What are your travel plans for spring? If you’re on a tight budget, you shouldn’t just assume that you can’t afford to get away. Instead, consider the following budget-friendly spring destinations.
Park City, Utah
Park City Mountain offers money-saving packages on lodging, lift tickets and breakfast. Snow awesome!
Spring travel usually calls to mind beaches and sunshine, but breaking away from the norm can save you serious bucks. Park City typically has enough snow for skiing during the spring, so you can hit the powder instead of the sand during your getaway. Park City Mountain offers an Epic Pass that will save you money on lodging, equipment rental and meals.
Heading to Utah for your spring vacation is both a unique and affordable experience, and it’s especially attractive if you live somewhere that gets a lot of warm weather and want to do something a little different.
Great Smoky Mountains National Park
Entry to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park is free, and camping ranges from $14 to $23 a night.
On the border between Tennessee and North Carolina, you’ll find the famous and exquisite Great Smoky Mountains National Park. First thing to note is that entrance to the park is free! Plus, the biodiversity in the area will captivate your kids, and the fresh air and beautiful scenery will make you feel as if your office is a million miles away. You can take a guided tour of the park, go hiking or enjoy a picnic.
Although there are hotels near the park, you’ll save a lot of money if you decide to go camping instead. The overnight fees for the park’s 10 campgrounds range from $14 to $23 per night, and all of the campgrounds have toilet facilities and cold running water. Not all of the campgrounds are open year round, so try to reserve your campsite before you take off on your vacation.
Don’t let Seattle’s gray skies get you down. The city promises breathtaking views and lots of delicious coffee, beer and music!
Seattle gets a bad rap for its gray skies, so it is a popular destination in the summer—but not so much in the spring (thanks to those Pacific winds and rain). But truth be told, that’s why spring is a great time for bargains. Many of the hotels wait to raise rates until the summer tourist season, so you’ll likely get a good deal on a hotel in or near the city. There are some fun, free attractions here, too, including Pike Place Market, the Ballard Locks and Olympic Sculpture Park. If you’re fortunate enough to time your visit for when Seattle has blue skies, you’ll be treated to awesome views of Puget Sound, Mount Rainier and Lake Washington.
We can hardly bear the cuteness! Visit the National Zoo, and see the giant pandas for free.
The nation’s capital boasts no shortage of free things to do. The National Zoo is one of only a few zoos in the country that has giant pandas, so that is definitely worth a stop. The National Mall, Rock Creek Park, the FDR Memorial and the National Air and Space Museum are all also good items to add to your itinerary. Springtime is when the Cherry Blossom Festival happens, so you might be treated to the unforgettable sight of countless pink blossoms throughout the city.
Because spring is a popular time to visit Washington, D.C., book your accommodations early. You might find a cheaper place to stay in one of the cities near Washington, D.C., such as Alexandria, Virginia.
Myrtle Beach, South Carolina
Myrtle Beach is not short on things to do. Go shelling, fishing and souvenir shopping on the boardwalk.
Say hello to shells, souvenirs and swimming! At Myrtle Beach, you’ll enjoy miles of sand, fishing and seafood. The Myrtle Beach Oceanfront Boardwalk and Promenade is a blast with a massive SkyWheel, Hurricane’s Daiquiri Bar, surf shop and lots more. Book a stay at the Westgate Myrtle Beach Oceanfront Resort, which has beach access, a heated lazy river and a “kids eat free” policy.
Check out Visit Myrtle Beach for free and affordable activities, including mini golf, helicopter rides (starting at $20) and nature trails at Myrtle Beach State Park.
Travel to Houston, Texas, for diverse food, art and people. If you have time, rent a car and make the three-hour trip to Austin!
As one of the most diverse cities in the country, Houston is joining the ranks of Miami and Chicago. The Texas town has an amazing food scene with restaurants owned by three James Beard Award winners, and Houston’s art scene boasts institutions like the Menil Collection and Project Row Houses.
Because of the devastation of Hurricane Harvey, you might find lower-than-average hotel deals this year. Find ideas for free things to do in Houston, including performances at the Miller Outdoor Theatre, sunset light show at James Turrell’s “Twilight Epiphany” Skyspace on Rice Campus and biking along the Buffalo Bayou.
Wherever Your Family Lives
The cheapest way to enjoy a spring getaway is to visit your family, whether they live across the state or across the country. They’ll be happy to have you visit, and you’ll have a free place to stay as well as some built-in tour guides!
How to Save Money on Any Vacation
No matter where you go, a lack of planning could turn your spring trip into a major budget drain. To keep more money in your pocket, make sure you:
- Diligently search for deals on hotels and attractions. Keep an eye out for travel coupons that provide you with special savings.
- Watch your food budget. Constantly visiting restaurants and coffee shops can cause some serious harm to your wallet, so plan your meals carefully.
- Double-check your suitcase. Although you don’t want to over-pack and have to carry around a bunch of extra stuff, you also don’t want to end up forgetting something essential that you’ll end up having to buy while you’re on your trip.
- Use public transportation after you get to your destination. You’ll save money on gas and on parking, particularly if you’re vacationing in a large city.
You deserve to get away for spring, so don’t let a limited budget make you think that you’ll be stuck at home. Head to one of the above destinations for an affordable and enjoyable escape.