This blog post was updated on January 30, 2020.

Summer is almost here and I’m ready for adventure… But with all the travel I’ve been doing lately, I’m definitely on a budget these days. As I’ve been researching inexpensive (but still super fun) trips to take this summer, I’ve found that there are still tons of amazing places where I can have an adventure with a more wallet-friendly price tag. Read on for my top five ideas (and maybe I’ll see you there!).

Yellowstone National Park

One of my favorite places to vacation as a kid was Yellowstone. On a trip a few summers ago, I confirmed that these natural wonders are no less impressive to the adult version of me. I was also pleasantly surprised by the trip’s price tag! Depending on where you live in the U.S., driving to Yellowstone is relatively easy. Once you’re there, save money on accommodations by camping (you’ll need to reserve your spot in advance) and eating on the cheap by purchasing groceries instead of eating out at restaurants all the time. From Old Faithful to Mammoth Hot Springs, there are plenty of impressive sites to visit for next to nothing.

Chicago, Illinois

The Windy City is a fabulous place to visit during the summer months. It’s easy to find inexpensive flights from most major U.S. cities. From music and yoga festivals to world-class museums, you’ll find plenty to keep you entertained (on a budget) once you get there. One thing to keep in mind is that most of Chicago’s museums offer discounts (or free admission) for kids, students, and educators. Millennial Park is free to visit and offers a free concert series during the summer months. Eating on the cheap is easy with so many great pizza places and street food vendors downtown.

Destin, Florida

If a summer beach getaway is more your style, you might want to opt for Destin, Florida. Fewer people head to the Florida panhandle in the summer months, which means you’re likely to find some good travel packages With affordable accommodation, eateries, and sandy beaches as far as the eye can see, Destin’s not a bad place to hunker down for some summer relaxation.

Reykjavik, Iceland

Thanks to almost constant airline deals, Iceland can be a very cost-friendly destination. Keep the savings going after you touch down by seeking out inexpensive activities (all of the national parks are free), camping or staying in hostels, and purchase a countrywide bus pass to get you where you need to go. Keep in mind that things tend to be more expensive in the capital city of Reykjavik than elsewhere in the country.

Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic

Santa Domingo is a bustling, historic city that will satisfy your wanderlust without breaking the bank. Flying from the U.S. in the summer months tends to be cheaper than at other times throughout the year. Accommodations are relatively inexpensive, as is the price of food (if you don’t hit up the touristy spots). As you’re shopping from street vendors, remember that haggling is part of the culture.

What affordable summer vacation spots would you add to this list? Let us know in the comments section.

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3 Responses

  1. Cindy

    Vermont! No where as magical in the summer time! Hiking, Cycling, Kayaking, Mountain Biking, beautiful lakes…

  2. David

    We just spent 4 weeks exploring Alaska and it was Amazing! So many adventures to list a few off the top of my head that we loved… Our new favorite city is Juneau Alaska. We did it all from Hiking, Glacier Ice Climbing, Ice Caving, Gold Panning, Heli-hiking, to Cruising. One huge one was wild bear viewing and camping in Lake Clark NP. It is a worlds top 100 travel adventure and an experience of a lifetime.


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About The Author

An insatiable foodie, art collector, and international literature aficionado, I have traveled throughout Europe, Asia, the U.S. and Canada. For the past fifteen years, I have written about my adventures for various travel and literary publications. I am the owner of Lucidité Writing ( and Bouchard Design Co.