We all need some time off from our everyday routines and stressful lives, so why not invest in a relaxing holiday destination? Take your family to a destination that you can afford yet still enjoy. Where to go on holiday with your family is a question that never stops being asked. Some destinations can be more affordable and easier to travel to than others. So, you want a holiday destination where you can have the ability to do a lot of different activities while also enjoying time with your loved ones.
Affordability is thus a key concern for all travellers. However, there are plenty of places you can go that are affordable. To help you out with your travel planning, this article lists some of the cheapest destinations for you, the different fun activities you can do there, and the requirements for travelling to those destinations.
Affordable family holiday destinations to consider
Holidays are prone to uncertainties. You want to be adequately prepared. The best way to be deal with any sort of holiday disaster is to avoid that disaster in the first place by being well prepared and aware of all the essential factors beforehand, such as your finances; with the help of a travel budget.
With that and more in mind, we’ve put together a list of the best family-friendly destinations around the world, which are both affordable and worth a tour. From shopping havens to epic surfing spots and surprising wildlife habitats, our list has something for everyone – from backpackers to business travellers.
Jordan is a middle-eastern country. It is an Arab nation with a longstanding history and heritage. Jordan is a budget-friendly destination for travellers who want to visit Asian countries. This allows you to enjoy site visits, hiking, enjoying the local cuisine, and visiting the famous sites in the country. The most renowned places here include Petra monuments, the Amman ancient ruins, the Dead Sea, Aqaba, Jerash, Maqaba, Al-khazneh, Salt, Ajloun, Qais, Pella, and Fuheis. Fun activities you should look forward to include:
- Hiking in the Jordan Valley
- Waterfalls exploration in Ma’in
- Visiting the Dead Sea
- Trying out local cuisines
- Desert Safari in Wadi Rum
- Exploring Dana Biosphere Reserve
Jordan authorities have made it possible for travellers to receive their visas on arrival. Ordinarily, a holiday in Jordan will last four to five days.
You may have heard of the famous Himalayas mountain range. Nepal is a more affordable option to get to witness this world-renowned site. Nepal is a south-Asian country with many natural sites, from mountains, valleys, and adventure sports to scenic landscapes. This makes the country a suitable family holiday destination. Travellers can access the country through air or by road. A flight to the beautiful country will cost from INR 4 000. Nepal is also a pilgrimage-rich destination with different Hindu and Buddhist temples in different locations. The places you should look forward to visiting include Kathmandu, Boudhanath, Pokhara, Nagarkot, Namche bazaar, Langtang National Park, and Upper Mustang. Notable things you can do as a family are;
- Mountain biking in Kathmandu
- Trekking across the valleys and landscapes
- Panoramic flights over the Himalayas
- Rafting in Bhote Koshi River
- Paragliding in Pokhara
There are no visa requirements for visiting Nepal. To adequately explore the country, you may need to plan a 5 or 6 days holiday.
Portugal is a European country with several tourist destinations. Travellers can enjoy a family holiday, courtesy of the country’s high-end public facilities, comfortable accommodation, and mouth-watering cuisines. While it is more popular among young travellers, Portugal is great for family holidays. Porto and Lisbon are two places you should consider visiting while you are there. However, Porto is relatively more colourful, laid-back, and has plenty of attractions. While being a small city, it has much to offer, even to kids. It is small enough to walk in with kids as you enjoy the colourful tiles, street musicians and art, pathways and food. Therefore, you won’t have to endure the frustration of strollers while boarding and alighting the subway lines. There are relatively inexpensive dishes you can enjoy with your family. All these activities can be done on a budget, making it an affordable destination.
