Traveling on the cheap in the United States is not as difficult as you might think. Here is my guide to several beach destinations, camping areas and other popular tourist destinations that are easy on the budget.
Three Affordable Beach Vacations
Myrtle Beach is one of the most popular beach destinations in the United States and much less expensive than neighboring Hilton Head Island. The trick to finding the less expensive Myrtle Beach accommodations is to book early. I have vacationed at Myrtle Beach numerous times and prefer to book a condo (with a kitchen). Dining in Myrtle Beach (while reasonable) can be expensive. Preparing your own meals can save you gads of money. My favorite reasonably priced Myrtle Beach accommodations is the wonderful, Myrtle Beach Resort. It is possible for a family of four to stay at this wonderful ocean -side resort for around $1,000 a week.
Ocean City, Maryland
The same tips for Myrtle Beach apply to Ocean City, Maryland. Ocean City is a popular tourist destination and what is great about it is that it is relatively close to many major East coast cities, which makes Ocean City a great destination for a weekend getaway.
Atlantic City, New Jersey
I have only visited Atlantic City once and can’t say that I enjoyed the city much. If you are looking for a beach vacation, Atlantic City is probably not the destination for you. I found the beach to be quite dirty. For those looking to gamble or to enjoy some great accommodations and food, Atlantic City can be an affordable choice, especially if you go during nonpeak times.
Affordable Lake Vacations in the United States
If a beach vacation is out of the question, a lake vacation can be a perfect alternative. Lake Erie is a good choice for those living in Pennsylvania and Ohio. Hotel accommodations are relatively affordable and there are several campgrounds that are RV accessible.
Beautiful Kentucky Lake is another option that should be considered, especially by those who love the great outdoors. Kentucky Lake is the largest manmade lake in the United States. The Kentucky Lake area is host to many campgrounds with reasonably priced cabin rentals.
Affordable City Vacations
It is certainly possible to spend a lot of money in Las Vegas, but it is also possible to put together a reasonably priced Las Vegas vacation. Airfare to Las Vegas can be very reasonable. I have found that Southwest airlines offers some great rates to Las Vegas. There are also many hotel package deals. Las Vegas is becoming much more popular family vacation destination.
New York City
Summer is a great time to get bargain hotel rates in New York City. I was able to stay at the famous Plaza Hotel for five nights in August several years ago for under $200 a night. Restaurants in NYC tend to be expensive, but if you avoid the tourist traps, it is possible to dine for reasonable prices. There are often many free summer time events in NYC’s Central Park. My children enjoyed the street performers at the Fulton Fish Market (which are free) more than many of the other NYC attractions.
As is the case with New York City, summertime can be the perfect time to visit our nation’s capital. I advise those wanting to visit Washington DC on a budget to stay outside the city, but close to a train station. Hotels tend to be much less expensive outside the city limits and the DC train system is one of the best in the country. All of the museums and the Washington Zoo are free, which helps make Washington DC a less expensive vacation option.
Chicago can be less expensive than New York City and it is a wonderful choice for those craving a city vacation. Like most major cities, summer can be one of the least expensive times to visit. Chicago has many free activities including the zoo and walking along Lake Michigan can’t be beat.
The American side of Niagara Falls is less expensive than the Canadian side. While not as impressive, it still ranks as a fun vacation destination. My advice for those wanting to visit Niagara Falls is to stay on the American side and visit the Canadian side.
This is my list of some affordable vacation spots in the United States. I am well aware that large cities do tend to be more expensive than rural areas, but when planning a vacation “cheap” should not be the only consideration.