In the western state of Jalisco in Mexico, Guadalajara boasts some incredible Mexican culture, including historical landmarks, idyllic neighborhoods, fun shopping, dining and live mariachi music. Bring the family and paint the town read with very little green (or multicolored peso, in this case) and explorer Guadalajara cheaply.
Definitely start your day with breakfast at Café P’al Real. The swanky coffee shop meets greenhouse vibe isn’t the only Instagrammable aspect of this restaurant (maybe get an international plan for the teens, this is a tough one to resist) as even the food is stunning. The average cost of breakfast, coffee included, typically runs about $12 per person.
Explore the city on foot and check out its plethora of galleries, museums and green spaces. One neighborhood, Americana offers plenty of free activities and is easily walkable. Pop in different shops and explore this international corner of the city. One touristy part of town if you want some mariachi is Casa Bariachi, a fun stop for the kids offering affordable eats, but there is just so much you’ll be tempted to pop in and keep moving.
Save your pennies for a visit to Tlaquepaque, also known as San Pedro Tlaquepaque. This corner of the city is a stretch of cobblestone streets and colorful shops filled with stunning décor. Many locals spend a pretty penny on pottery, handmade goods and stunning home items. Shop around and haggle for jewelry prices on the street or grab a few souvenirs in the established shops — the prices are nothing compared to our shops in trendy U.S. cities. This avenue is worth the walking and sightseeing alone. The kids will love popping in the unique shops and attractions, or just take a break on the welcoming hanging basket chairs at the entrance.
Keep the budget tight with dining stops at El Patio Tlaquepaque, or visit street vendors at the center of the bustling neighborhood, offering a little bit of everything you’ve been meaning to try in Mexico.
For something with ambiance, Casa Luna is difficult to miss. Many visitors just pop in to look at the décor, it’s that beautiful.
This city is an affordable one, for sure, especially for families. The majority of your expenses will be getting from one place to another, as there’s a lot of space to cover.
If you’re looking for a charming new island escape on the East Coast, get away to a locale many have yet to discover. Daufuskie Island considers itself the Nantucket of the South, a hidden gem off the Southeast Coast, near Savannah, Georgia, and Hilton Head. The luxurious environment is unpretentious, but filled with all the amenities discerning family travelers need.
A beach vacation is a family favorite in the summertime; the weather is nice, towns are thriving and there are fun activities all season. For families looking for the ultimate summer beach vacation, consider Ocean City, New Jersey.
Prior to any family trip, every responsible adult will have a checklist to ensure the journey and destination can be made as safe as possible for everybody. A packing list can incorporate healthy snacks, bug repellant, a first-aid kit and minor illness remedies (cold and flu meds; anti-diarrhea pills) while pre-trip cautions — depending on the location — immunizations and family discussions on how to avoid injury.
You don’t need a passport for a family-friendly island vacation — just a car to take you over the Causeway Bridge in Ft. Myers to Sanibel and Captiva islands in Florida. South Seas Island Resort on Captiva Island offers sugar white-sand beaches, 20 swimming pools, watersports, golf and more than a dozen dining options.