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  • Writer's pictureRachel Smith

Best Budget-Friendly Family Vacations to Take in 2023

Photo Courtesy of Wix

Booking an affordable vacation is hard enough, but finding one that the kids will also enjoy can feel impossible. If you’re on the hunt for a budget-friendly family vacation this summer, try one of these five amazing (and amazingly affordable) destinations.

1. Carolina Beach, North Carolina

The Outer Banks is beautiful, but hotels fill up fast and prices are high. If you’re looking for an alternative with the same gorgeous views and endless activities, try Carolina Beach. For a family of four, most beachfront hotels are between $1,000-1,500 for a full week. Spend a day playing games on the boardwalk, exploring Carolina Beach State Park, or paddleboarding through Cape Fear River.

2. Acadia National Park, Maine

If you’re looking to get the family off the grid for a while, there’s no place like Maine. The area surrounding Acadia National Park hosts infinite campgrounds between $30-50 a night, many with cabins or campers available for rent. With miles of trails for hikers of all abilities, countless lakes and ponds to swim in, and breathtaking mountaintop views, this trip is fun for the whole family. But if a break from the trees is ever needed, Bar Harbor is a short drive away for music, boutiques, and fresh blueberry ice cream.

3. Branson, Missouri

From live music to amusement parks to museums, Branson has it all. Local attractions include the massive Silver Dollar City for the kids, shopping along the outdoor mall at Branson Landing and boat rides at sunset on Lake Taneycomo. And with local hotels averaging between $800-1,500 for a week in the summer, it’s the perfect vacation that won’t break the bank.

4. Zion National Park, Utah

With plenty of flat trails, scenic drives, and rivers to splash in, Zion National Park is another great destination to disconnect and relax. Campgrounds within the park are only $30 a night, though glamping in a local cabin or yurt is always an option. Try either the Lower or Upper Emerald Trails for picturesque waterfalls and swimming holes anyone will love to unwind (and splash) in.

5. Humboldt County, California

If you’re dreaming of the West Coast but not the price tag, try exploring the areas around Redwood National and State Parks in Humboldt County. Camping is an option, but local hotels are also available for around $200-400 a night. Your kids will love the giant redwood trees, warm shores of Gold Bluff Beach, and bustling downtown of Ferndale, the Victorian Village.

Memories are priceless, but let’s be real – vacations aren’t! This summer, give your family the trip of their dreams without breaking the bank by trying one of these budget-friendly family vacation destinations.

Rachel Rebecca Smith is a graduate student at James Madison University. After earning a BA in Writing, Rhetoric, and Technical Communication at JMU, she decided to return to the program for her Master’s. She will graduate with her MA in WRTC this May.

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