Cheap summer vacations are perfect if you’re looking for a laid-back and worry-free experience during the warmer months, especially if you’re staying close to home. Many vacationers are on a tighter budget now than they were in the past, but there are so many options for cheap summer holidays, that it’s possible to take an amazing trip while still staying under budget. While staying on the ground—meaning traveling via car, train, or bicycle—is often a great way to ensure a cheap vacation, there are many overseas locations as well that can be considered among the best cheap summer vacation destination choices.
Some of the best options for family vacations, honeymoons, and almost any other kind of trip are the US national parks. These destinations often offer camping or cheap hotels nearby, as well as opportunities to go fishing, hiking, and relax by lakes and rivers in some of the most stunning natural settings anywhere on the planet. Acadia National Park in Maine and Glacier National Park are among the prettiest parks in the country, while the lovely Great Smoky Mountains National Park in Tennessee and North Carolina is also quite popular, and has great deals on cabin rentals in nearby Gatlinburg.
Two of the best cheap summer vacation destination options for national park travelers are Yellowstone and Yosemite. These parks are home to iconic sites such as Old Faithful and the geyser basins (Yellowstone), as well as Half Dome and Yosemite Falls (Yosemite). It’s possible to camp in both parks, or you can look for cheap campsites, motels, and cabin rentals in surrounding park areas and towns. If you’re looking for cheap summer vacations with plenty of options for hiking and other outdoor activities, these destinations are well worth exploring.
Summer beach vacations are among the most popular travel options, but they can also be options for cheap summer holidays if you plan your trip right. Florida has many beach destinations that offer cheap hotels and budget-friendly activities, or you can head to some of the beach destinations along the Atlantic Coast, such as Myrtle Beach and the Outer Banks, both in the Carolinas, and see what kinds of vacation packages you might be able to find.
If you have your heart set on an exotic trip, then the best cheap summer vacation destination might be one of the Caribbean islands. Although luxury resorts are common here, it’s possible to find great deals on resorts if you can wait to book a last minute summer vacation or you aren’t picky about exactly where you go. Some resort chains will let you book a cheap room and then let you know where you’re going once they have details on availability, so if you don’t care whether you go to the Dominican Republic, the Virgin Islands, or elsewhere, these travel deals are perfect if you want to get amazing rates on a Caribbean vacation.
Cheap summer holidays can also be found in major cities around the US, which are cheaper than a trip to Europe and still offer fascinating cultural and historical sites, as well as terrific seasonal festivals. The Taste of Chicago, for instance, is one of the best food festivals in the US, and you can add trips to the Field Museum or Chicago River cruises to the itinerary. San Francisco, Boston, Las Vegas, and New York are also among the great cities that you can visit on a budget, depending on what type of accommodations or packages you’re able to find.
Whether you’re staying close to home or planning a cross-border vacation, cheap summer holidays are abundant and can be found with some basic research and price comparison tools, such as the booking widget on this page. Travelers on a tight budget may be concerned about the type of vacation they’ll be able to take this summer, but it’s possible to plan an amazing trip in the US, the Caribbean, and beyond and still stay within your budget—so get started!