7 Unbelievable Budget Vacation Destinations

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Vacationing on a budget is never an easy task. Whether it’s paying for expensive flights, spending money on costly restaurants, or buying a bunch of souvenirs, the expenses add up quickly and can leave you going home with an empty bank account. It’s tough to imagine going on a vacation and not spending any money—after all, the fun things usually cost. Here are seven unbelievable budget vacation destinations to consider if you still want to have the time of your life.

Our List of Surprising Budget Vacation Destinations

Toronto, Canada

budget vacation destinations

Image via Flickr elPadawan

Because of its proximity to the U.S., Toronto is a great destination if you want to travel internationally without breaking the bank. As the entertainment and cultural capital of Canada, it’s home to an endless number of attractions including museums, theatres, art galleries, and shopping. If you want to watch your spending, there are also a lot of other activities that are just as memorable like hiking and biking among the skyscrapers downtown or canoeing around the Toronto Islands.

If you’re hungry, the St. Lawrence food market offers more than 120 unique vendors and is one of the world’s best. There’s also many ethnic neighborhoods like Chinatown and Little Italy specializing in their own cuisine. If you’re worried about renting a car or spending a lot of money on cabs to get to all these places, don’t be. Toronto has the third largest public transit system in North America, the TTC, making it easy to travel anywhere in the city for a relatively cheap price.

Yellowstone National Park

budget vacation destinations

Image via Flickr mmmavocado

Spending money on overseas flights is expensive, so taking a vacation somewhere within the U.S. borders will save you money before you even leave your house. One of the most popular destinations in the U.S. is Yellowstone National Park, where you can find the famous Old Faithful geyser. You can either spend a little money to stay in a nearby lodge, or save some by pitching a tent. Also, besides paying a park entry fee, all other attractions inside the park are natural and free of charge.

Smokey Mountain National Park

budget vacation destinations

Image via Flickr K_Thomas

Vacationing in nature is the most cost-effective way to travel, and much like Yellowstone National Park, the Smokey Mountains offer visitors plenty to see and do. The Smokey Mountain National Park is known as the most popular national park in America, including miles of trails and streams to venture on and a major theme park too. Whether it’s fishing, hiking, or taking a drive through the scenic six-mile Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail, this park is a great place to explore nature on a budget.

Cozumel, Mexico

budget vacation destinations

Image via Flickr mbarrison

One of the most popular ways to travel in recent years has been to take a cruise to Mexico. If you don’t live near a port on the water, you can find cheap flights to the beautiful city and enjoy all it has to offer, including the culture and beautiful jewelry. Tickets are relatively cheap and are all-inclusive. If the ship is your vessel then feel free to partake in the variety of foods, activities, and amenities provided to you. The best part: you’re on vacation while traveling to a vacation destination.

Once you get to Cozumel, you can rent a Jeep for cheap to explore the island’s Mayan ruins. If you’d rather stay close to port and save money, you can lie down on a beautiful nearby beach and enjoy the sun.

New York City

budget vacation destinations

There’s a reason more than 40 million people visit The Big Apple each year. If you think it’s expensive to visit this city, think again. Tickets to get there, whether you’re booking a flight, taking a train, or riding the bus, can be cheap because of how big the city is and how many people travel through it. Sure, there’s expensive restaurants, museums, and concerts to attend while you’re there, but you can have fun and see a lot without spending a lot of money, too.

The most cost-effective way to get around NYC is to use your legs or  public transportation. Staying away from cabs will save you loads of money, and walking around in the city will grant an awe-inspiring experience as you pass large historic buildings and beautiful sights on your journey. For a complete listing of free things to do in the city that never sleeps, check out this guide that provides detailed information about sites and attractions you’ll want to visit.


budget vacation destinations

Image via Flickr DonkeyHotey

While getting to Florida will cost you some money, sitting on the sands all day soaking up the sun is free of charge. Many tourists visit Florida for its theme park attractions like Disney World and Universal Studios, which can put a serious dent in your wallet. But the beautiful beaches scattered along its coasts are a great place for a vacation if you want to tune out the world, relax, and listen to the Atlantic Ocean’s (or Gulf of Mexico’s) waves.

Some of the most popular beaches in Florida include Sanibel Island, Clearwater Beach, Key West, Caladesi Island, and of course the famous South Beach in Miami. While accommodations along the beaches during peak travel times are usually pricey, hotels and motels just a few miles inland can save you a lot of money. And most beaches have a free trolley to get you to and from the beach.


budget vacation destinations

Image via Flickr deveni

If you’ve got an itch to leave the country but don’t want to fork out the money to fly to Europe to do it, consider heading south to Jamaica. Jamaica is known for its luxurious and cost-friendly accommodations for tourists, and the international airfare to get there is relatively cheap too because of the new airport near Ocho Rios. If you want to get pampered and spoiled for a bargain, this is the place to go.

Jamaica offers plenty of beautiful waterfalls, coves, and beaches perfect for anyone wanting to catch some sun and relax in the beautiful tropics. It has many wildlife sanctuaries and gardens to visit, too.

Of course, these are just some of the vacation destinations you can visit on a budget. There’s an endless amount of places you can visit to get away, some of which are much closer than you think!

Are you thinking about taking a trip? Where would you like to go?

Jennifer is a freelance writer who enjoys hanging out with her over-sized pup on the weekends. Often times, she can be found at the beach running amok with the mutt when she doesn't have a pen and paper in her hand. Follow her on Google +.
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