white sandy beach in Thailand


Looking for affordable family beach vacations? Here are some helpful hints and tips on how to find the most affordable family beach based holidays.

It’s that time again – you’re dreaming of sun, sea, sand…and not having to spend a fortune. I aim to give you some helpful hints and tips on how to find the most affordable family beach vacations in a variety of locations depending what kind of holiday you’re after. From the atmospheric beaches of Wales out of season to European happening hotspots and beyond, there’s an affordable family beach vacation for everyone.

Firstly, if you’re travelling with under 2’s, they get free plane travel. They don’t however get their own seat (unless you are lucky enough to be on a plane that’s not too full). So you need to be comfortable with them sitting on your lap the entire flight. Therefore a plane ride more than a few hours may be a bit daunting. Don’t worry, there are still many destinations 2-4 hours away that make sharing a seat with your tot well worth it. Of course, you may have a stationary little person who’s happy to sit still but we know from experience this is all too often not the case! One tip for plane journeys with taking off and landing. Your little one will often feel their ears pop as the pressure changes. It will really help to have a bottle/drink handy as the swallowing action soothes the ear situation.

If your little ones are pre-schoolers, this means you aren’t tied to school holidays. Take full advantage whilst you can! Prices rise exorbitantly during these periods. And once you’re paying for flights too, this type of holiday may well be financially out of reach for some years to come. So go whilst you are able.

vibrant blue sea at taling ngam beach in koh samui

One of the main points to consider is that with younger children it will not be practical to spend too long in the hot sun. So it’s sensible to choose an area that has a great beach, but also other family friendly activities going on nearby. That way you can mix it up a bit and cool down. Invest in a decent sunshade (either pre hols in in the UK, or rent onsite if flying abroad).

Another factor to consider is the cleanliness of the water. Depending on whether you want to paddle or have a swim and snorkel. Some of the world’s most beautiful beaches can harbour polluted water. So it’s worth checking when you’re considering destinations if you intend to make use of the sea.

Unless the whole area is very exclusive and expensive, it is often not about the beauty and popularity of the beach itself, but being canny about where to stay. It will be generally more affordable to stay a short drive or longer walk away from the beach. With good car deals around it may well be cheaper to hire a car. Stay a little distance away, somewhere nicer than premium priced beach accommodation. And of course if you’re in the UK with your own car, it’s an obvious way to make your family beach vacation more affordable.

A cheaper option is often to choose self-catering accommodation, either via a site like www.ownersdirect.co.uk or www.holidaylettings.co.uk and find an early / late deal or something out of season. Companies like Expedia do bargain holidays combining flights with hotels / self-catering which is definitely worth checking out.

The most affordable family option is camping of course. However, depending on the age of your children and how important creature comforts are to you, this may not feel like a holiday! With older children though, this could be a fun adventure for all the family. Meaning you can stay close to the beach, with perhaps the last night in a hotel as a relaxing treat when a hot bath is calling!

Cheap Family Beach Vacations in the UK

The UK is an excellent destination for fabulous beaches. There may not be a guarantee of hot sun, but beautiful scenery and activities can make beaches here a real contender. Plus, if you have the flexibility, out of season bargains on accommodation will make all the difference to your pocket.

♦ AWTYK Top Tip –Dolau and Newquay Harbour beaches in West Wales are just two of many stunning and atmospheric beaches in North Wales and make for some of the best affordable family beach Vacations in the UK.

Golden Labrador On A Beach In The Llyn Peninsular
Golden Labrador On A Beach In The Llyn Peninsular

There are also some excellent, family friendly beaches in Cornwall. The options really are endless here, and there’s something for all the family and lots of dog friendly beaches too.

♦ AWTYK Top Tip – We love Watergate Bay beach for surfing, fun and facilities. St Ives beach for atmospheric beauty and culture, with the Tate being a stone’s throw away. And Polperro beach for fishing village charm.

Affordable Beach vacations in Europe

Beautiful beaches abound in Europe. From well-known hotspots across Spain and the Canary Islands to more recently popular destinations, such as Croatia.

♦ AWTYK Top TipAlmyrida beach in Crete is a fabulous little family friendly resort with lots to do.

view of beach in europe from above

Affordable Beach Vacations Worldwide

South East Asia is further away and more expensive to reach. But if you can shop around and find a good deal on flights then it really is ‘cheap as chips’ and well worth a visit. Thailand especially is a great family destination. With a very welcoming local population. See this great blog on  South East Asia’s budget beaches

♦ AWTYK Top Tip – Monkey Mountain beach in Khao Takiab, is a beautiful area on the mainland of Thailand.

Nai Harn beach on Phuket Island in Thailand is much more touristy but very appealing nevertheless with a very local feel – gorgeous beach and lots of little souvenir shops and eateries based around the bay. A day trip here from a less expensive area elsewhere on the island will not disappoint.

We also love Vietnam for a great value beach holiday. The coastline around Danang has some of the most beautiful beaches in Vietnam.

family sat on the yellow sand looking out to sea on Nusa Dua

For me, even with the cost of the flight, South East Asia most definitely is the best place for an affordable family beach vacation.

There are, of course, amazing beaches in the Caribbean, USA and Australia and other far flung destinations. But these are a lot less affordable. If you want to read about these check out my blog on ‘Best Family Destinations in the World

What are your favourite affordable family beach destinations? Let me know in the comments. Happy travels!

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