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12 cheap family holiday destinations around the world

Enjoy a brilliant yet budget-friendly break

family holiday destinations
Chloe Best
Chloe BestLifestyle Features Editor
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You don't have to break the budget to treat your family to a special and memorable holiday. These travel destinations offer something for parents and children of all ages – and are affordable too. From beachfront resorts to historic cities and idyllic islands, there's something for everyone, read on for inspiration…

1. Menorca, Spain

Menorca beach© Photo: iStock

This Balearic Island is fantastic for families, and is located just a two hours from the UK. Here you'll find a number of family-friendly resorts with kids' clubs, swimming pools and on-site restaurants, all on a beautiful and peaceful island. Son Bou and Binibeca are picturesque locations that will be loved by kids and parents alike, while a visit to the capital city of Mahón is great for getting some culture, or perhaps taking a boat trip from the Port de Mahón.

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2. San Diego, California, USA

San Diego is a surprisingly kid-friendly destination, with much to keep youngsters of all ages entertained. While flights may be a little pricier, once you arrive you can explore the city on a budget with the Go San Diego card, which offers discounts of up to 50 per cent on attractions like San Diego Zoo Safari Park, Legoland California, and also provides unlimited access to SeaWorld San Diego.

3. Algarve, Portugal

The Algarve has long been a popular family holiday destination, with celebrity mum Holly Willoughby such a fan of the region she returns every summer. And it's easy to see why she loves it so much; not only is this area of Portugal blessed with great weather and beautiful beaches, but there is also lots for children and parents to enjoy. While you could easily spend your days on the beach or by the pool, you won't want to miss a trip to Aqualand, one of the largest waterparks in Europe, for a day out. Entry starts from just €21 (around £19), while under-fives go free.

4. Brittany, France

Mont Saint Michel© Photo: iStock

Just a short hop from the UK, Brittany is ideal for an active summer break and is accessible via a flight to Dinard or by car – simply take the ferry across to St-Malo or Roscoff. There are a number of family-friendly resorts and campsites around this region, and lots to see and do. As well as spending time exploring the coast, make sure you travel down to visit the UNESCO World Heritage Site Mont Saint Michel. This abbey is not only beautiful but may also score some points with teenagers once you mention that it featured in the video game Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood. Win-win!

5. Dubrovnik, Croatia

This beachfront city makes an enthralling family holiday destination, and better still, you can often find budget-friendly packages here. You can hit the beach and relax or do some sightseeing, taking in the old town, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Meanwhile, a cable car trip rising 700 metres into the hills is sure to be a popular activity with children of all ages, and offers stunning views across the city and surrounding islands. Teens will also love seeing some of the filming locations from Game of Thrones, such as the City Walls and the Pile Gate entrance to the Old Town.

MORE: 12 of the best family-friendly resorts in London

6. Valletta, Malta

Valletta Malta© Photo: iStock

Malta makes for a fabulous budget-friendly family holiday, with Valletta one of the best regions to visit with kids. Not only can you get flights here for as little as £36, but once you arrive you'll be spoiled for choice of things to see and do. Visit inspiring museums, explore charming piazzas, or take a boat trip off the coast, all while enjoying some of the best ice cream Malta has to offer.

7. Goa, India

There won't be a dull moment on a family holiday to Goa. Every day is an adventure, thanks to the rich culture and array of places to explore, such as visiting wildlife sanctuaries, touring old forts or simply spending a day on the beach.

8. Koh Samui, Thailand

Bophut beach© Photo: iStock

Southeast Asia is notoriously cheap, making it ideal for families. While there are a number of beautiful islands to choose from, Koh Samui would be great for visiting with children, where you can spend your time playing on the beach or trying activities like kayaking and snorkelling. The hotels here are remarkably affordable, and if you're willing to stretch the budget a little you could even get a villa with private swimming pool for as little as £100 per night.

STORY: The best holidays to go on with babies and toddlers

9. Tenerife, Canary Islands

A great choice for any time of year, it's no wonder Tenerife has long been a popular family holiday destination. You can book package holidays for as little as £250 per person, and while you're there you can take advantage of the year-round warm weather and family-friendly attractions such as Siam Park, which has been voted one of the best water parks in the world.

10. Negombo, Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka© Photo: iStock

You'll have an unforgettable family adventure in Sri Lanka, a country with a rich heritage, amazing scenery, and incredible wildlife all waiting to be discovered. Negombo is just a short distance from the airport on the west coast, where you'll find three star hotels for as little as £29 per night. It's also within easy reach of Guruge Park, a nature-themed park with rides, dinosaur exhibits and bird shows – sure to be popular with young children.

11. Sunny Beach, Bulgaria

This Bulgarian beach resort has been voted one of the most affordable resorts in Europe, with the average family meal costing around £28 according to Post Office Travel Money. This lively spot has a clean Blue Flag beach, and is just a 15-minute drive from Nessebar, a UNESCO-listed town.

12. Costa del Sol, Spain

costa del sol spain© Photo: iStock

Another affordable destination within easy reach of the UK is the Costa del Sol in Spain. You can book flights with budget airlines such as Ryanair and EasyJet for as little as £30 per person, while food and drink when you're over there is affordable too. According to Post Office Travel Money, the average family meal would cost £40, and a glass of wine or bottle of beer is around £1.80.

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