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Planning a family getaway? Taking your entire family on vacation can be costly, but these budget-friendly hotels may make that escape you’ve been dreaming of more doable. There is a little something for everyone, from tropical all-inclusive hotels to cozy mountain getaways.
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Less than an hour by plane from Miami, not only can you frequently score cheap Bahamas flights, but staying at the Breezes Resort & Spa is an outstanding budget alternative to all of those pricey all-inclusive resorts that average $500 or more a night. Guests have access to a wide range of amenities for less than half that price, and there is no tipping allowed either. You’ll find three outdoor pools, a swim-up bar with submerged seating, and get direct access to the unspoiled white sands of Cable Beach. Nightly entertainment, sailing, rock climbing and more are all included, and there are five dining options, including a diverse buffet and a la carte options, along with four bars.
The Magdalena Grand Beach & Golf Resort, set among a virgin mangrove forest and lush tropical vegetation, offers the ultimate island escape at a more affordable price. It includes lots of family-friendly features, like three large swimming pools and an activity-packed kids’ club where little ones will have the chance to learn about Tobago’s green, leatherback and hawksbill turtles. A free shuttle will bring you to popular Pigeon Point beach, while the complimentary buffet breakfast offers lots of tasty hot items, including an omelet station. Rooms feature ocean view balconies and even marble baths, along with numerous dining and drinking options, including a piano bar and a coffee shop.
Cozumel is considered one of the Western Hemisphere’s top diving destinations. If you want to explore this spectacular underwater world without shelling out an arm and a leg, El Cozumeleno, facing the Caribbean Sea directly on a white sand beach, is an affordable all-inclusive resort that can help make that a reality. The spacious rooms feature terraces and balconies with garden or sea views, while you’ll probably be spending most of your time in the water, diving, swimming and snorkeling. There are five swimming pools too, including one with the swim-up bar.
Waterside Inn offers you the chance to soak up the small-town charm of this serene island destination off the Virginia coast that’s home to wild ponies, foxes and more than 320 species of birds. If you time your visit right, you can watch the wild horses swim across the channel during the annual Pony Swim, which typically occurs in late July. The Waterside Inn is an ideal place to base your stay, with cheap room rates and a family atmosphere. It hosts its own pier for fishing and crabbing, a marina and a seasonal outdoor heated pool that overlooks Chincoteague Channel.
Yellowstone is a massive, nearly 4,000-square-mile park that is home to fascinating geothermal features, including hot springs, mud pots and geysers, than anywhere else on Earth. Here you can be mesmerized by the most famous, Old Faithful, which shoots steam as high as 185 feet into the sky every 90 minutes, along with many other lesser-known geysers, mud pots and brilliant multi-colored hot springs like Grand Prismatic Spring, named for its striking array of colors that match the rainbow dispersion of white light by an optical prism of orange, yellow, red, green and blue. The park is also famous for its wildlife, with an abundance of bison, elk and Bighorn sheep, along with wolves and bears. By staying just outside the park, you’ll find multiple budget-friendly options, like Kelly Inn West Yellowstone just a 10-minute walk or complimentary shuttle from Yellowstone National Park. The rustic rooms and suites feature pine-log furniture, flat-screen TVs and pillowtop mattresses, while upgraded rooms have pull-out sofas. Unwind with a dip in the indoor pool or relax in the hot tub and sauna.
Cape Hatteras Island offers a budget-friendly beach vacation, with a multitude of tranquil stretches of sand to relax on as well as the chance to enjoy more active pursuits like scuba diving, surfing, standup paddleboarding and fishing. You can stroll the pristine shore, search for seashells and other treasures, then visit Cape Hatteras Lighthouse, one of the most famous lighthouses in the United States. Stay at the highly-rated and inexpensive Lighthouse View Oceanfront Lodging, where you’ll find cozy rooms with mini-fridges, cable TV and coffeemakers, while upgraded rooms include furnished decks with lighthouse views and kitchenettes. Soak up the sunshine at the private beach, then enjoy the on-site pool, sundeck and hot tub.
Although this Playa del Carmen hotel includes “liquor drips” with free tequila right in your hotel room, it’s not a destination for spring breakers, as no parties are allowed in rooms and no wild partying can happen on the property either. It does, however, offer a memorable vacation at a budget price, surrounded by tropical palms on a beautiful powdery white sand beach. The buffet restaurant serves up a wide variety of dishes, while themed international restaurants and live cooking shows are included in the all-inclusive packages. You can also swim in the freshwater pool set right next to the sea and indulge in pampering treatments and massages at Renova Spa. Entertainment is offered daily and includes dancing, live music and shows.
