With springtime comes warm weather, flowers and a strong case of wanderlust. You should be able to satisfy that craving regardless of what your bank account says. That's why we’ve compiled a list of five budget vacations you need to take this spring.
When you think “budget vacation,” London may not be the first destination that comes to mind — but hear us out. First of all, according to TripSavvy, London is often rainy during March and April, which equals smaller crowds, so you can enjoy popular attractions to the fullest and truly get your money’s worth. And second, doing London on a budget isn’t actually that difficult. A company called Free Tours By Foot offers pay-what-you-wish tours, so as long as you bring along a comfortable pair of walking shoes, you can see the city cheaply. Plus, most of London’s historical attractions are free — like the Ceremony of the Keys at the Tower of London (the oldest military ceremony in the world) or visiting the Houses of Parliament. And with deliciously affordable food like deep-fried risotto balls at the Arancini Brothers Factory Cafe, the only big expense is your plane ticket.
Point Pleasant, New Jersey, U.S.A.
Point Pleasant Beach in New Jersey opens in April and, according to CNN, you can book a hotel room that’s a block from the beach for a third of the summer price. Point Pleasant is pretty cheap at any time of year; just spend a few dollars on a beer or lemonade and put your feet up on the beach. If you like your vacations a little more exciting, though, consider taking a free tour of the Sea Girt Lighthouse; strolling down Jenkinson’s Boardwalk (window shopping is free and entertaining); or traveling a few miles outside of Point Pleasant to catch a minor league ball game at FirstEnergy Park.
San Ignacio, Belize
San Ignacio is easy to do on a budget — as Smarter Travel points out, the U.S. dollar has double the value in Belize, and Southwest Airlines offers some pretty affordable flights to Belize City (as in, $400 round trip from New York or Los Angeles). And April is pretty much the ideal time to visit Belize — Island Expeditions says the weather is warm and dry, Easter brings lots of excitement and the magic of Belize in April is still largely undiscovered by tourists. So what will you do with yourself in San Ignacio this April? Try visiting the Cahal Pech Ruins ($5) or canoeing the Macal River ($25 sans guide).
U.S. Virgin Islands
Peak season in the Virgin Islands is wrapping up when spring comes, but don’t count this out as an option just yet — Carnival is celebrated in St. Thomas all throughout April. Carnival is a festival that involves pageant shows, fireworks, parades, calypso shows and of course plenty of food. Getting to the island is very affordable if you look in the right places: Budget Travel says Spirit Airlines regularly offers flights from Fort Lauderdale to St. Thomas for $300 or less.
Skagit Valley, Washington, U.S.A.
Skagit Valley is a busy place in April. Each year, a tulip festival is held in the valley, where agriculture is the number one industry. You can view the millions of colorful flowers via a driving or walking tour, plus catch art shows and enjoy local entertainment. Looking at the tulip fields is free; some fields charge for parking a car or for admission, though, which typically comes in at $7. When you’ve had your fill of the tulips, spend some time driving around and exploring the area. And if you’re really serious about staying on a budget, try camping instead of booking a hotel.