Parents of young children know that planning a vacation to include their little ones can be difficult. Orlando, Florida might immediately come to mind, with visions of your kids interacting with Mickey Mouse as you post the entire encounter to Instagram. However, those images are often short-lived once price is considered, and the hour-long ride lines with screaming toddlers are enough to quash any parent’s vacation dreams. While Mickey’s magic is nothing short of amazing, parents planning vacations need not break the bank to create long-lasting vacation memories for their little ones. Below are some alternative destinations that can be enjoyed by the whole family.
Myrtle Beach often tops the list of family vacation destinations. With several interactive mini golf courses, family-friendly entertainment, and the giant natural sandbox on the Atlantic Ocean, it is easy to see why families flock to this coastal city. Lodging is available to fit any budget, and hotels like Marina Inn at Grande Dunes tend to offer package deals to include entertainment and/or dining. With a wide selection of entertainment options, and even some adult-friendly golf courses and spas, there truly is something for the whole family in Myrtle Beach.
Washington D.C. might be a dream destination for history-loving families, but like a Disney vacation, it comes with a hefty price tag. Also, the city’s rich American history lesson might be better enjoyed by older children. As an alternative, families who are either on a budget, or bringing young children along should consider St. Augustine, Florida. A history lesson and beach destination all in one, the city claims to be the oldest city in America, boasting a rich Spanish colonial history with well-preserved 17th century architecture. With a variety of museums and attractions and countless family-friendly tours, parents and children will enjoy an activity-packed itinerary without breaking the bank.
As all parents know, kids are fascinated by amusement parks. The long lines and overpriced tickets do not seem to faze kids, as their focus stays mainly on the 15-story roller coasters that await. While Disney, Busch Gardens, and Dollywood tend to draw huge crowds, Branson, Missouri’s Silver Dollar City and White Water parks should not be dismissed. Similar to Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, Branson offers a wide selection of entertainment and dining options and a large number of hotels to fit any family’s budget. As an added bonus, Branson is located on Table Rock Lake, offering families the ability to spend quality outdoor time with each other without spending every vacation dollar on amusement park thrills.
A theme that runs through each of the above alternative vacation destinations is the focus on spending quality time as a family. Parents need not spend exorbitant amounts of money to create a fun-filled vacation for their children. Consider renting a lake house for the weekend, camping at a state park, or even creating a stay-cation touring your hometown’s museums and restaurants.