6 Affordable Vacation Rental Destinations for Year-Round Fun
4 min

Vacations are the perfect chance to make memories and spend time with people you love. There are many ways to make your dream trip happen and stay within your budget. Here are six affordable vacation rental destinations where your family can relax, play, learn, and have fun!


Head to Lower Yosemite Falls for a one-mile hike to the bottom of the highest waterfall in the country. The water levels are highest from late spring to summer, but winter brings quieter trails. The path is paved and great for strollers and mobility devices. Parking can be tough to find, but the free Visitor Shuttle stops here among other stops and trailheads in Yosemite Valley.

Need to cool off? Float down the Merced River on a raft! Children must be over 50 pounds to join this water activity, and all participants wear the provided life jackets. Rafts hold 2-4 people, and each boat is required to have at least one adult. Bring sunscreen, drinking water, and snacks to make the most of this fantastic ride!

Book a nearby stay and enjoy a few days soaking up all the splendor. Affordable vacation rentals abound in Yosemite West – so you never have to leave the park! This charming cabin rental offers sleeping for 9 individuals at a nightly rate that can’t be beat!

When you’re ready to treat yourself to a meal prepared outside of your vacation rental cabin, go to Curry Village. This unique locale offers several dining options, including Pizza Deck. Try the Half Dome, a pie made of marinara, cheese, pepperoni, ham, sausage, bacon, and pepperoncini. For adult beverages, stop at Bar 1899 and enjoy a variety of beers and cocktails including the popular Agave Smash.

Badger Pass Ski Area in Yosemite offers downhill and cross country skiing. Equipment rentals are available. Or stop by the ski school and take lessons. This on-mountain education offers age and skill-appropriate lessons to encourage little ones to enjoy their time in the snow. Adults can also take lessons to brush up on old skills or start as complete beginners!

Myrtle Beach

Visit 1325 Celebrity Circle in Myrtle Beach to see Broadway at the Beach. This shopping and entertainment center has something to offer everyone! Try escape games, ride a jet boat, and play at the dino park or catch a live show. Shop for any and everything, from wine to beef jerky. And finally, stop to eat at Hard Rock Café or nom on seafood at King Kong Sushi.

A vacation in Myrtle Beach isn’t complete without beach time! Visit 29th Avenue South or 3rd Avenue South to hop on a banana boat ride. Speedboats tow these massive inflatable rafts along the beach, giving riders awesome views of the coast.

Take photos with celebrities at the Hollywood Wax Museum at 1808 21st Avenue North. These lifelike statues mimic stars like Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, Dale Earnhart, and even King Kong! You may want to bring a selfie stick to capture all the fantastic family photo opportunities at this Myrtle Beach attraction!

Ready to play in the water? Visit 3000 Mr. Joe White Avenue to float, slide, and glide at Myrtle Waves Water Park. Play areas feature pools, sprinklers, and other water features that’ll help your family cool off in the heat! Try boogie boarding on the FlowRider® or hop on inflatables and cruise down the tube slides. Rent a cabana to have a semi-private space for your family to kick back on lawn chairs in the shade. iHeartRadio voted Myrtle Waves Water Park in the top 11 in the country.

Looking for an affordable vacation rental with water views? Book this condo listed at regular nightly rates under $100! Or bring the extended family along for some seaside fun and book this vacation rental which sleeps 17 for the average nightly rate that beats the average hotel price!

Boats gather in blue waters off the shore of Destin Florida

Boats gather in the crystal clear waters off the shores of Destin, a prime destination for affordable vacation rentals.


Destin is an amazing place to visit if your family likes fishing and the ocean. Go to 102 Harbor Boulevard to stroll the quarter-of-a-mile-long Destin Harbor Boardwalk. Here, you can browse beautiful boats and see people coming in with their day’s catch! Plus, the views of the ocean are stunning, especially as the sun rises or sets.

Heat out on a charter boat with Destin Inshore Guides for a fishing experience you won’t forget. They offer family trips on the water for 2-3 hours, much more accessible than longer trips meant for adults. Take a ride into Destin Harbor or Choctawhatchee bay, excellent places to fish without having to head out too far. Keep an eye on the horizon here; you might spot dolphins playing in the water while you fish!

Take a ride on the world’s largest jet ski: a HydroJet! Visit 102 Harbor Boulevard to hop on a HydroJet and enjoy a one-hour tour. You will get wet, so plan accordingly. Dry boxes are available to store items you don’t want getting wet. Consider bringing a waterproof disposable camera so you can capture these magical memories without fear of dropping your phone in the sea. All riders must be older than age 5 and over 3’5” tall to safely ride this unique vessel.

The Track at 1125 Highway 98 East is a high-speed, high-adrenaline attraction your whole family will love! Kids who are 3’6” to 4’ tall and weigh less than 150 pounds can rip around on kiddie karts. People 4’ tall and under 250 pounds can move to the Rookie Track, while adults will enjoy the Slick Track. The Track also features rides like the spinning coaster and skyflyer. Make sure to try your hands at the two 18-hole mini golf courses!

