach, jump on a dune buggy in Boa Vista, explore Santo and Island, and can have a great stay at The Budha Beach Hotel.  

Cape Verde.
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Cape Verde. Photo Credit: Paulina on the Road

Jodhpur, India

Recommended by Mayuri from Fernwehrahee

Jodhpur- known as the Blue City of India is famous for its blue houses, forts, and desert safaris. Jodhpur is an ideal budget destination for families since it offers traditional tours as well as adventure activities. If you are visiting India on Budget, Jodhpur is one of the budget destinations as you can spend a day easily at 80$-100$ per family including stay and Sightseeing cost.

One of the Top Things to do in Jodhpur is visiting Mehran Fort, which is the ancient and largest fort of India built at the hilltop. You can have the best city views of Jodhpur from the fort. If you are traveling with kids, you can go for Zip lining at Mehrangarh Fort. Another prime attraction is Umaid Bhawan Palace which is part of the hotel also. Here the Car Museum is very interesting. Apart from this, you can catch a live musical performance at Jaswant Thada.

If you are visiting Jodhpur for 2 Days, don’t forget to visit the Osian Village. The Golden sand dunes of Thar Desert and driving through it is one of the best and exciting things to do during your family trip. You can take a camel ride in the desert and experience the Rajasthani culture and hospitality. The trip to Jodhpur is incomplete without devouring Rajasthani cuisines. Walkthrough the old city and taste the Dal Bati Churma, Mirchi Vada, Chaat, and Makhaniya Lassi. It is a perfect destination for architecture, culture, food, and history lovers for the family.

Where to Stay: Krishna Prakash Heritage Haveli [best views of the fort], Fern Residency and Kankariya Heritage are good places to stay with family.

Jodhpur, India with Mehrangarh Fort.
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The blue city of Jodhpur with Mehrangarh Fort in the background.

Colombia, South America

Recommended by Daniel James from Layer Culture

When looking for the best budget destinations for families around the world, many people don’t imagine Colombia as a holiday destination but for the family who is looking to ‘get away from it all’ and enjoy a multitude of surprises, Colombia has so much to offer.

Expect everything from secluded beach islands, mountain hikes, tropical jungles, and colonial cities, most of which are catered to families who travel with kids as well as young adults. When it comes to food, you can get by comfortably on less than $20 and feed a family of four by taking advantage of the ‘menu del dia’ which you find in most cities and towns.

Escape the capital city of Bogota and head for Cartagena which has many options depending on what your specific travel budget is. In fact, Cartagena is one of the best places to visit in Colombia for families who are looking to enjoy the sun, sand, and sea of the Caribbean but on a modest budget. By staying in the walled city you can easily access attractions such as Playa Blanca and Castillo de San Felipe to learn about the rich history of the city and the largest fortresses built by the Spanish in the Americas.

All in all, Colombia has something for everyone, it is just a case of knowing where to go and sticking to the popular tourist destinations.

Columbia.
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Entrance to the walled city in Cartagena . Photo Credit: Layer Culture.

South Africa

Recommended by Roxanne from Faraway Worlds

With wild animals, beautiful beaches and a diverse cultural heritage, South Africa is an ideal budget destination for families. English speaking with a wide range of Western food choices, South Africa is very accessible, even if you have fussy eaters in the family. If this is your first time travelling in South Africa, you may be a little concerned about safety, however if you listen to locals and take normal safety precautions, you should have an amazing trip.

South Africa is a relatively affordable destination (average daily travel cost is $90 per adult) but you do want to rent a car to get around. You’ll likely to fly into Johannesburg so take a day or two to visit the delicious and affordable Neighbourhoods Market, the Apartheid Museum and, if you have children, the Gold Reef City amusement park just across the road. Also be sure to visit Cape Town, a coastal city at the foot of Table Mountain. Drive to Cape Point to see where the Indian and Atlantic Oceans meet, stopping at Boulders Beach and penguin sanctuary along the way.

The biggest highlight of any trip to South Africa is going on safari in the Kruger National Park. The all-inclusive game lodges just outside the park are usually good value for money. If you’re on a budget, camp in the park and drive around yourself. Either way, seeing the lions, elephants and giraffes in the natural habitat will be a truly memorable experience for you and your family.

Cape Town Waterfront. Budget destinations for families
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Cape Town Waterfront. Photo Credit: Faraway Worlds.

Brazil, South America

Recommended by Bruna from I Heart Brazil

While Brazil is the most expensive country in South America, there are countless cities and towns worth visiting that are far from being expensive. Usually, it is cheaper to enter the country flying to Rio de Janeiro or São Paulo, but once you get there, be sure to head over to offbeat spots to save money. Thanks to the 5-to-1 exchange rate, you can easily travel to Brazil on a shoestring budget.

Namely, the average daily costs for someone on a budget is between $55-70/day. For instance, a hearty meal will cost $5, tops, a family room in local inns, $40, public transport and Uber are also very affordable in the country. That isn’t much when compared to most countries out there. 

