Looking for affordable and family friendly locations? Y Travel Blog and Skyscanner Australia have teamed up to share these seven destinations that won’t break the bank.
Travel doesn’t have to stop once you have kids, but with extra bums to put on flights and mouths to feed, your travel budget can get blown out real quick.
One strategy to make family travel more affordable is visiting places that give you more bang for your buck. Places like London, New York City and Hong Kong are popular for a reason, but they don’t come cheap.
Below is a list of affordable and family-friendly destinations in different regions of the world, depending on where you live. The key is to find cheap flights, but if you are flexible on dates you can find some good deals.
Our recent family trip to Boracay has us longing to explore more of the Philippines. Boracay Island reminded us of Thailand fifteen years ago, except for the famous White Beach that was still a little hectic, and if someone were to ask for my recommendations for a great Asian family holiday, I’d recommend Boracay over the more popular Phuket or Bali.
White Beach (known as one of the best beaches in Asia) is broken up into three sections called Stations, and is definitely worth a visit with lots of activity, and incredible sunsets. Don't limit yourself to just White Beach though, there's plenty of others that are worth a visit such as Punta Bunga Beach (where we stayed), Puka Beach, Diniwid Beach (home to the famous Spider House for sunset drinks) and Ilig Iligan Beach.
Other places to consider in the Philippines include Palawan, Cebu, and Bohol. But with over 7,000 islands, there’s endless opportunities.
Europe doesn't immediately spring to mind when you think of affordable family destinations, but one place worth considering is Portugal, especially if you want to avoid the more crowded resorts and cities of other Western European countries and their higher prices.
Portugal offers historic cities and charming towns like Lisbon, Porto, Evora, Coimbra, and Aveiro (often called “the Venice of Portugal), rolling hills and wine country, dramatic cliffs, and delicious food.
For beautiful beaches, picturesque towns, and yummy cuisine the Algarve is one of the most popular places to visit in Portugal. Alternatively, consider Alentejo for cheap and delicious seafood.
Vietnam is another well-known budget destination in South East Asia that remains good value for western visitors. It's an accommodating destination for families and sure to please those looking for diverse landscapes, cheap cuisine, beautiful beaches, jungles, charming cities and towns and bustling markets.
Fly into Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC) in the south, a charming urban center known for its French Colonial buildings, timeless alleys, food stalls (a must eat dish is Pho - traditional Vietnamese noodle soup), chaotic street scenes and the nearby Cu Chi Tunnels. There's a range of accommodation including affordable guest houses, and as for markets, District 1's Ben Thanh Market is the most famous along with Tan Dinh, or the Ben Thanh night market.
Then explore the rest of Vietnam, with highlights including the waterways and paddy fields of the Mekong Delta, charming Hoi An, beaches of Nha Trang, historic Hanoi, Halong Bay and Sapa in the north.
Washington D.C, United States
If your family is into history, monuments, and museums, Washington D.C. is surprisingly affordable. Whilst The President may live here, that doesn’t mean you need a champagne budget and a visit to D.C. doesn't have to break the bank as most of the museums and popular monuments are free!
Free attractions include the Smithsonian Museums, Library of Congress, US Capitol Building, and Supreme Court. And you can walk around the National Mall checking out the Washington Monument, Abraham Lincoln Memorial, World War II Memorial, and Vietnam War Memorial. Or wander the streets of historic Georgetown to look at the colorful homes and cobble-stoned streets.
Listen: The couple who retired in their 30s to travel the world.
Kids will especially enjoy the Pilgrim Observation Gallery, National Air and Space Museum, National Zoo (also free) and the National Geographic Museum.
D.C. is easy to get around on foot, by the Metro, or on the Circulator bus. Grab some cheap eats from the food trucks - find them around C Street, Farragut Square or Franklin Square, and rates for hotels usually drop in April and August when Congress is away on recess and on weekends as the bureaucrats and business people leave the city.
Burleigh Heads, Australia
I wouldn't normally recommend an Australian town as a budget destination, but Australia has never looked better from a travel perspective. Flight prices have plummeted and the Aussie dollar is much weaker, meaning travelers can get more bang for their buck. Competition is also helping to lower the prices of accommodation, tours and eating out.
The Gold Coast is Australia's premier family destination, and Burleigh has the best all wrapped up in one small bohemian beachside town. Burleigh Beach is family friendly with lot's of free things on offer such as BBQ's and picnic areas, playgrounds, walks in the National Park and nearby Hinterland. Burleigh has a flourishing coffee, food, and craft beer culture, making it a hip place for young families and older travelers. To get the best deals on flights visit outside of peak school holiday periods.
My sister and her family just returned from Fiji and remarked how wonderful it is for an affordable and family friendly destination for those that want time-out to relax, and if you're flying from Australia, it's easily accessible. The hospitality is legendary and the local Fijians will love your kids like their own - many resorts offer kids clubs and nannies.
Fiji is one of the best budget destinations in the Pacific Islands offering stunning sunrises and sunsets, beautiful beaches, world-class snorkeling and diving and every water sport imaginable, and yummy seafood.
Take advantage of the all-inclusive resort packages or kids stay and eat free deals Fiji is known for.
Thailand is a well-known budget destination and lively Bangkok is loved by travelers for its delicious cheap food, affordable shopping at endless markets and malls, shimmering temples and palaces, and friendly locals.
The Grand Palace, Wat Arun and Wat Pho are not to be missed palaces and temples. For shopping head to Siam Square, Siam Discovery, Siam Paragon, Central World, the giant MBK, the Chatuchak weekend market and Chinatown.
Yes, it can be hot and crowded in Bangkok, so to avoid the traffic jump on the BTS Skytrain or the MRT Subway to get around - they are clean, efficient, and air-conditioned - and take a boat cruise down the Chao Phraya River.
Bangkok is a fantastic hub for flights, and once you're done with the city catch a flight to Southern Thailand and enjoy endless white sand beaches and more delicious Thai food as you island hop from one paradise to another.
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