The Real Truth About Big Cities and Budget Family Vacations

When you think of family vacations you probably think of beaches, or theme parks, or hiking in the mountains. You probably don’t think of big cities. And the reason could very well be that the cost of staying in a city is often prohibitive for a family budget.

The trick to being able to afford city accommodations for a family is to rent a timeshare. Many people don’t yet know that by renting a timeshare you get spacious accommodations for up to 50% less than the cost of a cramped hotel room. You get separate bedrooms, a living room, and even a dining area, all for a very affordable price. And even though timeshares are generally recognized as being parts of large resorts, most cities have them, as well.

So let’s explore two big cities, one on each coast, and see how they can be fun family vacations that you can do on a budget.

1. New York City. This iconic “big city” has so much to offer for a vacation that each member of the family will find plenty to keep entertained. Central Park is a good place to start, with its whopping 37 different children’s playgrounds. The 840 acres are also crisscrossed with walking tracks and biking and hiking trails. New York

The Staten Island Ferry is another great deal in NYC. Ride the ferry back and forth from Manhattan to the borough of Staten Island across exciting New York Harbor – for free. And Coney Island, now known as Luna Park, is a fun, old-fashioned-feeling amusement park, with its 84-year old roller coaster, Cyclone, and 19 new rides.

You can rent timeshares right in downtown Manhattan that start at just $128/night, where you are just a few blocks from Central Park, Times Square, Wall Street, the amazing shopping on 5th Avenue, many world-class museums, and, of course, Broadway.

2. San Francisco. This beautiful City by the Bay is a unique “big city” experience, with its many hills overlooking deep-blue water. Did you know that the Golden Gate Bridge – a landmark recognized the world over – is open for pedestrians? Yes, you can actually walk across this world-famous bridge, for spectacular views of the city and the bay, and you can even picnic in a renovated garden on the southeast side of the bridge.

San Francisco Cable CarOf course, your entire family will have fun riding the iconic cable cars, as they climb the hills gripping cables beneath the street, then whiz down the other side as the cables are released. A cable car ride will take you to Fisherman’s Wharf, where you’ll see dozens of small fishing boats moored beside both fancy seafood restaurants and sidewalk stands, all offering succulent steamed crabs.

And you won’t want to miss Golden Gate Park. Fun things to do here include Queen Wilhelmina’s Windmill, Koret’s Children’s Quarter, a 3.8 million-dollar children’s playground, and Buffalo Paddock where you can see the Park’s resident bison herd!

You can rent a timeshare right in downtown San Francisco, across from Union Square, that costs just $107/night. While timeshare rentals in cities generally do not come with full-sized kitchens, as do the ones at resorts, you’ll still get a small refrigerator and a microwave oven, which can help the budget when it comes to snacks for those constantly hungry kids, as well as saving the cost of eating out for breakfasts and lunches.

With the many frugal, and even free, things there are to do in big cities, along with affordable timeshare rentals for accommodations, you can make your next family vacation a Big City Adventure!

Alice Perkins is a timeshare travel blogger for, the largest online market place for timeshare rentals, where vacationers can find spacious accommodations for less than the cost of a typical hotel room.

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