Washington DC

The nation’s capital is an excellent place for year-round family fun. Public transit is top-notch, so you won’t have to rent a car to get around, and an abundance of indoor activities abound, so weather is never an issue. Plus, a wide  array of affordable vacation rentals available makes DC an awesome choice for a budget-friendly vacation destination.

Start your trip at Smithsonian’s National Zoo at 3001 Connecticut Ave, NW,  to see pandas, big cats, and marine life. Check the schedule so you can be there for an animal demo to watch zookeepers interact with awesome wildlife like elephants, reptiles, and gorillas. The zoo regularly changes exhibits, adding new habitats and bringing in interesting new species, so look at the exhibit list ahead of time to ensure your favorite critters are on-site before you go.

Next, head to the National Air and Space Museum at 6th Street and Independence Ave Southwest to see flight-related memorabilia, rockets, planes, spacecraft, and missiles. Young aeronautics fans love seeing the 1903 Wright Flyer and Niel Armstrong’s Apollo 11 spacesuit. You can even see parts of the Hubble Space Telescope! Stop at the Mars Cafe on the lower level to enjoy “bird-friendly: artisan coffee and tea, pastries, salads, and sandwiches.

The Washington DC tidal basin in West Potomac Park is 107-acres-long and 10-feet-deep. This unique body of water changes with the tide and features the 2.1-mile Tidal Basin Loop Trail around the perimeter. The path passes statues, art, memorials, historic trees, and plantings and goes over several bridges. If you visit in the spring, you’ll catch the stunning cherry blossoms that DC is known for. There’s even a Cherry Blossom Festival that takes place throughout the city to celebrate the unique blooms through food, art, and entertainment.

San Diego

The San Diego Zoo at 2920 Zoo Drive is world famous for 100 acres of naturalistic animal habitats and the unique creatures who live here. Meet toucans in the aviaries, spot orangutans and tapirs, even take a tour of all the big cats! Next, head to the San Diego Zoo Safari Park to ride an offroad rig and see elephants, giraffes, cheetahs, and rhinos! Ages 8 and up can take the Flightline safari, a zipline 130 feet above the unique savanna animal habitats! Make sure to stop at the conservation carousel to ride lifelike figurines of rare and endangered animals.

You’ll find some of the best Mexican food north of the border in San Diego. Stop at 4310 Genesee Avenue to enjoy Birria tacos at Mike’s Red Tacos. Their homemade chili oil is unmatched, and diners love their Birria beef ramen with consume, cilantro, and onion. Check out The Taco Stand at 4646 Convoy Street for authentic tacos with flavors from the Baja Peninsula and Tijuana. Little ones (and adults, let’s be honest) love the Mexican popsicles and sweet, crunchy churros!

Planning to bring your pup along to an affordable vacation rental on the coast? You gotta stop at a dog-friendly beach! Ocean Beach Dog Beach at the end of I-8 is the perfect place for dogs to romp and play. Coronado Dog Beach at Ocean Court and Ocean Boulevard is another great spot for furry friends. Keep your dog leashed as you cross the road to the park and follow the path to the shore. This beach has a stunning view of Point Loma Headland, and there’s plenty of free parking close by. Before heading to a dog beach, be sure your dog is up-to-date on their shots, a requirement for all canines visiting these sandy oases.

South Padre Island

Looking for an affordable vacation rental in a prime winter escape? Visit South Padre Island in Texas to relax on sandy beaches and play in calm waters. Enjoy the incredible weather by taking your family bird watching! Start at 6801 South Padre Boulevard at South Padre Island Birding, Nature Center, and Alligator Sanctuary. Stroll among tidal wetlands and spot species like herons and spoonbills with the help of a naturalist. You can also take a dolphin tour on a boat to meet a pod of wild dolphins! Younger kids love visiting the touch tank, where they can touch live octopus, snails, starfish, and more.

If you can’t get enough ocean creatures, visit Sea Turtle, Inc. at 6617 Padre Boulevard. They rescue, rehabilitate, and release injured sea turtles into the wild. Visitors can attend a Turtle Talk and meet the resident sea turtle ambassadors and even watch them enjoy their breakfast at 10:30 a.m Central time.

Want an unguided coastal experience? Rent standup paddleboards from Air Padre at 5709A Padre Boulevard. Try the summer firework night light tours to see the coast after dark! This location also rents surfboards, kayaks, and boogie boards, so you’re sure to find a fun activity for everyone.

If you’re looking for adrenaline, go to 106 W. Marlin to check out Gravity Park. The amusement park has an arcade, climbing wall, mini-golf, and a trampoline ride. Get your thrills at the multi-level adult go-kart track or children’s go-kart track. You’ll remember the Giant Swing called the Skycoaster for the incredible views and thrills!

Lastly, book a stay at this budget-friendly vacation rental home, just steps from the beach and complete with a sparkling pool! With room for 8 and nightly rates averaging less than $100, you can bring the whole family without breaking the bank!

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