Thrifty Travelers Share Their Best, Cheapest Vacations


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It’s tempting to relegate travel to the backburner or scrap the plans entirely when the funds are tight. But that shouldn’t be the case. Thrifty travelers are often able to satisfy their wanderlust without breaking the bank or incurring huge credit card bills. They’re known to frequent some of the most beautiful spots in the world on a thrifty budget. Dig in as 11 thrifty travelers share their best and cheapest vacation spots.

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Oaxaca, Mexico

Nomadic Matt, a New York best-selling author and a budget blogger, recommends Oaxaca, Mexico. Oaxaca is a UNESCO World Heritage site with over 1,200 historic buildings. The colorful city boasts a vibrant art and culture scene, including museums, while the surrounding areas offer plenty of outdoor recreational activities. Matt estimates accommodation rates range from $10 to $50 per night, and local restaurants serve a delicious thoroughfare for $5 to $10. Travelers who wish to experience the local cuisine by cooking their meals can subsist on $40 for an entire week.

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Hot Springs, Arkansas

Janice Brady from An Open Suitcase recommends Hot Springs, Arkansas, to anyone looking to stretch their travel bucks. The town is a hotspot of outdoor activities, from beautiful national parks to gorgeous waterfalls and thermal hot springs. Accommodation options range from $10 night campgrounds and $25 a night full-hookup RV sites or affordable Bed and Breakfast hotels. Travelers can take a Greyhound bus, drive to Hot Springs, fly to Little Rock, and take a $50 flat-rate shuttle to Hot Springs.

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It may take about 10 hours to get to London from the US, but Redditor Enano-reefer (r/Shoestring) recommends visiting the British capital. Thrifty travelers can fly to London for less than $200. The city has excellent public transport, and travelers can ride the bus or the subway to every corner. Getting an all-day pass and choosing a motel within walking distance of the underground station or served by a bus service helps lower transport costs. Key attractions in London without an entry fee include museums, art galleries, parks, gardens, and local markets.

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Valladolid, Mexico

Aga, a travel blogger (Traveling with Aga), recommends visiting Valladolid, a beautiful colonial town on the Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico. The charming town, dating back to the 16th century, is readily accessible from other tourist hotspots such as Merida, Playa del Carmen, and Cancun. Travelers can use a rental car service or take in the sights during the 2.5-hour bus ride. Main attractions include Mayan ruins, cenotes, museums, and art galleries. Accommodation options include pocket-friendly hostels and boutique hotels. The affordable but delicious Yucatan cuisine includes Conchita Pibil, Longanize de Valladolid, Salbutes, and Sopa de Lima.

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Nomadic Matt ( proves international travel doesn’t need to break the bank. The travel blogger spent 37 days in Colombia for less than $3,000, spending less than $80 a day. Hostels range from $10 to $20 a night, while boutique hotels charge about $20 a night and northwards of $30 during the high tourist season.

The local cuisine costs less than $10, but fast foods like Subway and McDonald’s cost about $10. Transportation options range from buses to rental cars and taxis, but Matt cautions budget-conscious travelers to use Uber instead of local taxis. A round-trip ticket to Columbia from the U.S. starts as low as $300.

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St. Augustine, Florida

Madison Arnholt, a travel blogger, recommends St. Augustine in Florida as a fun and affordable holiday destination. The coastal city pairs colonial history with beautiful beaches and warm weather to provide history buffs with a cheap holiday destination. There are plenty of decent budget hotels under $100 a night and many historical places to visit, including the striped lighthouse, cathedrals, and the St. Augustine Alligator Farm Zoological Park. The downtown is highly walkable, and visitors can sign up for a ghost tour and visit one of the numerous haunted sites in the city. Visitors can relax, swim, sunbathe, or build sandcastles on beautiful sandy beaches.

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Washington, D.C.

Aunty Cindy, a thrifty traveler and blogger, recommends Washington, D.C. Surprisingly, the nation’s capital is a fantastic and affordable destination for frugal travelers. There are many free things to do in Washington to keep visitors busy for days. The capitol is home to over 20 world-renowned Smithsonian Museums and charges no entry fee. Other famous attractions include the White House and national parks. Many budget hotels charge less than $100 a night, and an efficient metro and bus system helps visitors get around without breaking the bank.

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Sedona, Arizona

The Suitcase Scholar recommends Sedona, Arizona, to budget travelers looking to spend quality time outdoors and reconnect with nature. Sedona is renowned for its exquisite red rock formations, spiritual energy, and outdoor activities. The region is famous for vortex energy sites, and it is popular with travelers seeking a spiritual or meditative experience. Visitors can drive along the 7.5-mile-long scenic Red Rock byway popularly known as the “museum without walls.” Accommodation options range from free camping sites and low-cost camping grounds to budget motels charging less than $100 a night.

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The Pocono Mountains, Pennsylvania

Danielle and Brooke from Colorful Sisters recommend the Pocono Mountains in Pennsylvania. Travelers can sign up for a vintage-style train ride through the scenic mountains, enjoy a picnic at a state park, or plan an excursion in the beautiful parks and forests. With its beautiful buildings, the Jim Thorpe oozes an old American town vibe, and visitors can explore its offerings as they sample the local cuisine and enjoy scenic mountain views. The accommodation options range from camping grounds to rustic bed and breakfast inns to budget hotels.

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Arianna Winslow recommends budget travelers consider visiting California. Although the Golden State is famous for its more glamorous offerings, it’s also a treasure trove of pocket-friendly vacation adventures. It’s home to many beautiful parks, including the scenic Yosemite National Park, which has gorgeous camping grounds and hiking trails. Visitors can go glamping at Big Sur, visit prehistoric geoglyphs at Blythe, or enjoy an educational session at the Monterey Bay Aquarium.

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San Antonio, Texas

Audrey Enjoli recommends San Antonio, as the ultimate vacation destination for budget travelers looking for a great time. The town offers various indoor and outdoor attractions that don’t dent the pocket. Key attractions include museums, a Japanese Tea Garden, parks, a historic market square, and the world-famous Alamo. The town has an efficient bus service, but other options include rental cars, taxis, and ride-shares.

This story was produced and syndicated by MediaFeed.

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