France is a European country with a long history. It offers world-class museums and historical sites, relaxing beaches with crystal clear waters, diverse cuisine, and vibrant big cities. Paris is the traditional hub of culture and entertainment in France. However, you can explore other options like Lyon. Lyon is 2 hours away from Paris if you take the high-speed train rides. It is more budget-friendly than Paris, which is known for being a high-end travel destination. Reasons why you should consider Lyon for a family holding are – it has fewer visitors making accommodations cheaper than Paris, and the accommodations are more spacious than the tiny rooms offered in Paris for higher prices. Things to do in Lyon include; a visit to the Guignol museum, puppet shows with the historic marionettes, a funicular trip to see the basilica, and visiting the troubles – secret passages used by ancient merchants for transporting goods.
Some of the fun activities you should be looking forward to in France include;
- A cruise along the Seine River. You can get to enjoy different sites through the cruise. For example, you get to go to the place de la Concorde, the Musée D’Orsay, the Louvre, the Notre Dame Cathedral, and other sites. You can choose to take daytime boat tours, nighttime tours (you get to see the monuments as they are lit up), romantic dinner cruises, brunch/lunch cruises, or cabaret shows.
- Visit the great Eiffel Tower. You can get to enjoy watching the sunset behind this magnificent work of historic architecture. You can add to this experience a romantic dinner at one of the Tower’s restaurants – the contemporary-style brasserie (first level) or the Michelin-starred Le Jules Verne gastronomic restaurant (second level). The views will surely be worth remembrance.
- A stroll through the magnificent Paris neighbourhoods from medieval times. These include the Quartier Latin, Le Marais and the Île Saint-Louis.
- Take a pilgrimage to the Abbaye du Mont-Saint-Michel.
- You can also attend a renowned French soirée at the Château de Versailles – from mid-June to mid-September. This event is held at the château’s Grand Apartments (Hercules Room, King’s Guard Room, Hall of the Royal Chapel) and in the Hall of Mirrors.
- Travellers also get to enjoy the French cuisines. Each region has its own cuisine, so there would be many cuisines for you and your family to try out.
- France is known for its incredible beaches. The country has three different coastlines: the Atlantic Ocean, the Mediterranean Sea, and the English Channel. While at it, you can go boats sailing at Sanit-Tropez.
- Ski-lovers can also enjoy some skiing in the beautiful French Alps with their pure white snow and breathtaking scenery.
Indonesia is a south-Asian country stretching across thousands of islands. It is thus suitable for sea-side holidays. As you would imagine, it has numerous public and private beaches to visit, from amazing dining spots to warm beaches where you can laze around on a poolside terrace. Travellers can visit Bali and Jakarta, which are on most people’s bucket lists. Other than the beaches, Indonesia is known for its forest reserves, wildlife reserves, rice fields, and heritage sites. You can expect the following fun activities in Indonesia;
- Island hopping at Raja Ampat Islands
- Surfing at Lombok beach – Lombok is famous among surfers and locals as the place to do extreme sports like surfing, snowboarding, climbing, etc.
- Scuba diving and snorkelling at Bali and Jimbaran Bay
- Sightseeing at Nusa Penida
- Diving at Bunaken
- Hiking on Flores Island
Other places to visit include Ubud, Kuta, Komodo National park, Lovina Beach, Lorentz National Park, and Kintamani. Travellers can get visas on arrival in Indonesia. You can plan on a 5-7 day family holiday in order to get to explore the country at ease.
China has a long history going as far back as a thousand years ago. China has successfully preserved its cultural heritage over years. Even though it is home to some of the oldest attractions on earth, there are plenty of modern-day activities you can enjoy with your family. As such, it is a well-balanced destination showcasing the best of ancient and modern attractions. Tourists can visit the Great Wall of China, Shanghai, Beijing, Hangzhou, Xi An, Guanzhou, Lijiang, Pangong Tso Lake, Wuzhen Zhangye, Jiuzhaigou, Pingyao, and Yangshuo County. Some of the fun-filled activities you can engage in include;
- Exploring the Great Wall of China
- Cable rides at Zhangjiajie
- Hiking in Yangshuo County
- Trekking in Lijiang (the Jade Dragon Snow Mountain)
- Visiting the five flower lakes in Jiuzhaigou
- Exploring the Xihai Grand Canyons
- Shopping in Shanghai and Shenzen
- Visiting the Terracotta army in Xi An
Travellers are required to have their visas before travelling to China. 7-9 days would be enough to satisfactorily explore the fun activities you can do during an affordable family holiday.
