Travel Season: Cheap Vacation Ideas

Travel Season: Cheap Vacation Ideas

Travel Season: Cheap Vacation Ideas

What is the Money Date? A weekly time to check in. 3 things we review and update: 
1. Spending
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Some less expensive trip ideas for the upcoming summer season:

  • Be a local tourist. I’ve lived most of my life on the east coast in the Maryland and DC area, and I never really spent enough time exploring. Spend a few moments checking out what the top 10 or 20 sights in your area are and ask yourself how many of those you’ve visited at any time in the recent past.
  • Visit a national park. America’s national park system is one of our nation’s treasures. The natural beauty contained within the parks is some of the most stunning in the world and it can be accessed at a small price. It’s very cheap to camp at a national park, and even lodging – in the form of nearby hotels and cabins – isn’t usually too pricey.
  • Explore your own region. Instead of flying to some grand destination across the country, or in another country, simply hop in a car and explore some of the interesting areas within a few hours of your home. Almost every region of the U.S. offers some amazing getaways nearby, and taking advantage of that eliminates the cost of plane tickets and vastly increases your travel flexibility.
  • Wait until the very last minute. This might seem crazy as a summer vacation strategy, but it can actually produce a surprisingly cheap vacation. Simply wait until the absolute last minute to plan your trip. Wake up one morning, see what cheap flights and hotels are available that day, book a flight and a cheap hotel at your destination, then travel somewhere unexpected. You’ll wind up in a completely unexpected place, which will be full of surprises for you, and you’ll be doing it with a dirt-cheap plane ticket and an inexpensive hotel room because you’ll be providing last-minute fill-in for the providers of those services. Sure, you won’t be able to carefully plan your vacation, but it will definitely be exciting and unpredictable.
  • Travel someplace less typical. Many of the most expensive vacations are to the “usual” tourist destinations – Paris, the Caribbean, Disney World, New York City, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and so on. Instead, aim for something a little off the beaten path. Instead of Paris, stay in a smaller town in France. Instead of going to the Bahamas, go to Grenada. Instead of hitting Disney World, go to Cedar Point.


Summer vacations don’t have to kill your wallet if you apply a few smart strategies. Some of those strategies can produce an even more memorable summer experience. Think outside the box this summer and you may find yourself with an unforgettable trip at a forgettable price.

Anna Sergunina
Anna Sergunina

I'm Anna Sergunina, CFP®, President & CEO at MainStreet Financial Planning, Inc. My passion lies in serving others through financial planning, helping clients achieve their dreams like buying a home, saving for education, or retiring early. With over two decades in the industry and a CFP designation since 2009, I'm dedicated to excellence and continuous growth. Beyond work, I cherish moments with my son Liam, prioritize self-care, and engage in content creation for my Money Boss Parent Podcast and Money Library blog.

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