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To the sea with the whole family

Traveling with the whole family can be quite expensive. Flight costs rise, restaurants and hotels increase their prices and on the beach you have to explain to the kids why the ice cream in the cone is simply no longer included. 

But there is another way. We have selected family-friendly destinations in the Mediterranean where you can go on vacation for less - even during the vacation season.

The comparison: Where vacations in Europe are cheap 

The well the most reliable price comparison is offered by the Federal Statistical Office ahead of the summer vacations. It has compared the prices of hotels and restaurants in various countries - and lo and behold: holidaymakers in south and south-eastern European countries as well as in many of our neighboring countries often pay significantly less for accommodation and meals than here. In Bulgaria and Albania, the difference to Germany is most impressive: there you save more than half in hotels and restaurants. 

This table gives you a great overview of the official results from the statistics office: 
  1. Bulgaria -55%
  2. Albania -53%
  3. Turkey -41%
  4. Czech Republic -36%
  5. Portugal -32%
  6. Spain -26%
  7. Cyprus -24%
  8. Greece -23%
  9. Malta -21%
  10. Poland -19%
  11. Croatia -18% 

*Hotels and gastronomy, comparison to Germany 

Our tips: Here's where to go on an affordable beach holiday 

With an eye on the list, we went on a search for you - and found what we were looking for. Here are our 5 favourite beach vacations that will give you priceless moments at low prices: 

#1 Durrës, Albania 

Albania is becoming increasingly popular as a travel destination. Nevertheless, the Balkan state, which is slightly smaller than Belgium, is still a true "underdog". Few people know what a gem for family vacations it is, bordering Greece to the north. The country beckons with absolute dream beaches, vibrant cities, huge mountain ranges, deep canyons and sweet villages

In general, a family vacation in Albania is rather inexpensive. However, there are price differences depending on the region and level of popularity. The beaches in the south are a little more expensive. That's why we chose a destination in the middle of the coast. Namely the port city of Durrës

In the Sol Apartments can accommodate four people (2 adults, 2 children) for a total of 560 euros for a week in July. Each accommodation unit is fully equipped and has a balcony or terrace with a view of the water 

From here, you can go to the beach every day or take a look around the city. The amphitheatre is probably the best attraction for the whole family. 

You can fortify yourself in one of the many restaurants. In Albanian cuisine, mezze is one of the most popular dishes. Many small bowls of the most delicious specialties are served. Rice balls, stuffed vine leaves, savory dough cakes, yoghurt soup, grilled fish, sugar-sweet nut cakes - you can try a little bit of everything. Even in good restaurants, you'll often pay less than 15 euros for two people

Flights are available from Germany (e.g. Dortmund) to the capital, Tirana, from 110 euros in high season. From here, it's only a stone's throw to Durrës. Fancy a road trip by car? Then simply make a stop halfway - in Zadar on the Croatian coast. From Munich, you should arrive here after 9 hours. After the same travel time, you'll be in Durrës the next day - and you'll even have your car with you for day trips. 

#2 Antalya, Turkey 

According to the statistics office, it's 41% cheaper to look for a hotel or restaurant in Turkey than in Germany. 

The "Pearl of the Turkish Riviera", Antalya, is particularly suitable for a varied family vacation. In addition to the historic harbor district and the idyllic old town, which will enchant you with the charm of the past, playgrounds, water parks, cafés, restaurants and many child-friendly activities ensure action and many moments that you will remember with a smile.

In the C Suites - a family hotel with a fabulous' rating of 8.9 points, outdoor pool and apartments with fully equipped kitchen - you can stay for four (2 adults, 2 children) in a week in July for around 800 euros

The most popular beaches are Konyaalti Beach and Lara Beach. Our tip if your children get tired of beach life: To the east of the city is the impressive Düden Waterfall, which cascades down steep cliffs into the sea. How do you get here? With a pirate ship. Yes, you read that right. Families can enjoy great boat tours à la Captain Hook, which are an unforgettable adventure.

