9 Cheap Vacation Ideas That Don't Feel Like It

Cheap vacation ideas

Travel, adventure, and vacation can burn a hole in your wallet.

We’re here to tell you that they don’t have to. There are lots of cheap vacation ideas that will let you go on amazing adventures, fun journeys, and spontaneous trips for great prices – and they won’t feel any different. 

Here are 9 cheap vacation ideas that don’t feel like it. 

Be a tourist in your own city.

be a tourist

Spend a day or a few days being a tourist in your own city, town, or area. You’ll be surprised by what you might learn about your home’s history that you didn’t know.

You’ll be exposed to some fun places and maybe find other cool spots along the way. By being a tourist in your own city, you will learn new things, enjoy the company of those around you, and not break the bank. 

Check into a hostel, hotel, or Airbnb. Part of the experience will be staying in a place other than your own home. Embrace change and the endless amount of possibilities in your own city. 

Consider purchasing a tourist pass or sightseeing pass that will get you access to the attractions at a discounted rate.

Travel locally or regionally. 

travel regionally

Book a bus, trainor drive your car to another destination that isn’t too far from you.

Another town or city in your state or region can be just as exciting as going across the globe. There are traditions, customs, and culinary delights waiting for you to experience. 

These places can feel like completely different destinations than what you’re used to. For instance, a New Yorker traveling to the Southern states, where the lifestyle is different. Or someone from Midwest America will notice differences as they get closer to the ocean.

It’s amazing how great the United States can be and how different it can be from one end to the other, the same goes for Canada.


Visit national parks.

visit parks

Do you know of any national parks in your area? Do a quick Google search of national parks that might be close to you. Nature reserves, nature centers, and hiking trails are great ideas too.

Visit a national park and consider staying overnight. Looking at gorgeous natural landscapes will immediately take you away from wherever you are. There truly is nothing more relaxing and uplifting than spending time in nature. Psst! It won’t burn a hole in your wallet.

Book last minute trips and tours.

last min trips

Booking anything at the last minute can truly save you some moneyTake a look at last minute cruises, flights, excursions, and tours. There are numerous online resources for booking cheap last-minute deals like Expedia, Kayak, and Priceline.

With guided group tours, the tour still goes on even if it is not completely full. But the tour companies still have to pay the same amount that they normally would, so rather than lose the money, they might offer discounted rates for last-minute guided tours and excursions.

Remember these prices will vary as well as depend on the time of year, destination, and length of the trip. Check out G Adventures, Tour Radar, and Contiki to start.

Become a housesitter, dogsitter, or volunteer your time.

dog walk

An incredible way to see another country or city is to volunteer your time as a housesitter, dogsitter, or through other kinds of work. Programs like WorkAway and WWOOF allow you to work in exchange for room and board (usually).

There are options all across the globe: from farming to painting to housework to dog sitting or babysitting. The people of our Earth could use an extra set of hands – and this could be you! Use one of these programs and you could meet a local who is willing to show you around while you’re not working and ensure you get the most out of their country. 

Aside from transportation to the destination, your stay and food are free, most of the time. Each post is different and each person is looking for something different.

Minimize time in popular cities and go for off the beaten path areas.

less visited

It’s science. If you travel to a popular destination, prices will automatically be higher because they know people will continue to come there. Think New York City, London, Paris, Rome, etc.

While there are affordable options in each of these cities, consider visiting another destination that’s nearby that might be more affordable. For instance, a smaller village in London or a small town near Rome.

Consider moving around more quickly.

move quickly

If you’re planning a big trip around a country or to multiple spots and stops, consider moving around a little more quickly than you originally planned.

You’ll save money because you’ll be spending less on accommodations and food. You’ll maximize your time at a destination by spending the proper amount of time there. For instance, stay one night in this city and book an overnight train or bus to the next. That’s one night of accommodation free! 

Go camping.


If you have a car or can rent a car or van, then the open land and nature of our beautiful world are waiting for you. To go camping!

Pack up a few tents, some coolers, bug spray, a few extra pairs of socks and you’re ready to go. Stay on campsites and take in the scenic beauty of the incredible landscapes around us. Move as quickly as you’d like or go as slowly as you’d like – there are no rules when you go camping.

Stay with friends of friends or family members.

stay with family

Think long and hard about your relatives you haven’t seen in a while and where they are located.

Does Aunt Jean have a friend who lives in Dubai? Or a cousin who stays in South Africa? Staying with family members is a great option, but they might know someone too.

Generally, people are willing to open their homes or at least guide you around a destination when you are traveling great distances. In the end, you’ll save big bucks if you can stay with friends or family in a new place. 

Now that you’ve seen our list of cheap vacations that don’t feel like it, what do you think? Which will you be trying? Leave us a comment below! 

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