Besides, Brazil is an excellent destination for families because it offers a complete combo: beautiful beaches, waterfalls, small towns, nature, hearty food, good weather, and of course, Brazilian culture. If you’re looking for things to do or places to visit in the country, you might want to consider visiting the Dutch-inspired town of Holambra, hiking to Brazil’s only fjord in Paraty, or spotting wildlife in Bonito.

Whatever your family does, you’re bound to have an incredible time in Brazil!

Brazil
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São Paulo, Brazil. Photo credit: I Heart Brazil.

Guatemala, Central America

Recommended by Maartje from The Orange Backpack

Guatemala in Central America has everything you’d want from your family vacation: charming towns, adventurous jungle, impressive volcanoes, Mayan temples and great food. And you don’t even need a big budget for that!

You can definitely find ways to spend big amounts of money in Guatemala, if you’re looking for boutique resorts or expensive restaurants. But even a small travel budget for Guatemala will get you pretty far. Accommodation can be quite cheap, and you won’t even have to stay in dorm rooms in hostels for that. Our cheapest hotel was – converted to our currency – 28 euros ($34.29) a night for a big bedroom and a shared kitchen and bathroom.

Tours might be your first choice to skip when traveling on a budget, especially with a family as you pay per person. Hiking one of the volcanos though is something you can’t miss in Guatemala. The Acatenango is the biggest volcano attraction, close to the popular town of Antigua. You’d pay around 125 USD per person to join a two-day tour. Some smaller hikes can be done without a guide and might suit families better. Hiking to the viewpoint of the Santiaguito volcano is a good example.

Besides volcano tours, the best attractions are free or much more affordable. Like visiting ancient Mayan ruins, walking the colorful cobblestone streets of Antigua or kayaking in the Rio Dulce jungle.

Acatenango Volcano
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Acatenango Volcano. Photo Credit: The Orange Backpack

Iran, Middle East

Recommended by Linn Haglund of Brainy Backpackers

Iran is one of the most underrated countries to travel to, but it actually makes an amazing destination for a family vacation. The country is extremely cheap to travel around, and you can easily spend 25 Euros (~$30) a day per person on average if you choose budget accommodation, but even by upgrading, it won’t break the bank. This includes public transport, entrance to tourist sites like mosques and historic houses and even the more expensive desert tours, making Iran one of the best budget destinations for families.

Iran is also an extremely safe country to travel in and the locals are said to be some of the friendliest in the world, something you’ll experience first-hand once you set foot in the country. Some of the top places you should add to your Iran itinerary are Isfahan for its mesmerizing mosques and tea houses, Kashan for its traditional historic houses and historic Bazaar, Shiraz for its colorful mosques, and Garmeh desert oasis for a unique desert experience.

You can also head down south to the islands of Hormuz and Quesm for a completely different vibe. If your family likes to hit the mountains, Tehran is the perfect gateway to the Alborz mountain range where you can do short, yet stunning day hikes or even multi-day treks with guides.

Agha Bozorg Mosque Kashan, Iran
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Agha Bozorg Mosque Kashan, Iran. Photo Credit: Linn from Brainy Backpackers

Athens, Greece

Recommended by Dymphe from Dymabroad

If you are looking for great budget destinations for families, then you should definitely consider Athens in Greece! Whether you are just one day in Athens or are there for a longer time, this city is amazing! The history, food and culture are very impressive. Furthermore, compared to many other European cities, Athens is considerably cheaper to stay. There are many accommodations that are affordable and food is relatively cheap.

Also, there is a good metro network in Athens, which allows you to stay a bit further from the center of the city where accommodation is much cheaper. Per person you will probably spend between €40/$50 – €60/$70 per day here, including meals, sights, and accommodation. Also, Athens is very family-friendly! Especially the city centre is good for families because there are many car-free zones, so it is safe for kids to run around.

One of the top things to do for families in Athens includes visiting the Acropolis. The Acropolis is an old citadel from Ancient Greece, where many important buildings were. Nowadays you can still visit the Parthenon. Going here is very interesting because the Parthenon looks spectacular and the history is very impressive. Another one of the best things to do in Athens is making a visit to the changing of the guard at Syntagma Square. In front of the parliament building you’ll find guards dressed in traditional clothing as they perform a change of shift ritual.

The Parthenon, Athens, Greece.
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Parthenon, Athens. Photo Credit: Dymabroad

Albania, Balkans

Recommended by Anuradha from Country Hopping Couple

Albania is certainly not the country that hits your mind when you think of a family vacation in Europe. In fact, with an image that Hollywood movies had set, Albania will not be in the radar of many tourists. But after having visited the country twice with kids on a family vacation, I can safely say Albania is one of the most gorgeous, safe, pocket friendly country and an offbeat destination in Europe.  Transport, accommodation and food are not very expensive in Albania. 

The country is not very developed in terms of the infrastructure and public transport, hence hiring a car is the best option, which costs approximately £10 ($13.50) a day. You can score a decent mid-range holiday apartment or stay for £20-£25 (~$27-33). Although during the summer months, the prices along Albanian riviera goes up. Food is not expensive either, since a lot of restaurants are run by small families. 

