I admit it, my favorite past-time is scouring the internet for affordable U.S. travel destinations. Tom and I let our passports lapse last year because we knew the next adventures we wanted to take (after paying off our debt) were the ones located in the good ‘
*This post contains affiliate links. Although I may make a commission, all recommendations are my own.
Planning a trip on a budget?
If you’re trying to stick to a budget for your next vacation, there are some additional steps that I highly recommend taking.
- Learn to build a budget based on your travel plans
- Look into travel hacking
- Automate savings every month into a savings account that pays you
Philadelphia to Wilmington, Delaware
There is a cute, cozy city in Delaware that no one is talking about called Wilmington. The best part is, getting to Wilmington, Delaware requires you to fly into the Philadelphia airport. That means you could take full advantage of 2 awesome US cities in one trip on a pretty small budget.
You will love getting to take advantage of 2 amazing cities that are only about 40 minutes apart! There is so much to do and see between both cities and in fact, the Delaware Riverfront has over 600 events taking place this summer alone! Learn more about Philadelphia/Wilmington travel and events.
After flying into Philadelphia, just hop on the train into Wilmington for right around $30. However, if you plan to stay longer, renting a car might be your best bet.
Is renting a car cheaper than the train?
You can take a train ride for $30, but, you can rent a car for around $8 per day!
Considering that a train ride both ways will cost you $60, paying $8 per day for a rental car can save you big time especially if you hope to drive around the city.
Where to stay
Once you get to Wilmington, there are tons of super affordable Airbnbs available for you to stay in. I’m a personal fan of this cozy, little, guest cottage.
To save more on Airbnb, use my $55 off credit.
I have been to Utah 3 times now and only learned to appreciate it during our most recent visit. Admittedly, our first visit was in the dark and our second visit cut across the state rather quickly. This last time, we got the chance to drive from Wyoming down through Utah into Arizona and let me tell you, there are some amazing things along the way! See our Utah vlog.
How to see everything in Utah
Utah is probably one of the best states to explore the entire state. A great option (especially for a family) would be RVShare. With RVShare, you can rent an RV to explore the entire state on your own terms.
While you could easily drive through Utah and take in enough beauty to last you a lifetime, you could also set up base. This Airbnb in Torrey, UT is a little more spendy…but that view!!
To save more on Airbnb, use my $55 off credit.
Black Hills & Badlands South Dakota
I admit it, another place I totally overlooked in my life has been South Dakota. When we set off on our first road trip to California, I kind of assumed South Dakota was going to be a bit of a snooze fest. Then all of a sudden, there were mountains and rolling hills and gorgeous sites.
During this trip, our only plan was to see the famous, Mount Rushmore, but I truly wished we could slam the breaks and hang out for a while.
What is there for a family?
After returning home, I started to do my research on South Dakota and started to realize exactly what I had been missing. In the Black Hills and the Badlands of South Dakota, you can tour caves, see wildlife first hand and take advantage of tons of outdoor recreation. Here are some recommendations for flights.
When it comes to places to stay, there are no shortages of fun, family friend hotels, and lodges but personally, I’m a fan of this tiny house on 2 acres (surprise, surprise.)
Turns out Cincinnati has been highly underappreciated as one of the most affordable US travel destinations and top brewery locations! Along with the breweries you get that awesome, lively, nightlife accompanied by live music!
What is there for free?
And you know me, to keep any trip affordable, always do your best to find all the free hot spots that you can. Cincinnati makes that really easy to do with
More travel posts:
- This Colorado Sold Everything to Travel Full Time
- 20 Downtown Minneapolis Attractions within Walking Distance
- 13 FREE Family Things to Do in Southern California
- $100 a Day Nashville Meal Plan
Mackinac Island, Michigan
Ok, in all honesty, this might be the most expensive trip to make that is on this list. While it might be more affordability wise, Mackinac Island in Michigan is definitely one of the best US travel destinations that no one is talking about!
It’s hard to imagine such a beautiful, peaceful place tucked away between Michigan’s upper and lower peninsulas, but it’s there I promise. In fact, it was voted one of the best islands in the US.
What can you do on Mackinac Island?
When planning your visit, you can explore the island and
San Antonio, Texas
Honestly, I had barely even heard of San Antonio, Texas before going to visit my brother there during his Air Force training and I can’t believe no one’s talking about it!
Not only were we able to explore the entire city for less than $200, but there was so much we were able to see in only a 24 hour period! See the break down of our trip.
What are San Antonio’s biggest attractions?
The best part is, a lot of San Antonio’s biggest attractions are all within walking distance. You can easily grab an Uber from your hotel and then spend the rest of the day walking to different locations.
During the day, or night there is so much fun happening in the heart of San Antonio. The River Walk
Twin Falls, Idaho
Did you know the same place where Evil Knievel attempted to jump across the Snake River Canyon is also located in the same place where there is a waterfall that’s actually bigger than Niagra Falls? Yup, it’s all in Twin Falls, Idaho.
Is Idaho the new Colorado?
I have always been wildly in love with states like Colorado that offer blue skies, perfect weather, mountains, and lakes. But, I had no idea that right near Colorado, Idaho was a state with all the same features with way more affordability.
While flights into Denver, CO are cheaper than Boise, the hiking and scenery are all for free. See 7 Idaho Hikes for Every Adventurer.
I couldn’t in good conscious create an entire post about US travel destinations that no one is talking about with plugging my home state. People are so quick to assume that Minnesota is only snow and ice…and they aren’t wrong but there is so much more happening that most people aren’t aware of.
What’s the art and theater culture of Minneapolis?
In Minneapolis, there are over 80 professional theater companies where people can attend thousands of great performances and Off-Broadway plays each year.
Surrounding the theaters are Minneapolis’s art museums and hundreds of amazing specialty restaurants. Tom and I got the chance to really soak up Minneapolis and enjoy everything it has to offer by staying in the center of it all at the Loews Hotel Minneapolis. See everything that’s in walking distance.
Jekyll Island, Georgia
Although a pass is required to get onto the island, weekly parting passes are only $28. On the island itself, you can enjoy it’s gorgeous, sandy beaches, a water park or you can travel to all the nearby islands called the Golden Isles.
The best part is Jekyll island has different fun activities all year round. Check out their Seasonal Itineraries page to see all the different events happening year round.
Taos, New Mexico
Taos is a city in New Mexico with a population of just 5,000. It is a city rich in history and culture with tons of gorgeous views all around.
Gather for live music in the heart of Taos at the Taos Plaza and enjoy the shops and galleries that are open from May to October.
What historic things are there in Taos?
There are also a huge variety of historic tours you can take including several tours of Taos beautiful, old, adobe churches like the San Fransisco de Asis Church. In fact, people in the town gather every June to help repair and maintain this treasured landmark.
To save more on Airbnb, use my $40 off credit.
How to travel more
A major way people are beginning to travel and explore more is through finding incomes that they are able to take on the road. Here are some ideas of how most people are doing it:
- Blogging – Running a blog takes time, strategy and a lot of learning, but can bring in a very substantial income. Plus, travel bloggers can often get lodging at no cost in exchange for sharing their experiences. Get my FREE course on How to Make Your First $1,000 Blogging.
- Digital Storefronts – Running a store through a place like Amazon can be very profitable. Sign up for a 7-day free email course that can help teach you the basics.
- Teaching English online – You can teach English to children from all around the world with platforms like VIPKid, SayABC, QKids and CourseHero.
Thanks to technology, there is no limit to the number of jobs that can allow you to travel more often. When you can bring your work with you, there’s really nothing that can stop you!