vacation packages in usa for families

Last Updated on September 25, 2022 by Dipo Lawal

What are the best Vacation Packages In Usa For Families? When you think of an all-inclusive vacation, your mind probably heads straight for the Caribbean or Mexico. But did you know there are all-inclusive resorts in the U.S.? Some hotels in the U.S. provide all-inclusive accommodations, while others offer packages and plans with accommodations, meals and activities included in one easy price. These are our favorite best family vacations on a budget options for 2022.

When trying to find the right vacation package deals in US, you need to be aware of what you can afford. This is why it is important to think about the activities you want to carry out while on holiday. Before finalizing your plans, you should check with everyone who will be traveling and make sure they agree with the destinations and hotels that you want to visit. There are many people who like to spend their holidays in different places such as Hawaii, Florida or California.

When planning a vacation, you are probably looking for something affordable and enjoyable. You want a family vacation that pleases everyone. This is not as easy to accomplish as it sounds. The key to finding the right vacation package is to start planning early and make sure to include everyone’s input.

best family vacations on a budget

Vacation Packages In Usa For Families

1. Park City, UT

Park City is a major skiing and snowboarding destination, with the largest lift-accessible ski terrain in North America. In 2020, kids (and other beginners) can get instructed on the basics at Park City Mountain’s new High Meadow Park, a dedicated learning area with wide-open, gentle slopes, ideal for newbies. The new Woodward Park City indoor-outdoor action sports and ski resort includes Utah’s longest snow tubing lanes, a range of trails for everyone from “never-evers” to halfpipe experts, and indoor and outdoor facilities for skateboarding, BMX, and scooter.

To see what winter sports are like at the next level, head to Utah Olympic Park, which was built for the 2002 Olympic Winter Games. The whole family can take a guided tour of the 400-acre venue, visiting sites like the world’s highest Nordic ski jumps. Little kids can visit the playground and climbing structures at the Discovery Zone, while teens can zipline or try the ropes courses. Park City also offers plenty of fun at other times of the year, with all kinds of options for hiking, biking, and other outdoor activities.

2. Orange County/Hudson Valley, NY

Located 50 miles from New York City, Orange County is one of the 10 counties that make up New York’s Hudson Valley region. It’s also home to the new LEGOLAND New York Resort opening on July 4, 2020. The park will be the largest LEGOLAND has ever built, with more than 50 rides, shows, and attractions. Its exclusive LEGO Factory Adventure ride will feature first-of-its-kind technology that creates images of each individual rider in personalized LEGO form.

Beyond the theme park excitement, Orange County is home to farms that offer tours and other immersive experiences for young visitors; kid-friendly museums and attractions like the Trailside Museums & Zoo (featuring black bears and other mammals native to New York State); and historic sites like the United States Military Academy at West Point. It’s also the only county in New York located between two rivers, meaning families can canoe and raft on the Delaware River or take a boat tour on the Hudson River.

Plymouth, MA; Courtesy of Plimoth Plantation

3. Plymouth, MA

This town located between Boston and Cape Cod celebrates the 400th anniversary of the Mayflower voyage and the founding of Plymouth Colony in 2020. There will be a slew of events to mark the occasion throughout the year, from an official maritime salute June 27 and 28 to concerts, a parade, and a festival around Thanksgiving. Living history museum Plimouth Plantation offers a look at what life was like for the Pilgrims, featuring costumed interpreters, heritage-breeds livestock, and a full-scale reproduction of the Mayflower (the ship that brought the Pilgrims to America) that will return to Plymouth in May after a major restoration.

In addition to soaking up the area’s history, families can take a whale-watching or lobstering excursion, tour a cranberry bog, visit the petting zoo at the farm operated by the Sheriff of Plymouth County, and spend some time on the sand at Plymouth Beach. You can also take a fast ferry to Provincetown on the tip of Cape Cod, the site where the Pilgrims first landed before moving on to Plymouth. There’s a monument commemorating that fact, offering dramatic views of the Cape.

4. Branson, MO

This Midwest family-vacation mecca has a lot of new things on tap for 2020, including the opening of Payne’s Valley, Tiger Woods’s first public-design golf course named in honor of the late golfer and Ozarks native, Payne Stewart. Silver Dollar City theme park celebrates its 60th anniversary in 2020 with special events and the summer opening of its new Mystic River Falls family raft ride, which features the tallest drop in the Western Hemisphere and will be part of a new themed park area called Rivertown.

Also coming to Branson, Missouri, in 2020: the Aquarium at the Boardwalk. A giant faux octopus will drape over the entrance to the 46,000-square-foot aquarium, where families will find a Jellyfish Infinity Room, Mermaid Palace, underwater tunnels, and a simulated submarine adventure. And these new additions will be joining an already rich array of family-friendly sites and attractions such as the Branson Ferris Wheel, Branson Mountain Adventure Park, and Branson’s Wild World.

