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Best Budget Friendly Spring Break Family Vacation Destinations

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Spring Break Planning

With a little bit of planning, it’s possible to plan the perfect Spring Break family vacation on a budget. The good news? There are plenty of options just waiting for you to explore!

For thousands of families out there, the thought of Spring Break planning and travel is on their mind. Rightfully so. It’s the one time out of the year that is a true “break” for everyone in the family and signals that summer months aren’t all that far away. 

I was recently featured on Atlanta & Company sharing some of these Spring Break Planning tips.

With some planning, it's possible to plan the perfect Spring Break family vacation on budget. There are plenty of options just waiting for you to explore! #SpringBreak #BudgetVacation

Tips To Stick With a Budget For Your Spring Break Vacation

When it comes to the upcoming Spring Break, my family and I are very much looking forward to it this year. Typically, we take some sort of family vacation during this time. This year we have plans to visit Pigeon Forge, Tennessee – our home away from home and only a short 5-hour drive from Atlanta.

1. Find a friendly but affordable destination

The thing about finding a spring break destination for the family is you need to do it now or never. Spring break locations fill up fast. I do not advise booking the month before or even weeks before. The rates typically go up for last minute planners. (and that’s one of the quickest ways to bust a budget!) I tend to start looking six months in advance, at a minimum.

Also, I like to find different destinations that are family friendly while still being affordable. Locations like the beach, amusement parks, and so on are great locations for families, especially the earlier you book.

Because we have a large family, I usually look for an affordable condo or house to rent out for the week. I like my space and privacy. I always check first with Wyndham Vacations, AirBnB, HomeAway or VRBO. They offer affordable rental options which require a deposit and some give you options for making payments.

2. Stick to your budget (no matter what)

To be honest, the only way you can keep a spring break trip affordable is to make a budget and stick to it. I like to pay for my vacations with cash. The last thing you need is to put your vacation on a credit card or take out a loan for it. Make this family spring break trip as affordable as possible. I budget to the very last detail when it comes to our family spring break trips and I stick to it.

The quickest way to say up your budget for your Spring Break vacation? Set aside a set amount of money every single paycheck. Whether it be $20 or $200, that money that you set aside is then reserved for your trip. It’s such a nice feeling to know that you already have a stash of cash waiting rather than having to scrape and pull from savings.

3. Teach about experiences versus “things”

Our kids know that a family spring break trip means we can’t buy them everything they want. We try to spend our money on experiences rather than things. For example, take them kayaking or fishing instead of buying them stuffed animals at the souvenir store. They’ll remember the activities forever and quite possibly may break or lose the “things” that you bought along the way.

kayaking in anna maria island, family vacation on a budget

4. Plan out as many details as you can

Something I have learned over the years is to plan as many details as you can. This vacation planner is the perfect planner to have for planning out your vacation. I have learned that the more unplanned things we do, the more expensive it becomes. I try to plan everything down to the meals we eat and the things we do each day. You wouldn’t believe how much this helps us stick to our budget!

It’s those impulse buys that get you every single time…

Best Budget-Friendly Spring Break Family Vacation Destinations

If you’re looking for some great Spring Break family-friendly destinations, check out the affordable options on this list!

1. Pigeon Forge, Tennessee 

This mountain resort is located just 5 miles outside of the Great Smokey Mountains National Park and is a truly amazing place to visit. Pack your hiking shoes and get ready for a fun, family adventure.

Related: Down Home Family Fun In Pigeon Forge, TN

old mill pigeon forge

2. Gulf Shores, Alabama

Taking a trip to Gulf Shores as a family is a must. If you love outdoor activity such as fishing and kayaking, your days and your nights will be fun of fun and affordable options. 
 

3. Panama City Beach, Florida

The list of fun activities at Panama City Beach never stops. From dolphin cruises to deep sea fishing, your family won’t have any troubles having fun from sun up to sun down. 

4. Orlando, Florida

Millions of people visit Orlando every single year and it’s no wonder as to why. With some of the most amazing theme parks on Earth like Universal, Disney and Sea World, you may need longer than Spring Break to be able to enjoy them all.
 
Plus, if you stay on the location of the resorts, you can save money on gas and travel as well! 

5. Atlanta, Georgia

Atlanta is home to the amazing Atlanta Aquarium, Coca Cola Museum, the Atlanta Braves and thousands of amazing restaurants. Plus, if you can decide to spend your entire week within the city limits of Atlanta, you won’t have to worry about spending a ton of extra money on travel costs! It’s possible to drive around town and exploring everything there is to say on a tank of gas. How awesome is that?
 

6. Chattanooga, Tennessee

Chattanooga is home to Ruby Falls, which is a wonderful site in itself. And if that’s not enough, take a venture and see Rock City as well. Spending your Spring Break in Tennessee is a wonderful way to celebrate making amazing family memories. 
 

7. Myrtle Beach, South Carolina

With miles of white sand beaches, you’ll love dipping your toes into the nice, cool waters that Myrtle Beach, South Carolina has to offer. Plus, is there any better way to save money than by building free sand castles on the beach? 

8. Book a Cruise

While this technically isn’t a destination per se, it’s one that can really give you a big bang for your buck. Plus, there is literally something for everyone to do. Enjoy amazing views, delicious food and activities that literally seem to never end. 
Disney Wonder Cruise Review
 
Your time on a cruise ship will be well spent because you get to dabble in a ton of different things!
 

9. Anna Maria Island

With 7 miles of beach views to explore, how can you not love Anna Maria Island? The locals love it, as do the visitors. When you need a break, you can visit all the adorable shops in town (candy shop!) as well. 

Anna Maria island beach

Anna Maria Island

10. Jekyll Island, Georgia

If you love turtles, nature and exploring, you can’t miss out on what Jekyll Island has to offer. Pack up your bags and spend some time with your loved ones at this hidden gem. 
 
 
 

11. St. Simons Islands, Georgia

Not a far drive from Jekyll Island, you can combine the two in one amazing trip! Full of natural habitats and beaches, the views that you’ll get while driving up and down the coast are 100% picture worthy. 
 
 

 

 
 
 
 
 
View this post on Instagram
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

The view from the Saint Simons Island Lighthouse is beautiful and worth the trip to the top #stsimonsisland #travel #lighthouse @goldenisles 🌞#hosted

A post shared by LifeFamilyFun.com (@lifefamilyfun) on

12. Savannah, Georgia

It may be impossible to explore everything that Savannah, Georgia has to offer in one trip, but who says you can’t return for more? Take a guided tour around town on a Segway and look at the beautiful architecture, or ride a horse and carriage together as a family.
 
 

Savannah, Georgia

13. Tybee Island, Georgia

Located just 20 minutes away from Savannah, this is another way that you can explore tons of areas one on a tank of gas! Tybee Island is known for history, culture, white beaches and the coolest lighthouse ever. Plan for a day of fun in the sun! 
 
These family-friendly Spring Break vacations are easy to book, affordable and are certain to make memories that you and your family will never forget.
 
This year, save your budget and put your money toward some amazing experiences that will remain in hearts and minds of your family forever!

Video on Atlanta & Company

 

How do you save money on your spring break trips with the family?


 

About Winona Rogers

Winona Rogers is the author of Life Family & Fun a national blog focusing on parenting, easy recipes, Home & DIY, Lifestyle, Family Fun and Travel. Her site was nominated as the Top 10 Parenting Blogs in Atlanta, Top Disney Blog, Family Travel Expert and has been featured in media on 11Alive Atlanta & Company. In her spare time, she loves to travel with her family and cook. Winona and her husband have four children and five grandchildren living in Atlanta, Georgia.

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