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Cheap Family Vacations in California - Budget Holidays for the Family

Updated on January 21, 2016

 The State of California is a popular tourist destination since it has many theme parks and natural parks, along with a high number of both relaxing and action-packed activities for families. California is home to Disneyland, Universal Studios, Legoland and other child-friendly places, but vacation costs can become expensive when the hotel, theme park tickets, travel expenses and extras such as drinks, snacks and gift shop purchases are added up.

Spend an evening meeting Disney characters at a party
Spend an evening meeting Disney characters at a party

Cheap Theme Park Vacations

 Disneyland 1-day tickets cost 76 dollars for ages ten and over and can become expensive when there is more than one child in the family but occasionally Disneyland put on special events with lower ticket prices. For Halloween, Disneyland is changing the theme park for Mickey's Halloween Party and the entrance fee (if book in advance) is 49 dollars to attend on Thursday and Friday evenings, throughout October. Legoland also offers the same optional ticket packages as Disneyland and other theme parks but for the Legoland evening Halloween themed entrance price tickets is 30 dollars. Whether the family holiday is for a long weekend or a week, it is possible to spend an evening at these theme parks on a low budget, keeping the children happy. Instead of staying in a hotel, try a motel like Super 8 Motel near Disneyland. Room prices start from 35 dollars a night and the price includes breakfast, use of the outdoor swimming pool and a large screen television in the rooms. The rest of the days of the vacation can be enjoyed at the beach and at the nearby lakes and national park areas which do not require an entrance fee. Take family picnics on days out, saving money for all the family.

Eldorado National Forest, California
Eldorado National Forest, California

Camping in the National Forest

 Free campsites are available in the National Forest and there are several campsites to choose from, in California. The majority of the free National Forest campsites have fire rings, picnic tables, vault toilets and piped water available for campers. Reservations are not required to camp at these campsites but during warmer vacation seasons they can get quite busy, so it is best to get there early to choose the best family spot. Children enjoy the freedom of camping and it is also an opportunity for mom and dad to join in with a few fun camping games. Forget the television and tell stories around the campfire or barbecue, play hide and seek and have a treasure hunt. The budget for this vacation includes vehicle gas and food supplies.

Budget Family Beach Vacation

 The Halcyon Hotel in San Fransisco is a great place to stay for a family on a budget. This friendly hotel has 25 rooms with prices that start from 13 dollars a night. The hotel is a 4 star but the focus of the hotel is to provide great accommodation for families on a tight vacation budget. The features of this hotel include a private bathroom, TV, telephones with voice mail and free local calls, a microwave, coffee maker and refrigerator as well as a clock-radio, hair dryer and washer-dryer in the basement. This hotel is only a few blocks to the beach, providing great fun for all the family. Local activities include free walking tours around San Fransisco as well as museums, restaurants and water sports. If eating out every night extends the family budget, there are local supermarkets near to the hotel, to purchase fresh groceries.

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