5. Colorado Springs, CO

Make for the mountains in Colorado Springs, where there’s always something fun to do no matter the time of year. New attractions coming in 2020 include the Water’s Edge: Africa exhibit at Cheyenne Mountain Zoo, which will be home to Nile hippos, African penguins, and lemurs. The U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Museum will also make its debut in 2020 and will be one of the most accessible and immersive museums in the world. Families can pair a visit to that new spot with a tour of the U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Training Center, where they can learn about the campus where elite athletes prepare for the global competitions.

The new Pikes Peak Summit House is expected to open by fall 2020. The 38,000-square-foot complex will include a new Summit Visitor Center designed to improve the experience of visitors who make it to the top of the 14,115-foot mountain by car, bicycle, or foot. (The Pikes Peak Cog Railway, which is undergoing multiyear repairs, won’t reopen until 2021.)

Tennessee State Museum; Courtesy of Tennessee State Museum

6. Nashville, TN

There’s a lot happening in Music City in 2020, including the debut of the National Museum of African American Music, which will explore the intersections of more than 50 genres and subgenres of music. It’s part of the buzzy new Fifth + Broadway development that will also include retail space and local dining options.

Special events and exhibits throughout the year at spots like the newish Tennessee State Museum will honor Tennessee’s deciding role as the 36th state to ratify the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution in 1920, giving women the right to vote. There’s also plenty of girl power on display at the Country Music Hall of Fame, where the Taylor Swift Education Center hosts frequent family programs and exhibits showcase female trailblazers from Minnie Pearl to Dolly Parton. Tweens and teens will love watching retro-cool letterpress designs come to life at the neighboring Hatch Show Print. And if you opt to stay at the Gaylord Opryland Resort, the whole family can spend a day at the surprisingly stylish new SoundWaves indoor-outdoor waterpark, named one of the 12 Best Indoor Water Park Resorts for 2020.

7. Indianapolis, IN

Indianapolis will celebrate its 200th birthday in 2020 with special events and exhibits around the city. Kids will also appreciate the fact that the Children’s Museum of Indianapolis is the world’s largest children’s museum! Spanning 481,000 square feet and 30 acres, the museum will open its Wild Weather exhibit in March 2020 and a new Barbie exhibit in May 2020. And the city’s new Red Line bus system makes it easy for visitors to get from downtown to the museum’s front door.

The 250-acre White River State Park—the only cultural urban state park in America—features plenty of green space plus attractions like the Indianapolis Zoo, which will open its Tembo Camp elephant exhibit Memorial Day Weekend 2020. Young history buffs can head to Conner Prairie, where they can experience what life was like in the 1800s, while little speed demons will want to visit the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and Dallara IndyCar Factory, where they can learn how the speedy vehicles are made.

Wichita, KS; Courtesy of Sean Pavone/Shutterstock

8. Wichita, KS

It’ll be a big year for Wichita, Kansas, in 2020. The city will celebrate its 150th birthday with special events like a gathering of top athletes hailing from Wichita. It will also welcome a new Triple-A baseball team, the Wichita Wind Surge, an affiliate of the Miami Marlins that will play games at a new stadium built on the Arkansas River in downtown Wichita.

Botanica Wichita recently opened a restored historic carousel that was once at the city’s former Joyland amusement park, which is part of the larger Koch Carousel Gardens project underway at the site. Wichita is also home to 144 parks, including O.J. Watson Park (which offers miniature train and pony rides) and Riverside Park (where there’s an exhibit of Kansas wildlife). And the kids will love unique spots like the Museum of World Treasures and Pizza Hut Museum (the restaurant got its start in Wichita), as well as the nighttime spectacles at the Fountains at WaterWalk and Keeper of the Plains Plaza.

best family vacations on a budget options for 2022

Holiday Travel Tips

The end-of-year holiday travel season is a notoriously busy and expensive time to travel. In the US alone, an estimated 107 million people travelled for the holidays in 2017. While most drove or flew, 3.6 million took buses, trains, or cruise ships, according to AAA.

If you plan to spend the holidays with out-of-town family and friends, the stress of the trip can be daunting. Fret not, with these 10 holiday travel tips you’ll travel like a pro, make it to your destination with a smile on your face, and fully ready to celebrate!

1. Choose your destination wisely

No one ever goes there? You should go!

Are all your friends heading to Saint-Barthélemy? Don’t. Seriously, travelling to the most popular destinations means guaranteed chaos & holiday madness. Unless you’re stuck travelling to a precise location to see someone in particular, avoid top holiday destinations like the plague. Avoiding the classic holiday trips will ensure you have space to breathe and quietude on your side… And we promise, you’ll be more rested when you head back home.