The White Mountains are considered the crown jewel of New Hampshire. They’re home to the highest peak in the Northeast and filled with pristine lakes and dense forest. By staying at the American Mountain Club’s rustic Highland Center Lodge, you’ll have access to all types of activities, including guided hikes to the Presidential peaks while learning about the area’s geology, nature and picking up some outdoor skills. Make a splash in the pools underneath Arethusa or Ripley Falls, or go rock climbing at nearby Frankenstein Cliffs. The lodge itself serves hearty home-cooked meals that will refuel you for more adventures, with all meals included in the room rates,
A family-friendly property along the beautiful shores of Choc Bay in St. Lucia, the St. James Club hosts a half-dozen restaurants, four swimming pools, a water sports pavilion and a fantastic kids’ club along with the impressive Tranquility Body & Soul Spa that overlooks the Caribbean. Treatments include massage and reflexology, salt glow scrubs, deep cleansing facials, and detox seaweed wraps. Despite the long list of amenities, its all-inclusive rates can’t be beaten anywhere on this island. Rates include food and drink at all of its eateries, along with a wide range of entertainment and activities. All rooms have a private balcony or terrace, and many come with full ocean views.
Moon Palace Resort is a huge all-inclusive that lies along the Mayan Riviera in Cancun. There are modern rooms to choose from, all featuring the usual amenities and then some. Kids and adults alike will appreciate the massive on-site pool, water park and swim-up bar along with multiple dining options, a mini-golf course, tennis court and one of the top kids’ clubs in the region. There are separately designed rooms that serve as various entertainment purposes, including a mini racetrack, mini-theater, arcade and art room. Perfect for a day of relaxation, parents can also visit the resort’s on-site spa for a luxurious body treatment.
Virginia Beach offers nearly 30 miles of beaches and three miles of boardwalk to stroll along with a wide range of attractions like the Virginia Aquarium and Marine Science Center which showcases marine life like sharks, rays and sea turtles. Although it’s not right on the beach, the Founders Inn and Spa offers an affordable stay that includes a kids’ playground and an outdoor pool with a 25-foot-high covered waterslide and another indoor pool. Rooms come with modern amenities like flat-screen TVs, free Wi-Fi, mini-fridges and coffeemakers.
Hilton Head offers pleasant spring temperatures for enjoying the beaches and activities like kayaking, stand-up paddleboarding, parasailing, horseback rides and golfing. There’s over a dozen championship golf courses and more than 50 miles of scenic hiking and biking trails along with value-priced hotels like the Holiday Inn Resort Beach House. It provides a refreshing coastal retreat for families just steps away from Hilton Head Island’s Coligny Beach on the most desirable strip of South Carolina’s shores. The onsite restaurant serves up delicious cuisine, along with breathtaking views of the Atlantic.
Puerto Rico offers a gorgeous slice of Caribbean at affordable prices – plus, as a U.S. commonwealth, no passports are needed and flights from the mainland are relatively inexpensive too. Enjoy the exotic vibe with pristine sandy beaches, wildlife-filled tropical rainforests and a private island stay at El Conquistador. Overlooking the Atlantic, it has its own water park, waterslides, pools and a lazy river for the whole family. Rooms are extra spacious and feature flat-screen TVs – most come with ocean view balconies. Book the inclusive package and you have won’t to worry about constantly pulling out your wallet with rates that include access to the spa, games, golf, entertainment, dining and more.
South Padre Island offers a fun and inexpensive family vacation with plenty of affordable hotels, including the popular Pearl South Padre Resort which hosts oceanfront rooms and a palm-lined swimming pool overlooking the Gulf of Mexico. The Beachside Bar & Grill is great for dining while gazing out at the waves, featuring a special Friday night seafood brunch, Saturday dinner specials and a Sunday brunch. If you visit during the summer, the little ones can take advantage of the kids’ camp too. Everyone in the family will appreciate the access to over 60 miles of driveable beach along the Padre Island National Seashore, ideal for wading, fishing, dolphin watching, sandcastle building, beachcombing and more.
Located on the beach in Cabo, the Royal Solaris is among the most popular option for families when it comes to both affordability and perks. Enjoy multiple dining options, relaxing spa treatments and a beautiful, large outdoor pool. The property hosts everything from four dinner shows every week to special themed nights and a kids’ club with water slides, kites and dancing lessons allowing parents to relax while the younger ones play. The beach isn’t swimmable, but it’s the perfect place to unwind with plenty of space and loungers underneath thatched umbrellas.