From nature lovers’ paradise getaways to food enthusiast hangouts, these 5 cheap places to travel in the U.S. offer options for any vacationer. Choose your ideal vacation between these budget destinations and keep your financial worries at bay.
1. New Orleans
With its rich Creole cuisine and a music scene to make jazz and blues artists swoon, New Orleans is one hot destination that can be done on a budget. Though Mardi Gras is appealing, you’ll want to come between festivities to score on hotel bargains during your stay. That doesn’t mean you won’t experience the rich culture New Orleans has to offer, as the food, music, and architecture remains year round. Rather, you’ll enjoy it more by avoiding all the rambunctious crowds. The French Quarter is charming, and these spots are perfect for foodies, but it’s better to avoid a stay there if you’re watching your wallet. Admire the city’s architecture and colonial heritage with a visit to the French Quarter, where you can stuff your face with chargrilled oysters or chow down on a po’boy.
Yellowstone’s 2.2 million acres is a nature lover’s paradise — and an affordable vacation destination. This national park in Wyoming contains mountains, meadows, geysers, and waterfalls to explore. Traverse any number of trails and encounter wildlife such as buffalo, elk, and even grizzly bears along the way. Save money by camping – any park lodges will be significantly more expensive than renting a space at a campground. Plus, showers and toilets are included in many campground stays. Be sure to pack a snack as well…and all your meals for that matter. Paying for pricey restaurant meals is one tourist trap that’s easy to avoid.
This well-known hipster city has a growing food and beer scene as well as unique local arts and crafts to experience. To get to know the city, take advantage of the free walking tour that takes you through the street art and hip bars and restaurants of different neighborhoods. Get to know the growing food scene through creative creations in donut flavors and affordable food cart grub on the streets. While you’re at it, hop through the local breweries to get a feel for the beer-lovers’ hangouts. This artsy and rising-foodie city is an affordable destination for your next trip.
4. Key West
Relax on the warm beaches of Key West’s subtropical paradise, where eccentric residents create a unique environment. Tour Ernest Hemingway’s old home to soak in some literary genius, or sip a margarita by the sea. Walk the palm-lined streets and admire the classic mansions and tin-roofed “conch” houses of Key West. The more you walk the better, as bicycle and scooter rentals can get expensive, or better yet bring your own bike! Be sure to visit in the Spring for reasonably priced accommodations.
Active outdoor enthusiasts will love a visit to Adirondacks, with its wide variety of activities in the winter and summer. Take a trip to the Adirondack Mountains to admire the scenic Lake Placid and Saranac Lake. Sports enthusiasts can take a break from the action and enjoy the historic Olympic complexes featured in Lake Placid. Winter sports include skiing, snowshoeing, bobsledding and dogsledding, while common summer activities are biking, fishing, hiking and whitewater rafting. Luckily, Adirondacks features affordable campground stays, especially during September and October, and hiking trails are entirely free.