Consider vacation packages

You may not be an “all-inclusive” type of person. We get it. But if there’s one time in your life to try vacation packages, the holidays are a perfect time. Why? Because most companies make deals that you simply cannot refuse. From travel expenses to accommodation, car rental and sometimes even food, the package deal is so appealing that you’ll most likely spend less on your trip than you would while staying at home. 

2. Outsmart the crowds with your travel plans

Travel on unpopular days 

During the holidays, most people have similar vacation dates, which means many travel on the same days to get the most out of their time off. This also translates into expensive fares and a higher density of travellers. In fact, in the US, the Tuesday and Wednesday before, and Sunday following American Thanksgiving are three of the busiest travel days of the year. For Christmas, it depends on which day of the week the holiday falls on. January 2nd is also a busy travel day. 

To avoid some of the holiday craze, figure out when people are most likely to travel. Generally, people will schedule their travel dates to ensure they “waste” the least vacation time, which generally means they’ll leave before weekends or try to make a bridge between holidays and weekends. If you can, work your holiday travel schedule around these popular days. You’ll pay less for your ticket, and won’t face as many crowds.

Choose alternate airports

If it’s an option, book your tickets through an alternate airport, a smaller one if there is one not too far away. These tend to be less crowded than main airports, which means fewer delays and sometimes, even cheaper travel options! What’s more, parking or rental cars at the departure or arrival airport might be less expensive as well.

Avoid connexions

Also, if you absolutely need to fly, avoid connexions if you can. With the holiday craze, delays are frequent and chances are that you’ll end up stressing out to catch your second flight, or worse, missing it altogether. If you must, plan enough time between your flights. 

Travel early or late

Another great holiday travel tip is to travel on days on which people gather to celebrate, as most people would rather wine and dine with loved ones than take the bus, train or plane. Consider travelling on Christmas Day, New Year’s Eve or the likes. 

If that’s not an option, your best bet is to travel early in the morning or late. Why? Because most people don’t enjoy early departures, since it means heading to the airport, train or bus station in the middle of the night. Most people (and especially families travelling with young children) will book flights at a less ungodly hour and hey—you may just have fewer crying children on board, too!

Travel by bus 

So of course, buses tend to be a little more crowded during the holidays, since many people travel back home to spend Christmas with their loved ones. But, compared to airports, bus stations are an oasis! So, if possible, take the bus to your holiday destination and enjoy well-deserved peace and quiet. 

Give yourself a few buffer days

Delays during the holiday season are inevitable. Often, weather and traffic jams cause cancellations and extended trips. If you need to attend a holiday gathering, wedding, or an event that you know you can’t miss, don’t leave it down to the wire. Give yourself a buffer in between when you plan to arrive and when you need to be there.

3. Arrive early

Travelling by bus

If you travel by bus, there are multiple reasons to arrive early, most importantly:

  • You won’t have to rush and worry about missing your bus. No extra stress needed this time of year.
  • To make sure you know where your bus will pick you up. Not all carriers pick up passengers at a bus station or terminal. Some bus stops are in parking lots, gas stations or on various city streets. Don’t forget, the exact pick and drop off locations are available on your confirmation email and in your Busbud account.
  • If you’re in line early you can secure your preferred seat, as not all carriers offer assigned seating.

A note on bus travel…

Each bus provider’s rules and regulations are different. For example, some carriers will let you board with a ticket on your phone, or just a confirmation number, while some bus companies require a printed ticket. The last thing you want to do is run around searching for a FedEx Office near the bus stop to print your ticket. While you’re at it, you can take a look at the major bus companies in the US and how they compare. Read the Busbud confirmation email carefully. It contains all the information that is pertinent to your trip such as exchange and refund policies. What if you get caught late at work and need to hop on a later bus, is that allowed, or do you forfeit the fare? Read up to be prepared!

Travelling by plane 

Getting to the airport ahead of time usually means you won’t have to wait in line for too long. Yes, you’ll have more time to kill before hopping on your flight, but at least you’ll be waiting close to your gate—perhaps sipping a drink—rather than spending your time lining up with a hoard of anxious people. And (since you’re early) even if there are major delays at security, you won’t be running for your life hoping you don’t miss your flight. Another holiday travel tip: check in online if you can. This usually ensures you won’t have to wait in line to get your bag tags.

4. Make backup plans

Whatever you’re planning, the most important holiday travel tip to follow is to have a backup plan for everything. Everything! Travel plans, travel itinerary, travel dates, travel accommodation, travel bag, travel entertainment, planned activities, etc. Make a plan A, B and perhaps even C, so whatever happens with plan A, and even plan B, you can still make it to your destination.

