Traveling does not have to be expensive to the extent of taking out a loan just to pay for tourism. There are many places in the United States in which you can enjoy the sites and savings simultaneously. The key to successful planning lies in your ability to find locations that are gems and not sought out by the masses. Even popular spots such as Myrtle Beach and Palm Springs come relatively cheap when you pick the right dates.
The Trick is Picking the Right Date and Time
Locations with snowy weather are relatively expensive during the Christmas season while hotels close to beaches are overpriced during the summer months. You need to travel against the tide of you hope to get steep discounts during the holidays. Opt for Christmas in Florida and Independence Day in Denver instead of going along with the crowd and paying premium prices.
San Diego, in particular, is a spot that you can enjoy all year round and the ideal location during winter months. Many are not looking for hotels in a beach city that is best known for its warm climate during the month of December. You may even get away with paying less than $250 for a round-trip flight depending on where you are coming from.
It is especially imperative to pay attention to dates and times when contemplating airfare. One hour could mean the difference between paying $300 round-trip or $150 to travel around the country. Flights from Los Angeles to San Antonio, for instance, average $250. You could possibly pay less if you visit the city during the week instead of near the weekend when most people choose to fly out.
San Antonio is a two-fold benefit. Not only do you and the family get to reside in the same city as the historic Alamo, but you also have the opportunity to live on the border of the United States and Mexico. Imagine the kids telling their friends about the summer they spent on the edge of it all in San Antonio when school starts in autumn. They will certainly be the talk of the campus.
Regardless of whether it is San Antonio or San Diego that your family chooses to enjoy, planning ahead and having a backup plan is a must.
Speaking of Backup Plans
Did you know that another way to get a great vacation at dirt cheap prices is to explore Southern states? Everyone travels to Los Angeles year-round and New York is a hub to all of the ambitious. Few, however, want to explore the beauty that is Virginia. Charlottesville, in particular, is an independent city that has a population of less that 60,000. Although small, there is much to behold as the city is located in the eastern foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains in Central Virginia. Those looking to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city will especially enjoy the quiet outdoors that let you develop thoughts and theories. The average three-star hotel costs around $243 per night in Charlottesville but souvenirs are relatively economical.
Another city in the South that sometimes gets overlooked is Memphis. This city is one of many on the Mississippi River that is famous for its musical creations. B.B. King, Elvis Presley, and Johnny Cash recorded albums in Memphis at the famous Sun Studio. In fact, Elvis loved the city so much that he purchased a mansion called Graceland that stands as a historic site. Many music lovers bypass Memphis for Nashville without realizing that the historic town has just as much culture as the state’s capital. The Rock ‘n’ Soul Museum and Blues Hall of Fame are located in Memphis. Unlike Nashville, where the cost of lodging is skyrocket high, residing in a three-star hotel in Memphis is about $130 per night. You can even get an economical flight out of Los Angeles for just over $300.
One more hidden southern gem is Jekyll Island in Georgia. The secluded strip of land is located off the coast of Glynn County and is included in the cluster known as the Golden Isles of Georgia. Unlike some islands that require air travel, it is possible to drive to the secluded territory. In most cases, you can take an airplane to Brunswick and drive to Jekyll Island. Airfare does not necessarily come cheap at just over $500 for Los Angeles commuters. It is, however, possible to pay $100 or less for a flight to Brunswick, depending on the start location and date of travel. Hotels on Jekyll Island range anywhere from $78-$360 per night. The good news is that the majority of lodging spots offer free Wi-Fi and some even provide free breakfast. How’s that for discounts?
When All Else Fails … Choose the Parks and Deserts
No one wants to visit Phoenix because of the immense heat. Five minutes outdoors during the summer and you feel like a pound or two has melted off. While the heat is nearly unbearable, the tourist prices in Phoenix are divine. You can score a hotel room at a four-star hotel for less that $40 per night if you go through discount sites like Hotwire and Expedia. Some lodges will even give you breakfast at that price! Shopping in Arizona is underwhelming when it comes to retail as the outlets are far and few. There is, however, the benefit of scenery. You cannot beat the mountain view that encompasses Phoenix to no end. A one-hour flight to Arizona will cost you about $137. You may have to pay more if your starting location is further East.
Another option for those searching for a last ray of hope is Yosemite National Park. The recreational space is nestled in California’s Sierra Nevada Mountains and is quite famous for its ancient sequoia trees. Nearby shops and restaurants in Yosemite Village make the travel option even more desirable as you can walk from your hotel to a diner instead of driving around town in your car all day. Flights from Los Angeles to the Yosemite National Park area are about $81. Tourists coming from the East Coast can expect to pay double for a one-way trip. Hotels in the California mountains are dirt cheap with the average lodge costing around $70 per night to rent.
You may not be able to travel to see the Eiffel Tower in Paris or take in the beauty that is Italy, but you can still enjoy vacation season. Planning ahead and going against the tide is the best way to save money.