Cheap vacation close to homeHow many times have you dreamt of dropping off the face of the earth on a cheap vacation, immerse yourself in a world of travel and leave the modern day ruckus behind?

Sounds like a dream come true, right?  Well sometimes people can’t just escape and a simple weekend getaway is as good as it gets.  But believe me when I say weekend getaways can be a ton of fun!

You can still learn and experience new things without straying too far from home while remaining on a budget, no matter what part of the United States you’re in.

Finding affordable methods of travel and good valued accommodation in cities like New York is difficult, but surely not impossible.

So without further ado, here are 10 budget friendly destination ideas that can be found across the United States and possibly even in your own backyard!

Cheap vacations close to home

1) Go Camping

Camp Tent Aspen Colorado Outdoors Djembe

Venturing into the great outdoors can offer a plethora of opportunities as far as budget traveling goes.  It gives you the opportunity to explore some of the most beautiful landscape in the country and is a perfect way for a family to have an affordable outing together.

It doesn’t cost much, usually just the park entrance fee.  Once you pay that, everything else you bring so it cuts out many other extra expenses that are usually associated with traveling.  Accommodation, food and any other travel related expense are easily controlled because it’s all up to you!

2) Become a Local Tourist:

When was the last time you actually stepped out in your own town and strapped on a tourist shoes?  What I’m getting at is to become a local tourist, you know to check out the zoo, variety of tours, theme parks or anything else of the sort that are held in your area.

This would be perfect for the budget traveler as you can cut out many of the costs of traveling.  Also, if you’re one that prefers to sleep in your own bed rather than a hostel or hotel room, then this would be perfect as you can make it home every night.

3) Go Couchsurfing:

Couchsurfing is not only a great way to save money while on the road but it can offer you a fantastic opportunity of looking at your hometown (or nearby town) from a totally different perspective.  If you haven’t done so, create a profile and give it a go.

Just tell your potential host that you’d like to meet up for coffee and perhaps even crash on their couch for the night.  If they’re available, they can show you the town from their perspective.  It’ll be something totally new and different from what you’re used to.

4) Book a Cruise:

Pride of America

Usually, I would consider a cruise way outside my budget but after working on a cruise ship for over a year, I learned many of the tricks and tips to booking an affordable one.  Look online for last minute deals or monthly specials.  Another great way to save money is to book a cruise last minute…and when I say last minute, I mean last minute.

Go to the port of call and simply go up to the gate and see if there are any rooms available for a discounted price being that it’s last minute.  I guarantee you that, if there are any rooms available, they’ll cut you a sweet deal that sometimes lowers the original price by 50-60 percent!  It’s a great way to save money especially if you book one that’s all inclusive.

5) Book a Last-Minute Tour:

Same idea with a last minute cruise, book a last-minute tour.  Companies small and large will want to fill up every spot they can to make that extra buck.  If that means giving you (or your group) a small discount to get you on the tour, then that’s something to take advantage of as it’ll save you some money.

6) Travel to Cities Near You:

When we tend to go on vacation, we think of flying to places far far away.  But why?  There are plenty of cities just outside yours that could offer plenty of things to see, do and explore.  Jump in your car or take the bus a few towns over and explore what’s right around you.

Use the internet to research things that you may not know about.  Back in my hometown, there was a caving tour in my own back yard that I had no idea even existed.  Hell, I didn’t even know you could go caving in Florida.  Goes to show, you just never know what’s right around the corner regardless of where you’re at in the world.

7) Take a Road Trip:

Road to Iao Valley

Road trips are always my go to plan.  I love em!  Feel free to plan as much (or as little) as you’d like.  Find a random city near you or just drive in a general direction, it’s totally up to you.  Taking a road trip with your buddies always ends up being a blast especially if you have no expectations.

8) Find a Roller Coaster:


Okay so if you’re not willing to succumb yourself to the adventurous thrill of a roller coaster theme park, then why not visit another theme park?  There are tons around the country and the world.  Get on the internet, find some discounts and get going!

9) Explore your own backyard:

Like I mentioned a few other times in this post, it’s always good to start researching for things to do right in your own backyard and, more specifically, in your own town.  You just never know what you can find or what new company is opening in an area.

Check out your local newspaper for weekend activities, festivals or anything of the sort.  Read the town magazine, use the internet as well as all the different social networking profiles.  Heck, you could even check the events area on Facebook.  If you have to, even use Google and type something as simple as “weekend getaways” or “last minute getaways” with the town of your choice.  You’re guaranteed to find results somewhere near your home.

10) Think Outside the Box:

When it comes to budget traveling, it takes a lot of creativity and thinking outside the box to find those “once in a lifetime” vacations packages.  Get creative!  Even if you can’t find something you like, then that may just be an open market and another opportunity for a different kind of adventure in your life.  It’s all about thinking different and getting a new perspective on life.

You don’t necessarily have to fly somewhere exotic just to be on vacation.  There are loads of opportunities mostly found right in your back yard.  All it takes is a little creativity and an open mind to be back on vacation!

What kind of cheap vacation close to home would you like to travel to on a budget?