5. Pack smart & ship your gifts

Dealing with gifts

The less you pack, the better. It might be tempting to stock up on gifts for friends and family, but trust us, it’s a bad idea! (Yes, you can blame it on us when you show up empty-handed.) Seriously, don’t risk getting caught at customs with fresh cheese or truffle oil. Or worse, don’t risk having to clean your suitcase after a delicious bottle of wine exploded in it. 

If you’re travelling home with presents, consider shipping them. Our pro tip, use Amazon’s gift wrapping option and send the gifts directly to your destination! Your packages will be there when you arrive, and you won’t have to worry about carrying a heavy suitcase or having fragile gifts flail around the cargo hold of the bus during your holiday travel. 

Now, if you can’t avoid bringing gifts, consider the following rules:

  1. If you fly, don’t wrap your gifts ahead of time as you may have to unwrap them at security.
  2. Make sure breakable items are well secured.
  3. If you’re bringing food or booze, check the local regulations to make sure you’re not breaking any laws.

Light packers, prevail!

If you can, travel with a small carry-on sized bags to avoid any further delays to claim your baggage, and to be able to keep an eye on your belongings wherever you go. The less you have, the less you have to worry about.

6. Charge devices and download ahead of time

You’ll find that some bus companies offer on-board Wi-Fi, while others don’t. However, there are no guarantees on the quality of the connexion—it might not support streaming services or could be slow due to everyone on the network.

If you download before you go (movies, TV episodes, podcasts, audio books, etc.), and make sure you’re at 100% battery, you’ll have a library of entertainment at your hands during your holiday travel season.

If you have one, pack a portable charger so you never run out of juice! If not, jot down important phone numbers for when you arrive at your destination so you don’t end up panicking if your phone is out of batteries. If you are travelling with someone, read up on games to play on the road.

7. Be prepared for anything!

BYOS (Bring Your Own Snacks) + BYOW (water)

No one wants to be the hangry person on the bus stuck in hours of traffic. If you have a longer route, there might be rest stops, but it’s not guaranteed. Also, the food selection at highway rest stations can be limited, not ideal if you’re health-conscious or on a restricted diet.

Pack light and easy snacks that are high in protein and nonperishable to keep you feeling great on your journey; almonds, trail mix, granola or protein bars, or jerky. Also, make sure to pack plenty of water to stay hydrated. If you’re flying, pack a leak proof stainless steel bottle, isotherm if you have one, and simply empty it before passing through security. You can then fill it up (for free!) and avoid purchasing and repurchasing plastic bottles to stay hydrated.

Embrace the mom essentials

Mothers generally have large purses filled with various useful items—embrace that mentality during your holiday travels. Think hand sanitizer, packs of tissues, ibuprofen, mints, cough drops, or even packets of Emergen-C/Airborne. If you’re stuck on a long bus ride in traffic, you never know when you might get a runny nose or headache. Not to mention that the change of weather, a decreased immune system from stress, and germs from other travellers are a recipe for illness, so protect yourself.

8. Keep calm and smile

If you go into your holiday trip prepared for bumps in the road, lengthy travel times, and an abundance of crowds, you’re more likely to keep your cool throughout the journey. Stay Zen during the trip, by downloading meditation apps like InsightTimer or HeadSpace. They offer tons of free guided meditations. You can also try doing some seated deep-breathing exercises or easy stretches. Modify a few of these car yoga poses to work in your bus seat. Just try not to bother your seat-mate.

In any case, no matter what happens [insert incident here], breathe, and remember to smile. This will not only ensure you enjoy your trip, it will also encourage people to be nicer to you. So keep cool and keep your smile on. After all, it’s the holidays… Spread the love!

9. Remember, it’s the holidays

Opening hours

If you’re planning some major touristy activities, check—and double-check—opening hours. Perhaps even call ahead to make sure the places you are planning to visit are really open. Indeed, although regular opening hours are usually posted on websites, the holiday hours are not always updated and you might end up being disappointed.

Eating out

If you’re planning a lovely meal out in a delicious restaurant—again, it’s the holidays! Many people may have had the same idea and you might end up starving if you don’t reserve beforehand. In some cases, reservations need to be done weeks ahead. 

Getting around

Celebrations are in the air and people are going out! 

  • Note that in some cities, public transport can work on a Sunday schedule during the holidays (which means that there are fewer vehicles on the road and they tend to be more crowded). 
  • If you’re more of a taxi person, consider that there may be long waiting times at night, when people have been drinking at parties.
  • If you’re driving, don’t drink! It might seem like an obvious one, but it is always good to keep it in mind. 

10. Prepare for peace of mind

Depending on where you live, you might be a little worried about leaving your homestead. Holidays tend to see a spike in burglaries, as lots of people are away. Don’t be shy to ask friends or family to pop by regularly, switch on a few lights and water the plants. Or even better, rent out your place and make a few extra bucks while you’re gone. 

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