If staying close to home in 2019 is what the budget allows, you’ll be happy to hear there are many affordable options offering a plethora of activities and general fun. Who says you need to spend a ton of cash to enjoy your next vacation?
This little college town in the Coconino Forest is a fantastic base for exploring sights like Page, Antelope Canyon, and of course, Grand Canyon. On top of the myriad opportunities for exploring the spectacular landscapes of the southwest, as it turns out, Flagstaff proper is a cool college town. Many cozy pubs, a surprisingly interesting dining scene, tons of hiking and running trails and accommodation ranging from international hostels all the way up to 4-star hotels make Flagstaff a great place to hang. And the inexpensive price tags on everything make it a real gem.
There’s a lot more to Miami than pricey South Beach, and we’re excited to share some of that flavor for budget travelers. If you think of Miami as the Caribbean without the Caribbean price tag, you’ll get where we’re going with this. A beach holiday doesn’t have to come with giant price tags, and Miami has plenty of affordable accommodation to recommend it to the budget traveler. In addition, you can get the flavor of Cuba just by spending some time in Little Havana. Our best recommendation is to spend time on the beach during the day and explore the rich culture of little Havana, home to the largest population of Cuban expats in the world, at night.
Atlanta is the face of the modern south, and a fantastic city to explore for a budget getaway. We like to recommend Atlanta for sports fans – the many professional teams make for a fun guys or girls weekend and the nightlife is hard to beat. They don’t call it “Hotlanta” for nothing! You can keep expenses low in Atlanta by staying at a budget hotel, taking advantage of the cheap eats all over the city, and using MARTA to get around. An uber from the airport will set you back $50 or more, while a MARTA day pass is just $9. Because Atlanta‘s airport is the largest and busiest passenger airport in the world, you can get here easily on a shoestring budget from virtually anywhere in the continental U.S.
Washington, D.C. consistently ends up on a lot of budget roundup lists for a very good reason. Our nation’s capitol is a budget traveler’s delight. Most of the showstopping sights are completely free, and D.C. has a stellar public transport system that makes a rental car a complete nonstarter. While there are times of year that can be a bit more expensive, if you time things right you can have a satisfying trip for an entire family – even on a tight budget. You can explore all of the museums of the Smithsonian for free, including the exceptional Washington Zoo. Stay in Baltimore if you want rock bottom hotel prices, but there are ample budget hotels in D.C. proper as well. We can’t recommend it enough!
New Orleans, Louisiana
So much about New Orleans is special. There’s a vibrant, phenomenal culinary tradition, world-class jazz seven days a week, a party-til-you-drop culture (truly – it’s not for the faint of heart), and locals who are proud of their city to a fault – willing to take in visitors and make them part of the Big Easy’s extended family. And New Orleans remains a travel bargain in every sense of the word. Stay outside the French Quarter for reasonable hotel and dining options, and take a walking tour of one or two of the city’s many historical sites!
Philly is a little bit like Washington, D.C. in that the bulk of the museums and sights are virtually free to visitors. And you can offset those that do cost money by electing to buy a Philadelphia Pass. The all-inclusive Pass will give you entrance to many of Philly’s top attractions, to hop-on-hop-off bus tours, the zoo and aquarium for just $59/per person. Lots of cities have a similar pass, but we think Philadelphia’s packs the biggest bang for the buck.
For cold weather budget destination ideas, check out this one on our favorite ski spots.