Got a case of serious wanderlust that’s making your wallet worried? Travel from the US has a reputation for being expensive, but you can easily get away on a budget, too.
It can be cheaper than you think to jump to a place and use those vacation days doing what you love, far away from home.
We’re going to look at:
- Seven of the best budget travel destinations from the USA;
- What you can get up to when you’re there;
- Top tips for getting the cheapest flight and accommodation deals.
The Seven Best Budget Travel Destinations from the USA
You can be in Costa Rica in less than five hours from the States and it’s like a whole other world.
Choose between the Atlantic or Pacific coasts and get the adrenaline pumping. Costa Rica is known for its adventure sports, with ziplining, caving, and tubing all popular activities in this tropical country.
With a little bit of research and flexibility, you can pick up flights for a few hundred dollars. Once there, you can pay $10 a day for budget hostels. Even luxurious hotels and boutique villas can be less than $100 per night.
Mexico is right next door to a clear favorite for Americans with a need to get away for a quick break. Less than five hours from New York or LA, you can be in a different world quickly, and cheaply.
We’ve picked Tulum specifically because of its mix of Mayan history, stunning beaches, and accommodation mix. You can easily splurge in Tulum, but you can also find places for $15 a night.
There are plenty of airlines flying across the Rio Grande, and that competition keeps the flight prices relatively cheap.
Turks and Caicos
The Caribbean might not be your first thought when looking at budget travel destinations from the USA, but hear us out.
Accommodation can be cheap if you choose to stay in an apartment or resort at around $100 per night. When the setting is as idyllic as these islands, you’re getting a bargain at that price!
Snorkeling and Scuba diving are the things to do here – the beaches and reefs are something else and definitely worth the flight.
The first thing to note about Cuba is that you’ll need to do some research about your visa when visiting from the USA. It’s not impossible, but it will take a little bit of effort — we promise that it’s worth it though.
The old-world charm of Havana is best explored on a classic car tour where you can experience the cigars and rum the island is known for. Historic towns, quiet beaches, and stunning nature are easy to access, and the prices are super cheap.
You might think flying all the way across the Atlantic would be expensive, but there are some great deals to hop over to Lisbon.
This city is thriving, with a massive digital nomad community as well as being a prime European city break. It’s cool, cosmopolitan, and surprisingly well-priced. You can even head north 40 minutes to Ericeira and get some surfing in if that’s your jam.
Sandwiched between Mexico and Guatemala, Belize is small in size but mighty in beauty. Flights aren’t crazy expensive when your travel dates can change as well.
Hit the jungles for trekking and nature vibes or the coast to get your diving and snorkeling fixes.
Grab a bed in a backpacker hostel for $25 per night in most places in the country or stretch to a hostel room that can come in as cheap as $50 per night if you search hard enough.
Not got a passport but want some overseas, exotic vibes? Head over to Puerto Rico where you can still spend your dollars yet feel a million miles away.
Indulge in the street food, music, and party vibe in Old San Juan, hit to beaches for some chill time, and rent a car to go inland to some stunning waterfalls.
As a solo traveler, expect to spend about $100 per day, including your accommodation, if you’re down with doing things cheaply. Even $100 for a hotel plus activities is a great deal for such a great holiday, with no passport costs.
How to find the best travel deals
Booking a trip can be daunting. You need to find the best deal on flights, make sure your accommodation meets your needs, and just picking the right country can be a stressful time!
We’ve got some simple travel hacks that should help you get the best out of your travel budget and take away one of the stresses of travel planning:
- Reject cookies – cookies on your browser are a way for airlines and travel sites to track your online activity. When you click to reject them, it means the flight or hotel site you visit can’t see how many times you’re looking at a trip and can’t inflate prices.
- Use a VPN – doing a VPN comparison of flight prices is super useful. Airlines can set different prices depending on what country you’re in and a VPN can put you in lower-income countries to get better prices. This takes time and patience but can definitely be worth it.
- Be flexible – if you’re happy to let flight prices choose your destination, you can choose the “anywhere” or “everywhere” options on flight comparison sites and see where’s cheap for your dates. Remember to check if hotel prices will eat into your savings, though.
Traveling on a budget can be a great experience because you tend to eat more local food and explore places without guides or rose-tinted glasses. We hope this guide gives you some inspiration for cheap travel destinations from the USA!