When families live far apart, and you haven't seen your parents or siblings in far too long, one of the best alternatives to everyone coming to visit grandma in her small apartment is to take a family reunion vacation!
More and more often these days, families are taking a trip with up to three and four generations aboard, creating a real "Griswold Family" style adventure! Of course, taking that many people on one trip is not always as easy as saving up for a month or two - with that many people, a lot of destinations can get pricey. Here are our top picks for family reunion destinations that are both fun AND cheap!
A Cruise Reunion
An affordable cruise?! It's true! Many cruises are making way for more family-friendly adventures, which means lowering prices to be more accessible for families of all types. For example, Carnival Cruise Line expects to carry 250,000 kids this year, more than any other cruise line, and half of its fleet offers itineraries of five days or fewer, meaning a family can cruise for four days for roughly $450 per person or for a week over Thanksgiving for under $600 a person, including port charges. Third and fourth passengers in a cabin are just over $300 on either trip. Cruises can take you many destinations, and there are tons of activities for all ages!
It's not so much the destination that drives your price up than it is the lodging, right? A great option for big families is house renting! With tons of great sites like Airbnb and Hideaways International, your family can find a house large enough for you all to sleep comfortably at a fraction of the cost of hotels and resorts. That way, you can save more for activities at your dream destination.
Camping and Dude Ranching
Are you a family who loves the outdoors and the Wild West? Consider a family camping trip or outing at a ranch! Many ranches, such as Horseshoe Canyon Ranch in the Ozark Mountains near Jasper, Arkansas lets kids and families help stock, feed, water, and help groom the animals, while other ranches offer all-inclusive trips with hiking, tubing, rafting, canoeing, waterskiing at just about any other outdoor activity you can think of. Most of these ranches and campgrounds are less than $100 a night for multiple family members, meaning you can save big while having a blast!
Hit the Beach
One of the most surprisingly cheap destinations for a huge family trip is finding your favorite beach and posting up for the week! On a beach vacation, the water is your entertainment, so there isn't much extra to spend money on besides food and lodging. Tons of resorts have great packages for large groups, so it's just a matter of finding the perfect place for you. Florida tends to be cheaper than the West Coast, so try Daytona Beach, Destin, or Kissimmee. If you're further north, Gulf Shores is a huge family tourism destination!
Take on a Big City
Has your family never been too keen on city life? Perfectly understandable - but maybe a little time spent with city slickers could make for an exciting trip! Visiting cities like Chicago, St. Louis, Minneapolis, Austin or Seattle can be a great experience for a huge crew, and you'll all definitely bond over navigating the public transportation and busy streets. Find a hotel in the suburbs of whatever city you choose for cheaper rates, and ask your hospitality expert where the best places to eat, shop and play may be.