Whether you want to explore the mountains, national parks, lakes, cities, or the stunning Albanian riviera, as a traveller, you are spoilt with plenty of choices. For a cityscape and buzzing atmosphere, a visit to Tirana is a must. If you want to escape to the mountains, you can take Europe’s longest cable car to Dajti Mountains, which is located closer to Tirana. Visit Gjirokaster and Berat, beautiful towns that are the remaining examples of Ottomon architecture. Soak in the pristine beaches of Sarande or Ksamil islands if you are looking for a beach holiday.

Albania is a complete package for all kinds of travelers, and you will not be disappointed. 

Albania, budget destinations for families.
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Albania. Photo Credit: Country Hopping Couple

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Budget destinations for families around the globe to make your family vacation dreams a reality without breaking the bank.
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19 Comments »

  1. Great job. I think one of the main reasons people don’t travel as much as they want is because of the expense. Bringing the kids always adds to the cost. Great advice of finding affordable ways to vacation.

  2. I love how you included some unique and unusual places like Bosnia, Iran, and Albania. Not too many solo travelers even think about those places more or less than families! I think it is also neat that you included a wide range of budgets. Cause I would have never thought of New Zealand, or South Africa as a Budget destination compared to Vietnam, Myanmar, or India. But everyone travels differently and everyone sees money differently as well.

    • Off the beaten path destinations are my favorite! And finding ones that are inexpensive is even better! I agree, people set different budgets and are willing to spend more/less, so looking at some of these places in a different way I think can be very helpful. I think a lot of it has to do with planning and how you spread your budget out as well.

  3. Oh damn! Tell me about it. Now that my gal is already 2, her flight ticket prices is almost 3/4th the price of adult ticket and an intercontinental flight is so damn expensive now. And yeah, gone are the days of hostels, now its mostly airbnbs with kitchen!
    Athens in Europe definitely worked out economical for us. Thanks for the tip about Balkans and Bosnia & Herzegovina, I hadn’t considered it so far, but now I’m gonna look into those 2. Vietnam and Srilanka are definitely on my wishlist of Asia, to visit once I move back to India.

    • It is such a sad time when you realize your child has outgrown the free ticket stage and you have to start paying for them! I would always take the increased prices over not traveling, but it certainly does make it more difficult! I’m glad you found it helpful and hope you are able to make it to those destinations in the future!

  4. Great list! I spent almost 9 months in Colombia partially thanks to the Pandemic. I can whole heartily recommend Colombia. My second favourite country in the world after my own country of course 🙂

  5. My family and I were just talking about hopes for 2021 — and they definitely include travel! I’m not sure when we’ll feel safe getting on a plane again, but in the meantime I’m dreaming of these amazing family vacation destinations.

  6. This is a great list with some wonderful destinations on here! I don’t have kids but I’m taking note of some of these destinations for my own travels! I’m surprised Bali and Athens are both so reasonably priced! I’ll have to bump them up the list! Thanks for the great guide!

  7. Great suggestions for a family vacation. It’s great that you also give budget options. It’s important in times of a pandemic. I would love to visit Iran, Bali and Colombia most from your list.

  8. We are always looking for budget travel destinations, especially now that we are about to welcome our first little baby into the family! I can attest to Cape Verde as being a great destination. I lived there for 2 years as a volunteering and it is both safe and affordable. Would love to go back one day with the husband and kiddoes.

  9. What a great resources for families looking to plan a holiday that doesn’t break the bank. This is a fantastic collaborative post with such a variety of destinations included. It just shows that families can still visit some interesting and less touristy places. Sri Lanka sounds particularly affordable. I would never have thought about these places before reading this post, thank you!

  10. I hear you! We travel with two kids now and we definitely have changed the way we travel a little bit. I have noticed that we end up taking a lot more road trips now which are easy, flexible and more affordable with kids. It is of course a huge plus, if the destination itself if not so expensive when we have to first pay for the flights and accommodation. After this crazy year of pandemic, I would love to take off to any of the places you suggested. They seem amazing!

  11. I absolutely love all the destinations you have mentioned. I so wanted to go to Mexico last year but unfortunately it was cancelled and I do hope I get to go there soon. The expenses can become very high for people traveling with families and it is interesting that some of the destinations mentioned here can be done on budget.

  12. Bali was my last international trip at the end of 2018 (boooooooooooooooo) then came COVID. Your spot on that it is affordable. I found it silly cheap just like Thailand. And, it’s stunning:) Nikki

    • Destinations like Bali and Indonesia always amaze me, when comparing to many of the places that I have visited that do not have anywhere near the beauty but are so much more expensive. It is all about traveling smart!

  13. Loved reading your post as to maintain budget with family on travels is highly essential. Good to know some beautiful places in the world which are budget friendly and equally beautiful too. Never knew Sicily is little bit budget friendly compared to other parts of Northern Italy as I thought Italy is always so expensive. But now I would also go for it with my family. Also I am fascinated by Sarjeo, Bosnia and good to know it is also a family destination. I would recommend Georgia too is very less expensive and suitable for family travel.

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