Malaysia is home to several waterfalls and natural wonders. It is also known for its diverse cultural heritage – from Chinese, Indian, and European to Malay.
You can head to;
- The capital of Kuala Lumpur – Here, you can get to enjoy colonial-style and modern architecture. The Petronas Twin Towers is one of the well-known sites that attract travellers. You can also visit the Batu Caves – a network of caves and cave temples in the Hindu region.
- Penang Island (or Georgetown) – If you want to try out the country’s delicacies, go to Penang island. You will get to experience their unique food style known as Nonya – which has Malay and Chinese influences. You can enjoy the food and the Chinese-style and British colonial style of architecture and art scenes.
- Langkawi Archipelago – This region comprises 9 small islands off the north-western coastline. You can enjoy the white-sand beaches and the sky bridge.
- Cameron highlands – North of Kuala Lumpur, you can get to experience the rainforest climate and greenery at the Cameron highlands. It is a good place to enjoy the breeze.
- Borneo Island and Sabah and Sarawak state – You can go to these places to see the wildlife like the Orangutan rehab centers on Borneo and the Proboscis monkey center. You will likely need a guide for this, so be prepared to chip into your travel budget.
- Sipadan Island – You can dip in the underwater lagoons on this island.
Other places you can visit are Kota Kinabalu, Redang Island, Ipoh, George Town, Sandakan, Gunung Mulu National Park, Mersing, semporna, and Taman Negara National Park. Malaysia has beautiful beaches where you can lay and enjoy the sun and sand as you reconnect with nature. There are green mountains you can enjoy even on a travel budget. Activities you can plan for include trekking, field excursions, site seeing, snorkelling, sunbathing, etc. You need a tourist visa to go to Malaysia. Approximately a memorable family holiday in this country can last 5-7 days.
The UAE is a popular holiday destination for most travellers, with Dubai City being the most popular of its emirates. You can experience a taste of modern luxury (five-star hotels, air-conditioned vehicles, etc.) and feel like you are in a different world. It is an ideal vacation spot for families who want to take part in all kinds of activities, including;
- Visiting and touring the Burj Khalifa – the world’s tallest building. You get to witness the magnificent architecture, vast aquariums, fountains, indoor ski slopes, etc.
- Desert safari in Swaihan
- Bungee jumping, helicopter rides, and skydiving in Dubai
- Hiking in Wadi Wurayah
- Explore the colourful Arab culture in Sharjah. You can visit the Sharjah Art Museum and other historically significant sites like Al Midfa House, al Hisn Sharjah
- Shopping sprees in Dubai and Abu Dhabi (like the Marina Mall)
- Skiing in Dubai
- Visit Ajman to observe the Emirati weapons, manuscript exhibits, and beaches.
Basically, you have a good chance of finding any fun activities your family would want to participate in, in the UAE. The country has prioritized recreational activities to become a respectable tourist destination. Other places you should consider going to include Yas Island, Sharjah, Palm Jumeirah, Ras Al Khaimah, Ajman, Khatt, Al Madam, and Al Badiyah. You can plan for the holiday to last 4-5 days to stay n your travel budget. Every traveller requires a visa before going to the UAE.
