Whether you’ve got money to spare or you’re on a modest budget, affording a vacation is definitely possible. The most important thing is picking a destination that’s cheap to get to and budget-friendly once you’re there. If you’re thinking anywhere worth vacationing is too expensive, think again. There are plenty of great locations you can check out in 2019 that won’t break the bank.
Flight prices are roundtrip from either John F. Kennedy International Airport or Los Angeles International Airport.
While this destination typically conjures images of wild spring breakers, Cancun cannot be overlooked when it comes to a cheapie vacay. If lounging by tropical waters and eating and drinking to your heart’s content are priorities, then Cancun’s all-inclusive deals are unbeatable. Some of the area’s 3.5-star hotels start just over $200/night per person. And airfare? Aeromexico offers flights from the east coast to Cancun starting under $300. What’s also unbeatable? The warm weather and blazing sunshine year-round.
The Icelandic capital is ridiculously scenic with tons of outdoor adventure activities and excursions to partake in. They’ve also got a crackin’ nightlife which seems to never end thanks to the summer’s Midnight Sun. Flights to Reykjavik start under $300 and hotels, hostels and apartments can be found for well under $100 per night for two people. Food and drink can be a little pricey there, so just load up at a grocery store and duty-free to save some money.
The Grand Canyon, U.S.A.
It’s amazing to think that it’s possible to see one of the most naturally stunning places in the U.S. without blowing your budget. Admission into the Grand Canyon’s South Rim is just $35 for one vehicle for a whole week. Book (way) in advance and you’ve got yourself nightly accommodation in a campsite inside the park for as little as $18. And once you’re in, you have access to all of the South Rim’s historic sites, look-out points and hiking and biking trails.
Outdoor-enthusiasts and nature lovers — get yourself to Denver for a vacation you won’t soon forget. Tickets from major hubs on both the east and west coast of the U.S. start well under $200 with various carriers. Denver makes for an excellent domestic vacation thanks to all the complimentary entertainment like free brewery tours at Great Divide Brewing Company, free City Park summer jazz concerts and access to scenic hiking trails in the 640-acre Red Rock Park and Amphitheatre.
Head south of the border to Guadalajara for tequila tasting and breathtaking landscapes of La Barranca de Huentitan. The lively historic center provides a great base for wandering and the shopping in the Tlaquepaque neighborhood is a purely authentic experience. And it’s possible to have all this fun without going over budget. One of the reasons Guadalajara is such an affordable holiday is the favorable conversion rate between the U.S. dollar and the Mexican peso. Not to mention, flights from the U.S. start as low as $328.
An hour and a half flight from New York for around $220 will have you thinking you’ve discovered a faster and cheaper way to Europe. Montreal, with its heavy French influence and charming Old Port, feels more like a European capital than a Canadian city. The second largest city in Canada offers plenty to do, from river surfing the Saint Lawrence to its prestigious fine arts museum, to a variety of festivals.
The roundtrip flights from LAX may seem steep at around $700, but once you touch down, expenses will be the last thing on your mind. The Moroccan dirham is an outstandingly generous currency against the U.S. dollar, making everything seem too-cheap-to-be-true in this northern African country. Morocco overflows with a fascinating mash-up of culture, cuisine and attractions. After exploring one of the world’s largest mosques in Casablanca, purchase a 1st class train ticket to Marrakesh for around $15 to check out one of the world’s most impressive medinas. But that’s not all. Marrakesh is also your jumping off point for multi-day camel caravanning and Sahara Desert camping excursions, starting at just $55/person.
The Balkan Peninsula, Europe
Most western European countries aren’t kind to your wallet but don’t discount the continent entirely. Eastern European countries make a great choice for budget travelers this year. Less expensive but equally beautiful, you’ll find discovering the Balkan Peninsula around Montenegro and Bosnia and Herzegovina to be breathtaking and budget-friendly. Once you get past the $700 flight, car rentals start at $9/day, budget beer and food cost a few bucks, and hostels in both Bosnia and Herzegovina and Montenegro start under $10/night. Welcome to Eastern Europe!
Sitting on the cusp of the renowned Banff National Park, Calgary is a scenic and affordable place to let nature swallow you up. The park’s world-class hiking and epic viewpoints are all accessible with an entrance fee of under $10. In downtown Calgary, there are loads of tasty eats to please the palate and the bank account. Lastly, there’s plenty to keep visitors occupied in town like Saint Patrick’s Island Park, the Inglewood Bird Sanctuary and other free weekly events.
Hopping a flight from the chilly Northeast to the tropical Caribbean sounds luxurious, but it doesn’t have to be when you fly with Delta or JetBlue. These carriers offer roundtrip tickets from New York to Kingston for just $367 — a price you can snag at nearly any time of year. Warm waters, rum cocktails and idyllic days spent lounging on beaches or hiking the Blue Mountains make this cheapie getaway feel like a total splurge.