See also: Affordable Ideas: a range of ideas, from camping in yurts (all kitted out), to drive-to getaways and vacation towns with good price point...
Beaches is the popular family-resort brand of the Sandals chain of all-inclusives in the Caribbean; resorts in Jamaica and Turks and Caicos offer watersports (including scuba), kids' programs and nursery, Sesame Street characters and activities, and even butler service. The Fall months are part of the extended discounted "summer season" in the Caribbean, and guests have a good chance of finding discounts through the rest of the year too: check the Beaches site for deals such as 60% off, or Free Nights.
There's always a promotion, at this popular mega-resort on Paradise Island. Also, kids 11 and under stay free, and can play in the amazing 93-acre "waterscape", with AQUAVENTURE waterpark, jaw-dropping waterslides, special-effects river ride, shark lagoons, subterranean aquariums, water play zone for little kids, beaches, calm lagoon, much more. The Atlantis also has spa, casino, Marina, kids' camp developed by Discovery Channel, teen club.
- Check prices for The Atlantis Bahamas at Kayak.com
Franklyn D. Resort is a mid-sized all inclusive family resort in Jamaica, known in particular for the "vacation nanny" assigned to each family throughout their stay. FDR also has kids club, teen activities, snorkeling, glass-bottom boat, kayaking... and good promotions throughout the year. For example: Moms Stay Free in May, Single Parent Special, Family Reunion Packages, Grandparents Stay Free, discounts for families with Special Needs.
- Check prices for Franklyn D. Resort
This great deal has repeated for several years on Alaska Airlines, with booking starting in January. Basically, one child (age 2 to 11) flies free per one accompanying adult to a number of Southern California airports. Packages include lodgings at a Disneyland "Good Neighbor Hotel", park passes, and some extras too.
The value-priced Ka'anapali Beach Hotel -- on Maui's popular Ka'anapali Beach-- prides itself on honoring Hawaiian culture, has an innovative kids' program, and offers many special promotions for families throughout the year. For example, check for Internet Specials such as "Room, Wheels, & Meals"; or "Best of the Beach" package with rental car, some meals, and goodies such as cooler bag and beach towels.
When it comes to vacations in the Great Outdoors, sometimes the best things in life are free: beaches, mountains, brilliant color of leaves in fall... National Wildlife Refuges are free year-round and most cities have one within a hours drive; National Parks have free hikes and other programs and fee-free weekends. And -- while skiing's expensive -- families can take advantage of Kids Ski Free pricing.