12 Amazing Budget Vacation Ideas

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budget vacation ideas

There’s no doubt everybody needs some time away from their daily routine, but you don’t need to spend $100,000 a night for the privilege. That’s what you’ll pay to stay in the world’s most expensive hotel room.

The best vacations aren’t necessarily the most expensive ones. Check out these budget vacation ideas the next time it feels like the walls are closing in on you.

1. Plan a Staycation

How much do you really know about your neighborhood? Why not Google, ‘vacations near me’ to find out?

Chances are, you can have a wonderful time really close to home. Every town and city has its nearby attractions including museums, theme parks, and state parks.

Spending your time-off in your own ‘hood is one of the most inexpensive vacations of all. Plus, all your friends are around to join in the fun.

2. Head for the Great Outdoors

There’s no better way to immerse yourself in nature than with a camping trip. Even if you have to hire all the gear or rent a permanent tent, these kind of holidays are still less expensive than paying for a hotel.

You can self-cater to cut costs further and campgrounds offer entertainment on tap. There are bound to be other families to interact with and get-togethers on the go during your trip.

Many campgrounds offer excellent facilities for fun like swimming pools, fishing, and hiking too.

3. Explore State Parks

Even if you don’t like camping, you can still enjoy a budget-friendly vacation thanks to the abundance of State Parks in the country.

There are 61 State Parks in the US and many of these offer lodges and cabins as well as campgrounds and these are still cheaper than luxury hotel rooms. You can self-cater to save costs or enjoy reasonably-priced meals at the onsite restaurants and cafes.

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4. Seaside Budget Vacation Ideas

If you simply must dabble your toes in the ocean during your vacation, rather opt for lesser-known seaside destinations.

You’ll find accommodation, meals, and entertainment comes at a much lower price in these out-of-the-way areas. There will be fewer crowds and a wider choice of rooms too.

5. Try Timeshare

The timeshare industry may have gotten off to a bad start but it’s cleaned up its act. The upfront costs may seem a little excessive at first, yet timeshare getaways often work out to be the most affordable vacations in the long run.

Do some math, this can be an excellent option for your family if you can afford the monthly installments.

If you find the initial outlay for a timeshare contract offputting, you should consider some second-hand timeshare options. You can buy Disney Vacation Club resale contracts or Diamond Resorts International, Hilton Grand Vacations club or other vacation club points for much cheaper.

6. Keep It In the Family

As long as you don’t overstay your welcome, visiting friends and family in a different town or state is an excellent option for vacationing on a budget.

Not only will you save on accommodation, but you can also share the cost of food. Your hosts are bound to know all the best and most affordable places to eat and play too.

7. Travel in the Low-Season

This one’s a no-brainer if you have children under school-going age, or are traveling as a couple. Out-of-season travel has everything going for it.

You pay less for everything, have the whole place to yourself, and enjoy a better shot at living-like-a-local wherever you decide to go.

8. Make It Short

A weekend break can be just what the doctor ordered. Shorter stays automatically cost less.

They’re also a good way to break out of the humdrum, even if it’s only for a short while.

It’s best to investigate options close to your hometown. That way you’ll spend less on fuel and won’t waste your limited time getting to your destination.

9. Go During the Week

If you can get away for a couple of days during the week, that’s even better than a weekend break.

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Midweek breaks are the ultimate option for vacations on a budget. Hotel rates are cheaper, accommodation is more freely available, and you’ll get the peace and quiet you desire.

10. Take Date Night to Another Level

For a staycation with a difference, spend a few nights at a local B&B. When you do this, you don’t need to worry about any household chores that go along with a traditional stay-at-home vacation.

Spoiling yourself with a few days of relaxation just a few miles away from the daily routines of the home is just as refreshing as time spent further afield.

11. Research Your Options

Often, vacationing on a budget just takes a little extra work. When planning your trip, spend time finding ways to stick within your budget.

Scour the internet for travel discounts, cheap entry fees to attractions, and cheap transport options. Airline and hotel rates are often a lot cheaper when you book in advance.

You’re likely to find that these special offers usually apply to midweek and out-of-season periods. So, if you’re already on board with that, you can save even more.

12. Last Minute Luxury

The one exception to the booking early guideline is cruises. If they haven’t filled all their berths on a particular trip, cruise lines will offer really low last-minute rates.

Cruising is an affordable vacation option even at full price, but if you can afford to travel on a whim this is a good way to enjoy all the onboard luxury for even less.

It’s Time for a Change of Scenery

If you’ve been dedicating your life to the daily grind for the longest time, it’s time to break out of the mold.

Keep reading our blog for more budget vacation ideas as well as top tips for saving money in your daily life.

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