Thailand is a very family-friendly holiday destination. The country is rich in green sceneries, calm beaches, favourable weather, and tons of things to do – from family fun activities to extreme sports and adventure. Thailand is greatly affordable for most families on a limited travel budget. Some of the activities you can do in this exciting country include;
- Boat riding between islands with longtail boats as they are part of the country’s culture
- Scuba diving
- Visiting the floating market
- Trying out different street foods such as smoothies
- Hiking/climbing through trees in national parks
- Hot air balloon rides in Chiang Mai
- Site visits to the temples of Thailand
Krabi is one of the more recommendable places to go due to its calm and peaceful environment. Accommodations are available (3 stars to 5 stars), and they all come at a fairly reasonable price. You and your family can receive your visa on arrival. Plan for not less than 6-7 days in order to make the most of this holiday destination.
Singapore is a significantly modernized country and a recognized tourist destination. The country harbours almost all aspects you would prefer on a family holiday destination. It has futurist architecture, skyscrapers, adventure sites, and mind-blowing scenes in the nightlife. Singapore has been characterized as one of the most child-friendly countries in Asia. Places you should visit include Universal Studio Theme Park, Garden by the bays, Budhha Tooth Relic Temple, Marina Bay Sands Resort Complex, and Sentosa. Activities to look forward to include exploring the underwater aquariums, visiting the only nocturnal zoo in the world, shopping and tasting all the different delicacies the country has to offer. Plan for a 3-5 days family holiday if you want to enjoy Singapore’s appeal. You need to have a visa before going to the country.
Sri Lanka has been known for its varied geographical topography, vibrant cultural and historical heritage, traditional lifestyle, hospitality, and ancient history. It is a popular, affordable holiday destination to most. The country is rich and culture with minor touches of metro cities. The places you ought to consider visiting are Colombo, Kandy, Sigiriya, Nuwara Eliya, Negombo, Dambulla, Matara, Polonnaruwa, Anuradhapura, Galle, and Matale. Things to do in this beautiful country include;
- Watersports – scuba diving, snorkelling, motorboating, parasailing, etc.
- Climb the Sigiriya (which is a 15 Century AD UNESCO World Heritage site). It represents traditional royalty and a Buddhist monastery from ancient times.
- Wildlife – Elephants are the most common wildlife you’ll find in Sri Lanka. You can thus visit different national parks, with the Udawalawe National park being the best park to observe the huge beasts of nature. The elephants are also seen in the Gal Oya National Park. Also, during the dry season (June to September), you can watch the elephants as they congregate at Kadulla or Minneriya NP. Leopards are also tourist attractions in Sri Lanka, especially in the Yala National Park.
- Exploring the floating market in Pettah
- See the multiple waterfalls
- Ayurvedic Spa
- Take fulfilling rests on the beaches of Arugam Bay, where you get to enjoy the coconut palms, soft sandy beaches, and a mind-relaxing atmosphere.
- Sri Lanka also allows you to enjoy fresh seafood like the Jaffna Crab Curry.
- River rafting in Kitulgala
- Hiking in Horton Plains National Park
- Train rides to Ella
- Visit the colonial sites at Galle and the Colombo temples and experience history-rich heritage.
Visas are required to visit Sri Lanka. You can plan a 5-7 days family holiday to ensure you and your family get a chance to enjoy most of what the country offers.
Have you decided it is time to go on a Safari and explore the best of the savannah grasslands? In that case, Kenya would be the destination for you. Its warm climate makes the country accommodating and a very family-friendly holiday destination. Safaris allow you to see the big 5 animals – lion, elephant, leopard, rhinos, and buffalos. Some of the parks you can visit include; the Nairobi National Park, Hell’s Gate national park, the Maasai Mara National Reserve, and Amboseli National Park. The country offers great family fun opportunities, and you can visit places like;
- Swimming on the coast of Mombasa, Malindi Bay, and other beaches
- Visiting colonial sites such as Fort Jesus in Mombasa
- Safaris (both land and air) in different parks like Maasai Mara and Amboseli National park
- Hiking and trekking Mount Kenya.
- Snorkelling in Watamu Marine National park
You can obtain a visa on arrival in Kenya. Plan on a family holiday of 5-7 days if you are to enjoy the nature, adventure, luxury hotels, and climate in Kenya.
