Top 5 Cheap Family Vacation Destinations

From an eye-opening journey through history to a cheap beach vacation, we have five frugal, family-friendly suggestions for your next getaway. Keep things simple or pack your itinerary full of items. Just remember, with our vast selection of affordable condos and homes, all destinations are cheap family vacation destinations on Vacation Rentals.com.

1. Chattanooga, Tennessee

Lookout Mountain ChattanoogaSinging along to Glen Miller’s big-band number “Chattanooga Choo Choo” isn’t nearly as fun as living the lyrics on the Missionary Ridge Local, one of Chattanooga, Tennessee's original trains. Kids can go chugging for just $8. After a couple of hours at the Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum, head over to Lookout Mountain and discover Ruby Falls, an underground waterfall, and Rock City, the stunning site of age-old rock formations and lovely native gardens. Each adult will spend only 30 bucks total on these spectacular natural attractions.

If you’ve got little and eager-to-learn ones in tow, take them to the Creative Discovery Museum, where they'll dig for dino bones and experience an “electric” time at the plasma ball – for only $9. But the highlight of your cheap family vacation in Chattanooga might be the several thousand animals at the Tennessee Aquarium, the anchor of downtown Chattanooga. Adult admission to the aquarium costs about $21, but kids get in for $14.95. For even more underwater fun, watch a larger-than-life nature doco at the nearby IMAX 3D Theater. And don't forget, you can even enjoy a cheap beach vacation here, as Chattanooga sits pretty on the river. Ready to go? Find cheap vacation deals on Chattanooga vacation rentals right now.

2. Williamsburg, Virginia

Moms and dads sometimes have to sneakily slip nutrition into their child’s diet, or education into their entertainment (think Flintstones vitamins and “Sesame Street”); and, well, a cheap family vacation to Williamsburg, Virginia helps them do a similar thing on a much larger scale. At theme parks like Busch Gardens Williamsburg and Water Country USA, everyone’s sure to have a blast. Mix in some sightseeing of colonial homes and plantations, a walk through the Jamestown Settlement, a trip to the DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Gallery (featuring antiques, weapons, and costumes), and a day of 18th century living at Colonial Williamsburg – and your kids won’t know what hit them! Although passes to Busch Gardens and Water Country USA range from $34 to $59 each, depending on a park goer’s age, Vacation Rentals.com’s cheap vacation deals on Williamsburg lodging allow you to afford all the fun (and history, shhh!) the city has to offer.

3. St Louis, Missouri

“New York City” and “cheap family vacation” are completely conflicting concepts, so that’s why we’re offering up St Louis as an affordable alternative for all you city lovers out there. Ride to the top of the St Louis Arch instead of the Statue of Liberty. Play all day at Forest Park, packed with free attractions, instead of the much smaller Central Park. And make memories at the hands-on City Museum instead of falling asleep at the Metropolitan Museum of Art (hey, we know it’s a classic, but it’s not super kid-friendly). Need some skyscrapers? Stare up at the world’s first, St Louis’ Wainwright Building. There’s also the St Louis Zoo, with everything from penguins to great apes. The best part of all is admission to the zoo is free. So, what on earth could you be waiting for? Your bills to get cheaper? Take a look at our cheap family vacation rentals in St Louis.

4. San Diego, California

San Diego ZooIt gets a little crowded here, but San Diego has all the better ingredients of other cheap family vacation destinations. Especially if you’ve got a kid who wants to be a vet when they grow up. See Shamu at SeaWorld, a panda bear at the San Diego Zoo, and then head out on a safari at the San Diego Wild Animal Park. You could easily dish out about a hundred bucks per person when it’s all said and done, but remember, we’ve got lots of cheap beach vacation rentals in San Diego to help you save. As well, you don’t have to do it all. If you devote your whole vacation to only one of these attractions, we assure you the kids will feel satisfied. When you’re not riding a roller coaster or hanging out with a giraffe, check out the entrancing Museum of Man and take an anthological journey for just $10. San Diego also boasts excellent golfing, surfing, kayaking, and possibly the best Mexican food you've ever eaten.

5. Grand Canyon, Arizona

One of the world’s seven wonders also makes for a cheap vacation. $25 gets you an entire week at the park. Hiking and biking in the South Rim are the typical touristy activities, but even if you’ve got a baby or toddler in your group, plenty of Grand Canyon attractions will keep you occupied– like a steam powered tour of the desert and plains on the Grand Canyon Railway, a movie at the Grand Canyon IMAX Theater, and the Skywalk, a glass bridge that invites you to see what the canyon looks like from a bird’s POV. These family-friendly experiences will start to add up, money wise, but since you’re paying barely anything to visit the natural wonderland in the first place, it’s well worth it. Plus, our cheap vacation rentals at the Grand Canyon give you lots of room to loosen your purse strings at the park. If you’ve got some leftover cash, tour the park on a mule, or raft the Colorado River.

Vacation Rentals.com features rentals in all kinds of cheap family vacation destinations, so start looking today!

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