Budget Travel: Off the Beaten Path Destinations
Having the travel bug can be tough if you’re trying to maintain a budget or if you’re living paycheck to paycheck. However, if you’re careful with your planning and saving, you can venture out and enjoy the world. One of the best ways to make travel and vacations more affordable is to travel to destinations that are a little off the beaten path. Because demand for airfare and hotel rooms is overall lower, the rates will be better. Plus, you’ll get to enjoy destinations with fewer crowds and a lower cost of living. We’ve picked four of our favorite off-the-beaten-path destinations for your budget travel plans.
Visit St. Augustine, Florida Instead of Miami.
Spring-breakers have made Miami and South Beach, Florida into popular party pilgrimages in March. If you want to enjoy the warm weather, tropical cocktails, and unspoiled beaches without the crowds on a tighter budget, consider traveling to St. Augustine instead. This quaint spot on the northeast, Atlantic coast of Florida feels more like an island and functions at a relaxed pace ideal for vacation. St. Augustine also happens to claim the title of the oldest city in the United States, and is chock-full of Spanish colonial architecture and pirate stories for the history buff in you. If you’re looking for a great destination for budget travel, St. Augustine will give you your fill of fresh seafood, culture, and white-sand beaches without the stress of overspending. It’s the perfect off-the-beaten-path destination in Florida.
Visit the Outer Banks in North Carolina Instead of Raleigh.
Anytime you visit a city, you’ll pay more for food, lodging, and sightseeing tours. North Carolina’s Outer Banks are just a 4-hour drive from the metropolis of Raleigh and offer beautiful beaches, lots of history, and great seafood. You can stay and play on the Outer Banks for a fraction of what it would cost in a bigger city or more popular beach destination. Locally referred to as OBX, the Outer Banks are the islands that separate the Atlantic Ocean from the mainland of North Carolina. You can enjoy open-ocean diving and explore many of the shipwrecks that the area is famous for. Head out to the Outer Banks to enjoy a seriously underrated and budget-friendly vacation. It’s an off-the-beaten-path destination that’s worth the extra travel.
Visit Big Sur, California Instead of L.A.
Want to enjoy California’s beautiful stretch of coastline without paying a premium? Avoid L.A., Napa, and San Francisco and opt to explore Big Sur instead. Big Sur is the region of California coastline between Carmel and San Simeon, famous for its rocky cliffs that drop into the Pacific. If you’re more of a sightseer, take the famous State Route 1 and enjoy the incredible vistas along the narrow, 2-lane road. If you’re adventurous, Big Sur has plenty of hiking, remote beaches, and state parks to keep you busy. You can spend a lot of time here without spending a lot of money, making Big Sur one of our favorite budget off-the-beaten-path destinations.
Visit Philadelphia Pennsylvania Instead of Washington D.C.
If you’re a big fan of American history but can’t afford a trip to Washington D.C. right now, travel to Philadelphia instead. It’s much more affordable to stay in the City of Brotherly Love, and you’ll have lots to explore. For the history buffs, there’s Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell. Foodies can settle the cheesesteak debate once and for all by trying one at both Pat’s King of Steaks and Geno’s Steaks. If you do want to venture out, New York City and Washington D.C. are both within easy driving distance. Don’t forget Philly next time you want to go on a budget vacation. It’s off-the-beaten-path but conveniently located between some of America’s biggest cities.