By Juliette

Top Ten Insanely Cheap Places to Visit This Summer

cheap places to travel this summer

It’s something about the steamy hot weather and longer days of summer that have me yearning for a vacation more than usual. Being cooped up inside a windowless room ten months out of the year doesn’t help. As a teacher in my other life, I often restrict my big travel plans for the months of July and August…falling right into the trap of airlines jacking up flights prices for when kids are out of school. Tricky tricky. However, this doesn’t guarantee that you can’t have a magnificent vacation on a budget. It’s easy to see the world no matter what your wallet says if you narrow down your priorities and are willing to make some compromises. Here are the top ten places to book if you’re looking to stretch your dollar.

Chilnualna Falls Trail hike
Chilnualna Falls Trail

Yosemite National Park, California
Although we opted to travel to Yosemite National Park in the spring, it’s just as easy to curb your spending in the summer time. If you book far enough in advance (like a year, seriously) campsites are inexpensive and a functional choice for you stay. As with most national parks, it’s best to grocery shop ahead of time and bring all your meals and snacks with you. Without going out for meals or stopping in shopping boutiques (cause you’re in a forest…) it’s easy to stop any extra spending. We realized that after five days in a park, we had spent zero dollars. Pay the housing and food bill up front and you’re good to go, the trails don’t take credit cards.

Portland, Maine
Since most people head south for beachy vacays, Maine tends to fall off the radar unless you’re in the 80+ age group. Turns out, Portland is one of the most diverse places to visit with a multitude of activities to suit everyone’s preferences, all at a low cost to you. Whether it’s biking around the city to view the lighthouses or enjoying a crab roll and blueberry pie, it’s easy to keep an eye on your cash flow while not missing out on everything the city has to offer.

Sea Kayak Tours, Bar Harbor
Sea Kayak Tours, Bar Harbor

Acadia National Park, Maine
If you’re in Maine, it’s essential to drive up north to Acadia National Park. Similar to Yosemite, you can cut costs drastically by camping nearby. Beyond the entrance fee into the region, you can hike, swim, and climb to your heart’s content without spending a dime.

Havana, Cuba
Recently added as an option for travelers, Havana is perfect for those interested in the history of the country and its dynamic culture…or even just the cigar industry. Flights here are extra cheap, less than a $100 out of Miami or Fort Lauderdale, which allows you more cash to spend on your actual experiences. Because Cuba is trying to build up their tourist economy, they have a myriad of options to fit varying price points, from AirBnB’s to hostels and five star hotels, pick and choose what’s right for you.

Paris Tours

Toronto, Canada
Again, as everyone heads down south, opt to travel up north where you can still soak up in the nice weather but at a much lower cost. Toronto is a bustling city with so much more to offer beyond Niagara Falls (although you should make sure you stop there, too!) With one of the best currency exchange rates now, it’s almost like you’re saving money when you cross the border.

Williamsburg, Virginia
History buffs will go crazy for a week in Williamsburg, VA. Accessible by car for anywhere on the east coast, you can save big avoiding airports. from Colonial Williamsburg to Busch Gardens, there are numerous activities to keep an entire family occupied for the summer.

Second Sunday on King Street in charleston SC
Second Sunday on King Street

Charleston, South Carolina
Despite being the biggest city in South Carolina, Charleston still maintains the small town feel. With a lower cost of living than most major metropolitan areas, it’s an easy choice if you want to soak up the urban atmosphere but still have access to a beach. Many of the highlights of Charleston, such as a carriage tour through the cobbled streets or a visit into one of the many historical mansions, nothing will cost you more than a few dollars. better year, the city is entirely walkable so no unexpectedly high uber fares to weight down your travels.

Adirondacks, New York
Originally from New York, I have a soft spot for the Adirondacks. Whether you’re looking for lakes or mountains, upstate has it all. Opt to rent out a cabin in the woods with a group of friends to cut down on costs as well as having the ability to cook meals at home in a kitchen. Swimming and hiking are free!

Gothic Quarter in Barcelona Spain
Bakery in the Gothic Quarter

Madrid, Spain
Although Madrid is known for a higher cost of living, parts of the city close up shop for August as a universal vacation month. Which, in turn, means the places that remain open lower prices to encourage people to still visit. If you’re willing to miss out of smaller family-owned businesses that shut down for these thirty days, you can still absorb Madrid’s diverse culture and delicious sangria without going broke.

Paris, France
Like Madrid, Paris also claims August to be a vacation for most city dwellers. We stumbled upon this happenstance when we scored $400 round trip tickets into Paris that we couldn’t pass up. although many of the small businesses temporarily close down, you can still meander the quaint neighborhoods, visit the Louvre and Eiffel Tower, etc. in the City of Lights.

Where do you plan to travel this summer? How do you cut down on costs?

xx,
Juliette

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20 thoughts on “Top Ten Insanely Cheap Places to Visit This Summer”

  • All of these place look amazing, it is hard to believe that they are so cheap! I have been to Paris in June and all of the locals say that August is definitely the time to visit for the best prices. I have always wanted to visit Maine and knowing that it may cost a bit less than I thought is even better! It looks beautiful, but I would be excited about the food!

  • Virtually all of the things you state happens to be supprisingly accurate and it makes me wonder why I had not looked at this in this light before. This particular piece truly did switch the light on for me personally as far as this subject matter goes. However at this time there is one particular issue I am not too cozy with so while I attempt to reconcile that with the actual central idea of your point, allow me observe exactly what the rest of the subscribers have to say.Nicely done.

    • I’m so jealous! It’s definitely worth a weekend visit at least :-). Also, loving your blog girl! So inspiring.

  • As a fellow teacher, we totally get stuck in the tourist season for our big trips too! But we did manage to score $500 round trip tickets to Italy, we just had to look every single day until it dropped! Charleston SC is another city I’d love to visit. Ben has been dying to see New York and is a huge nature junkie, so I think he’d love Adriondacks. Let’s see how many places we can get to in the next 8 weeks :).

    • Wow! That’s amazing! If you schedule wisely, I bet you can hit them all haha:-) At least until winter break!

  • I’m definitely going to take you up on some of these places this summer! I ended up booking a trip to London FYI – prices for London have dropped as well!

  • Great article with awesome ideas and tips. Add all of those locations to my bucket list, please. 🙂 We are going to San Diego in a few weeks and have found it to be a super awesome yet affordable trip. Can’t wait to go!

    • That’ll be so much fun! I’ve never been to San Diego…I’m afraid if I went I’d never come home!

  • All great locations! Looks like Havana won’t be an option much longer for us Americans! I live in Miami and flights are currently over $300 for a 50 minute flight to Cuba! Insanity!

    • Ah noooo! They were $97 last I checked! Sheesh, we just need this wave to past and those doors to stay open!

  • I would also consider southern Italy. Sure, the language barrier becomes a bit trickier but hey that’s part of the adventure. Things are cheaper in places like Calabria (yes, I’m a bit biased haha) and there are some really beautiful places to see. And, for those into yoga, I’ve noticed that yoga vacations are starting to get some momentum too! 🙂

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