According to the 2017 LearnVest Money Habits and Confessions Survey, nearly three-quarters of vacationers say they went into debt paying for their trips. If you’d rather stay ahead of the game and stick within a tighter budget, these destinations offer a fun and affordable way to do just that.
San Antonio, Texas
San Antonio offers everything from fascinating history that can be experienced throughout the downtown area, from the Alamo to famous missions. It also boasts plenty of affordable things to do for non-history buffs, like the River Walk. It’s free to take a stroll, just enjoying the atmosphere and scenery, watching the river boats and perhaps coming upon some live entertainment too. There are a host of museums, many of which offer free admission days, like the McNay Art Museum (free the first Sunday every month and on Thursday nights) and the San Antonio Museum of Art (free on Tuesday afternoons and before noon on Sunday).
Wildwood, New Jersey
The cape towns of Wildwood are located just north of Cape May and are ideal for a family vacation, with the opportunity to enjoy the 5-mile-long stretch of soft sands at Wildwood Beach and great swimming for free. There are all sorts of amusements to enjoy here at a relatively low cost as well, from sand-building competitions to outdoor movies and an amusement park while the boardwalk is lined with a wide range of shops and eateries. You might find even find yourself searching through New Jersey real estate just to be closer to all the Wildwood delights.
One of the major airline hubs in the U.S., airfare to Atlanta tends to be inexpensive and the city is a fabulous place to enjoy a weekend in the south. There are lots of free or cheap attractions, including the Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historical Site, the Atlanta Contemporary Art Center, the Fernbank Science Center and Centennial Olympic Park. Just wandering through the Little Five Points neighborhood can be a fun way to spend the afternoon, checking out the record shops, thrift stores and unique fashion retailers. For outdoor adventure, Stone Mountain Park is a short drive away. Just for the parking fee you can enjoy the 15 miles of nature and hiking trails, fishing at Stone Mountain Lake, multiple picnic areas and much more.
Colorado’s largest city offers Old West flavor mixed with modern amenities on the east side of the soaring Rockies. The famous peaks are a 30-minute drive away, but you’ll find a ton of things to see and do right in town, many of which are affordable or free. Visit Washington Park which showcases the city’s heritage through beautifully preserved historic architecture and enjoy the two lakes and flower gardens, including a replica of George Washington’s Mount Vernon Gardens. The Art District on Santa Fe is one of the state’s designated Creative Districts and features over 60 art galleries, the largest concentration of art galleries in Denver, while the Tattered Cover Bookstore offers comfy chairs for reading and a great coffee bar. You can even enjoy an evening of cheap rides at the Lakeside Amusement Park – it’s been entertaining families for over a century.