Traveling on the cheap can be a challenge—and when you add kids and relatives into the mix, that only gets more complicated.
But seeing the best of what Canada has to offer doesn’t have to mean blowing the budget. This list of affordable family travel destinations will satisfy your family’s road-trip bucket list and your wallet.
Here’s where to head for some family-friendly (and budget-friendly) adventures across Canada:
Waterton National Park & Crowsnest Pass, Alberta
Get a double dose of Rocky Mountains views. Located an hour’s drive apart, these scenic Alberta locales offer plenty of outdoor adventure. Waterton National Park offers hiking and camping; if you’re lucky enough to visit in spring, the “Wildflower Capital of Canada” will probably be in full bloom. Must-do activities in Crowsnest Pass include hiking, fishing, and of course, visiting the World’s Largest Piggy Bank.
Niagara Falls, Ontario
Sure, Niagara may come with its share of tourist-town prices, but those glorious falls, the honorary eighth wonder of the world, still don’t cost a cent to view. When you’re done basking in the view, you can day-trip to Niagara-On-The-Lake or check out other nifty local attractions like the Floral Clock. If your fam is outdoorsy, the Niagara Recreation Trail, Crystal Beach, and Dufferin Islands Park are all nearby. And with four Travelodge locations in the area—Niagara Falls At the Falls, Thriftlodge at the Falls, Niagara Falls Lundy’s Lane, and Niagara Falls Fallsview—a cozy retreat is never far away.
Kamloops, British Columbia
A mix of nature and history makes Kamloops a solid road-trip destination for the family. Stop in at Riverside Park for a beach visit, a picnic, or a run through the splash pond, then swing by BC Wildlife Park and meet about 200 different animal species (for well under $20 a person). There’s plenty of possibility to explore nature—sandstone canyons, desert, forest—but the Kenna Cartwright Tower Trail is a kid-friendly walk with unforgettable views.
Halifax & The Bay Of Fundy Area, Nova Scotia
You’ll have a heck of a maritime in Nova Scotia’s capital. The Halifax Public Gardens, the Citadel Historic Site, and the HMCS Sackville (Canada’s oldest warship) are all stimulating, inexpensive activities; science-minded kids will particularly dig the recently-rebuilt Discovery Centre. Head to the bay to visit the Reversing Falls, swim with salmon (in September), take beachcombing walks and do some stunning stargazing—then head back to Travelodge by Wyndham hotels in Bridgewater, Moncton, Miramichi, Saint John, or New Glasgow and decompress.
As you might expect, Canada’s national capital has plenty of cultural programming, with the Canadian Children’s Museum, Canadian Aviation and Space Museum, and Canadian Museum Of Nature likely to be at the top of any kid’s list. Take a stroll—or ice skate—along the Rideau Canal, or pass by Parliament (and, if you’re visiting in the spring, the surrounding ocean of tulips).