Your family wants to take a dream vacation this summer, but you don’t have the budget to accommodate it. What do you do? Running on a budget doesn’t mean that you can’t take a vacation at all; you have to scale your plans to the size of your wallet.
Many lesser known American cities provide a great value and are just as fun as some of the more popular destinations. With cheaper hotels and low-cost or free attractions, you can take a vacation while maintaining your savings goals. Your family vacation doesn’t have to break the bank; you just have to know how to budget for it.
Here are 20 of the most affordable summer vacation hot spots this year:
- Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Known as the “City of Festivals,” this port city on Lake Michigan boasts world-class food and excellent affordable museums.
- Colonial Williamsburg, Virginia. Your whole family can absorb colonial history without the big-ticket expenses of a city like Boston.
- Boca Raton, Florida. Nestled near Palm Beach County but at a fraction of the cost, Boca features South Florida beaches at an affordable family price.
- Daytona, Florida. Daytona is not just for NASCAR! For many, Daytona Beach is the finest beach in Florida. Your family can experience a whole lot of summer at an affordable price.
- Tampa, Florida. This third affordable Florida destination boasts a historic downtown, waterfront views, and low-cost attractions for the whole family.
- Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Tennessee/North Carolina. Camping is low-cost, and the breathtaking mountain views are free.
- Kansas City, Missouri. Get your BBQ fix in Kansas City, Missouri, which is quickly becoming one of the biggest arts destinations in the country.
- Point Pleasant, New Jersey. New Jersey has beautiful northern beaches and boardwalks with something for everyone. Point Pleasant makes for an affordable and fun vacation.
- Washington, D.C. The nation’s capital boasts a variety of free attractions including museums and free, historical tours.
- Cape Ann, Massachusetts. Cape Cod is outside of the budget for many of us, but Cape Ann offers an attractive alternative. Enjoy the sea, the surf, and the seafood in this beautiful locale.
- Greenville, South Carolina. With plenty of southern charm, this up-and-coming city includes excellent food, a beautiful downtown, and a range of affordable family attractions.
- Grand Rapids, Michigan. Grand Rapids is perfect for architecture enthusiasts and offers low-cost accommodations any time of the year. Even better, you can enjoy cooler, less humid temperatures than those found farther south.
- New Orleans, Louisiana. Hear live music as you walk around the French Quarter taking in the sights. New Orleans offers a variety of cost-effective outdoor activities full of culture.
- Badlands National Park, South Dakota. This stunning, underappreciated natural beauty will take your breath away. South Dakota is there for your family’s affordable and memorable vacation.
- Detroit, Michigan. Detroit is experiencing a renaissance in arts, culture, and industry. Make sure to visit this hidden and affordable gem this summer.
- Hoover Dam, Clark County, Nevada. Skip Las Vegas this year for a cheaper Nevada vacation, including sightseeing at this historic and impressive dam. Tours are available daily.
- Scottsdale, Arizona. Scottsdale boasts a variety of affordable vacation rental options and breathtaking natural southwest beauty.
- Fraser, Colorado. Check Colorado off of your vacation bucket list with affordable choices: travel in the off-season and stay in Fraser, a cheaper option than some of Colorado’s more expensive cities.
- Rochester, New York. With lots of beautiful outdoor space including a river walk, Rochester is the perfect New York destination for summer travelers on a budget.
- Indianapolis, Indiana. This is another Midwestern city that will give you bang for your buck. Indianapolis is home to a world-class children’s museum, gorgeous parks, and a variety of other hidden attractions.
Whatever your family’s travel budget, it’s important that you keep your finances in check. Marine Federal Credit Union works with families like yours to support your finance and savings goals.
Insured by NCUA. Membership eligibility is required.