If you think a budget vacation means it will be cheap on adventure and low on satisfaction, think again! There are plenty of places to for a budget vacation and come back relaxed and satisfied. Following are a list of some options, although your imagination can lead you to even more possibilities. Start with this list, and see where it leads you!
Maybe you had your heart set on Europe this year. Paris, Brussels, Belgium? Redirect that wish to north of the border. Québec City is a taste of old world Europe, complete with cobblestone streets and gorgeous European architecture. The cuisine will not disappoint either. Listening to the natives speaking the delicious French-Canadian language will make you feel as if you have stepped off at Charles De Gaulle Airport and into a budget vacation fantasy.
With two major airports within the Chicago area (O'Hare and Midway), it is easy to find flights from anywhere in the country on sale. Get a City Pass, and you will be able to see some of the major sites in the city, including the Art Institute, the Shedd Aquarium, the Field Natural History Museum, Skydeck Chicago, The Adler Planetarium , etc. at a hugely discounted rate. Don't forget about Millenium Park, Navy Pier, and the great jazz clubs too. If blues music is your thing, head on over to Rush Street. The views from Lake Michigan are free, as is window shopping on the miracle mile. Whatever you would like to do, whether it involves nature, culture, or some awesome international cuisine, Chicago is the stop for you.
Is there a quaint hotel or beautiful bed and breakfast in your area that makes you sigh? Have you thought if you were a visitor, this place or that one would be a wonderful place to stay? Staying close to home has many benefits. If you are always looking at books and magazines about the other side of the planet while meanwhile you pass places you would love to visit every day but don't take the time, take it now!
If you live anywhere from the Mississippi east, getting to upstate New York is just a good drive away. When you get there, be prepared. Do you love wine? The Finger Lakes are at your fingertips. You'll taste some of the best ice wines in the world. Do you love train rides? Amtrak has some gorgeous meandering tracks through beautiful mountain foothills and valleys. If you're into something a little more alternative, Lilydale is one of the oldest psychic retreats in the country. If horse racing is your thing, don't miss a trip to Saratoga. With such a gorgeous area fairly close to the big apple, upstate New York is filled with artist communities, meaning pottery shops, antique shops, and more. Whatever you want to do, upstate New York has it.
Whether you are 20 or 80, there are hostels out there for you to stay at. Hostels are a great benefit to those who are flexible travelers. You can stay in some of the most expensive and gorgeous areas in the world, for a greatly discounted rate over hotels. Depending on where you are, you may be staying in a refurbished lighthouse, European barn, or castle. There are senior hostels for the older travelers, and youth hostels for the newbies. Go to hostels.com, or hostelworld.com for a list of hostels around the world. Whether you want to travel across the country or across the world, there is a hostel for you.
Truckee is an area in Northern California, known for outdoor activities. Whether you love mountain biking, golfing, canoeing, or hiking, Truckee is a place for you to visit. If you make this into a camping trip, how much more affordable can you get? Imagine one of the most breathtaking postcard views filled with green valleys, clear lakes, beautiful lush trees, and you have imagined Truckee. As an aside, if you are looking for a friendly town filled with local artisans from craft beer makers to stained glass artists who are not afraid to say hello to a new face, visit downtown Truckee. If you are a musician or appreciate them, Truckee has lots of places to satisfy you!
New Orleans is an amazing town filled with very proud locals. Their food is like no other, their music is like no other, their French Quarter is like no other. If you are looking for a unique vacation on a budget, stay close to the airport to save on hotels, and grab a cab or better yet, bus and head on downtown. Their Jazz & Heritage music fest in April and May is not to be missed. The biggest names in the music industry never miss the chance to play for these appreciative crowds. If antiques are your thing, Magazine Street is it. Grab a luncheon muffuletta sandwich for a few dollars and be prepared to get filled out for the rest of the day. The street musicians and painters are world-class, and except for the tip you will readily offer, are completely free.
Whether the goal of your vacation is to head to the hills or to the center of the city, there is a budget and place for you. Open your minds and your atlas, and choose a place. Don't forget to hit the websites which offer you great deals on hotels and other discounts too. Choose one with high ratings, pop on your sunglasses and hit the road! Where do you like to go on a budget when vacation is calling?