Also great fun for everyone:

Direct flights to Antalya take off from Hamburg, for example, from 105 euros. Prices naturally vary depending on the date and departure city 

#3 Sagres, Portugal 

To the most affordable vacation destinations in Portugal is the Algarve. The region in the beautiful south of the country has a stunning landscape. There are sandy beaches, fishing villages, cliffs and unobstructed views of the vast sea. The western Algarve is particularly suitable for families, with its numerous bays and family-friendly sandy beaches

The small town of Sagres is considered a laid-back surfing mecca and is popular with families looking for a balance between adventure in the water and relaxation on the beach. 

When searching for your accommodation, you will quickly realize that the price range is quite high. From affordable to luxurious, you'll find everything here. We discovered a very special gem: the Sagres Time Apartamentos with an excellent rating of 9.2 points. For around 1,500 euros per week, the four of you can enjoy the ideal location, an outdoor pool and a modern apartment. There is even a shuttle to pick you up from the airport

The best place to land is Faro. Eurowings flies from Cologne-Bonn from €29.99. 

What you shouldn't miss out on: a boat tour where you can watch dolphins in the open sea. You will take this unique experience home with you as the most beautiful souvenir. 

#4 Chalkidiki, Greece 

The best family vacation we have ever taken was a package tour to Chalkidiki. The region in northern Greece has incredibly beautiful beaches with turquoise sea water that is so clear you can see right to the bottom. 

We booked the trip last minute at a travel agency. It was particularly cheap because we didn't know which hotel we would be staying in. There were four to choose from and we only found out on site which one we would be staying in for the next two weeks. 

If you would rather have a little more planning security, we recommend entering 'Chalkidiki' as the destination on the TUI, Lidl-Reisen or Ab-in-den-Urlaub travel portals and happily comparing all the offers. At TUI, for example, you can find package tours including flights with four people for 1,800 euros - hotel with breakfast included. 

Whether it really is Halkidiki or you are drawn to Crete, Samos, Kos or Rhodes - you can be sure that you will spend sunny moments together as a family, where you can relax and really enjoy the beach life

#5 Pula, Croatia 

Croatia's coast offers many beautiful places where you can enjoy an inexpensive vacation. The sheltered port city of Pula is at the forefront. Whining children who get bored? Certainly not here. In this coastal town, historical sights meet dream beaches, there is plenty to discover in the labyrinth of alleyways in the old town and you can get to know the underwater world in the aquarium. A special highlight, and the city's landmark: the amphitheatre, which is still beautifully preserved. 

Then cool off on one of the many beaches: put on your water wings and splash around carefree. The Croatian sea is considered to be the cleanest in Europe. There's just one thing to bear in mind during your days by the water: Croatia's beaches are pebble beaches. So pack swimming shoes for you and the kids  

You can find affordable accommodation at Apartment Pradolando. The rooms are bright and fully equipped, you have a nice balcony with sea view and for a week in July you pay (2 adults, 2 children) just 770 euros. 

From Germany there are many direct flights to Pula. Some airlines will take you to your destination for as little as 44.90 euros. You can also arrive by car. From Munich, the journey takes just over 7 hours. 

Favourable family vacations - these tips will help you 

To save a little more money before and on your trip so that you can then invest it in really great memories, it's also worth paying attention to the following tips: 

#1 Share suitcase: It's often cheaper if you only take one large family suitcase and each give up one hand luggage that is included in the ticket price. All liquid cosmetics such as shampoo and the like that are not taken on board are then placed in the suitcase 

#2 Book in good time: You can always see a year in advance when the summer vacations are coming up. This is also the best time to book a cheap family vacation. You can find really fabulous bargains on many comparison sites. 

#3 Self-catering: If you choose accommodation in an apartment with a kitchen, you can simply cater for yourself instead of going to an expensive restaurant. After all, pasta from the supermarket is much cheaper than on the road.
#4 Shop local instead of touristy: Speaking of supermarkets - local stores are often a bit further away from tourist centers, but they are often much cheaper. You can also shop 'like real locals'. 

#5 Free attractions: There are now free walking tours in almost every city. Here, a local will show you the best places and won't charge you anything. You can book such tours on freetour.com.

And finally, the most important tip: Enjoy your holiday. What's the point if you're just doing the math and miss out on taking a deep breath and being in the moment with your family? 
Just follow our tips, choose your cheap destination and let the affordable beach vacation begin.

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