Japan is another country that has a blend of modernism and natural sites. This makes it a family friend by offering travellers a variety of things to try out. Some of the places that should be on your list of places to visit are Tokyo, Osaka, Kyoto, Hiroshima, Nagasaki, Nara, Hakone, Lake Ashi, Shikoku, Naha, Matsumoto, Lake Kawaguchi, and Kanazawa. These places will give you a taste of urban and rural sites. Things you can do in Japan include;
Activities to do include;
- Biking through the stunning and breathtaking mountains in Hokkaido
- Exploring UNESCO recognized heritage sites in Kyoto
- Hiking on Mt. Fuji or skiing in the various resorts all over the year round.
- Visit the Onsen (Japanese Hot Springs)
- Use the Japanese Bullet train
- Enjoy sushi at night and dine at local restaurants in Japan.
You need a visa to travel to Japan. To completely enjoy Japan’s appeal, consider planning to stay for more than 4-5 days.
Affordable yet exotic, Turkey has a simple line of living with outstanding culture. The country offers a variety of things to do for families, from the hustle and bustle of traditional lifestyle to sports, arts, artistic expressions, and even intense nightlife. Its culture is heavily borrowed from the Greek, Persian, Roman, and Ottoman empires. Mixing these cultures has led to a country rich in cultural heritage that sparks a memorable family holiday. Activities you should look forward to while visiting Turkey are;
- Exploring historical sites in Istanbul, Selcuk, and Bodrum. For example, the hippodrome of Constantinople (Sultan Ahmet Square), Lycian Rock tombs, Blue Mosque, Hagia Sophia, ruins of Ephesus, etc.
- Visiting museums like Erimtan Museum to enjoy the art and local markets
- Exploring the tranquil beaches of Fethiye and Alanya, the Pamukkale Therma Pools, Cemberlitas Hamami, etc.
- Visit the Gerome National Park in Cappadocia. It is a UNESCO-recognized heritage site that creates romantic sceneries.
- Kayaking in Kekova
- Rafting in Dalaman
- Sightseeing the Roman ruins in Izmir and Antalya
- Mountain climbing in Kemer and Dalyan
- Artefact collection is an activity most travellers do in Turkey. You can visit the Grand Bazaar (Kapali Carsisi) and collect some souvenirs to take back home.
Visa is required to travel to Turkey, therefore it is not suitable for a sudden family vacation plan. If you want to enjoy everything that comes with the beautiful country, plan for a 5-7 day family holiday.
Morocco is a country that has kept its culture, heritage, diversity, and amazing attractions. Its excellent travel industry ensures travellers enjoy the best of Morocco. With your family, you can be assured of witnessing the best sites, tasting the best foods, and enjoying the culture in Morocco, even with a tight travel budget. Moroccans have a reputation for being warm and welcoming to little ones, and you can thus be assured of providing your little ones with plenty of sweet memories. Despite how tight they’ve held their traditions, Morocco is modernized, and you can expect convenient services and utilities.
Utah, united states
While Utah may not be a widely recognized family holiday destination, you may want to reconsider not giving it enough attention. Utah is home to 5 national parks like, Yosemite and Zion, and is a very attractive destination for people who enjoy outdoor activities. The state has parks that are suitable for both summertime and winter. To stick to your travel budget, you may consider visiting during off-seasons as accommodation is usually cheap. As thrilling as the national parks would be for adults, they create a free and fun space for children to explore nature without observing quietness or being reserved as they would have to be in urban settings. You can try out hiking, camping, sightseeing, animal watching, etc. You can plan the holiday to be a week or two weeks to make sure you get to explore the state well.
These are just some of the places that can provide great family holidays. The point about planning well for your trip is to allow for flexible and easy adjustments. If you have a tight travel budget or if someone in your family is sick, consider the climate or travel conditions to decide whether you should wait or go ahead with your plan. However, always consider activities that create unforgettable memories for your family.