Top 5 Affordable Summer Vacation Destinations

Let’s face it. With the end of the school year comes wanderlust. With the warm weather and sunshine, who wouldn’t want to make a summer getaway? For most though, it sometimes seems hard to plan a great vacation without breaking the bank. Here are our top five places to travel while on a budget!

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1. Cross-Country Train Trip

If you have been longing to travel cross country but do not have the car or the fund to make it you can now travel by train from New York to San Francisco for just $213. The train ride from coast to coast is 3,400 miles and would take 4 days without stopovers. You can make stopovers in the cities of your choosing for as long as you would like. The best thing about this trip is you can see the best sights America has to offer. You can even watch from the Sightseer Lounge car that is fitted with enormous windows that wrap upwards to the ceiling.

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2. The Capital

If you are a history buff, Washington D.C. is filled with fun and exciting attractions. You can choose a traditional D.C. adventure and go to the White House and Washington Monument. If you want to see a different view of the monuments make sure to go on a nighttime monument tour. The lights against the dark sky is breath taking! If you want to see what the inside of Capital and the White House look like, contact your state representative in advance for a tour. Most of the Smithsonians are free of charge and chock-full of interesting facts. If you go during the summer, you can usually find a concert, market, or festival to attend. During late March or early April you can take a stroll around the Tidal Basin and look at all of the Cherry Blossoms in bloom.

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3. Costa Rica

Another budget friendly place to travel is Costa Rica. You can hike through the rain forest and even zip line through the canopies. There are white water rapids and world-class surfing to try. There are numerous hiking trails—some that go to volcanoes. Since Costa Rica is smaller, you can experience all of its beauty without breaking the bank. Most of the tourist attractions can be found in the city of San Jose, with accommodation as cheap as $12 a night.

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4. Southeast Asia

Thailand is also an amazing budget-friendly trip. Thailand has amazing culture, history, temples, food, beaches, a buzzing city and nightlife. Since the USD equals to 30 baht you can spend very little a day for everything you need. On most days you can spend 30-35 USD, which would include accommodations. When you visit Chiang Mai, I would spend the day at the Elephant Nature Park—a rescue and rehabilitation center for abused, elderly, and injured Asian Elephants.

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5. Out West

If you are looking to stay in the US this summer, Denver, Colorado is a great place to travel on a budget. It can either be a 4-hour plane ride or a 3-day drive. Denver has a unique blend of cosmopolitan life and a Rocky Mountain western culture. There are plenty of breath taking views and every part of the city offers amazing views of the Rocky Mountains that are only an hour drive away. There are fantastic free hiking and biking trails that are in and around the city. The city also offers a variety of festivals year-round. If you are able to rent or take your car, you can visit many of their fantastic breweries like the Coors Brewery (which is free!). You can also take a day trip to Colorado Springs to see the breathtaking views of the Garden of the Gods and Pikes Peak.

Happy travels, collegiettes!