With warmer weather waiting just around the corner, you may have begun to fantasize and dream about your next vacation destination. The gray and cold of the winter months will do that to a person. However, even though a nice island getaway sounds like paradise, you aren’t so sure your pocketbook will agree with you when it comes time to buy that plane ticket. That’s giving you some serious end-of-season blues.
Here are just a few ideas out there to get you started planning:
Here are some great destinations close to home.
1. Yellowstone National Park
Maybe one of the most quintessential vacations you can plan in the U.S. is a road trip across the country. Choosea historic road to take, like Route 66 or the Oregon Trail, and get on the road. You’ll not only save on airfare, but you’ll also get to pass through magnificent landscapes like YellowstoneNational Park. Save on hotel stays and lodging by bringing a tent and lose yourself in wilderness a hike. There are also hot springs, mud pools and spectacular views. All you’ll pay is a small entrance fee.
2. New Orleans, LA
If you’re looking for a little Southern flavor in a culturally rich environment, NOLA should be at the top of your list. Surprisingly, outside of Mardi Gras, the city is quite affordable. You’ll find budget hotels in the historic buildings of the French Quarter and food that will make your stomach cry with joy without emptying your wallet.
There are many great places to visit south of the border.
1. Cahuita, Costa Rica
Costa Rica is one of those rare beauties that has the triple threat of gorgeous beaches, magnificent wildlife and affordability. It’s also an easy destination to get to from the U.S. Southwest runs affordable flights to the Pura Vida paradise often, so you won’t have trouble finding your mode of transport to get there.
Checking out the tiny town of Cahuita, which is located next to a national park, will provide you with the perfect setting to relax and go off the grid for a recharge. One downside: It really is tiny. The town has one bar to entertain. That’s all. Then again, with the truly stunning nature at yourfingertips – and free of charge – in Cahuita, do you really need anything else?
2. Quito, Ecuador
The capital of this South American country also happens to be one of its highest locations – which contributes to its very consistent and pleasant weather. It’s also a UNESCO World Heritage site and one of the cheapest destinations in not only the country, but also the continent. One of the downsides is that it is somewhat difficult to get to, so many travelers only make it here if they are doing an entire country tour. It’s worth considering, once you see the to-dos and the cost far outweigh the cons.
Southeast Asia and the Pacific
If you want to head farther afield, consider these surprisingly affordable destinations.
Yes. A Pacific Island made the list. You’re not misreading. Even though you may have an illusion of Fiji being an expensive island getaway, it is actually quite affordable when compared to neighboring islands. You’ll eat amazing seafood, get to enjoy their pristine beaches and take lessons from diving experts – all without having to take out a second mortgage on your home.
2. Siem Reap, Cambodia
What would a budget travel list be without the magnificence of Southeast Asia? One of the many accessible and affordable countries in this region, Cambodia is a real jewel. It’s full of history, boasts beautiful nature and is so cheap you’ll hardly believe it.
Siem Reap will put you at the entrance to the famed Angkor Archaeological Park, but there are other great things to do as well. You can enjoy delicious street food, fish pedicures and local artisan crafts that will cost you pennies. Seriously. Spending $50 a day is more than enough to live large here.
This is really just a snippet of the great many affordable destinations out there for you to explore. So when you sit down over the coming weeks to organize your summer holidays, don’t think too small because you think your bank account won’t let you look outside your city limits. There are solutions. You just need to know where to look.
Savannah Hemmings is a Tulane University alum with a degree in Journalism and Mass Communications. She is a Philadelphia-based personal stylist and writes about style, fashion and fitness on her lifestyle blog, Sincerely Savannah. Her work has been featured on Hello Giggles, Bustle, Self Magazine and TIME.