6 Bucket List Vacations That Won’t Break the Bank

man hiking in the woods

With the summer coming up, it’s vacation season. That also mean it’s blow-your-entire-savings season—at least, if you want to make your vacation really memorable. Or so airlines and travel websites might lead you to believe. The truth is you can go on an awesome vacation without having to break the bank. Whether your version of a budget-friendly vacation is a quick road trip or an adventure abroad, just one that involves lots of AirBNB’s and hostels, this roundup of bucket-list vacations (without the crazy price tags) should have something for you.

  1. Yosemite National Park, California. Yosemite, one of America’s earliest National Parks, offers a variety of outdoor activities, wildlife and history. There’s camping sites (at various levels of rugged-ness), hiking paths or horseback riding. You can go for the education or you can just go to get away – either way it’s less than a day’s drive from most of our West Coast eaves communities.
  2. Ohiopyle, Pennsylvania. You might not think of Pennsylvania as the vacation destination of your dreams, but the breathtaking Ohiopyle State Park barely feels like it’s on this planet, let alone in Pennsylvania. The state park encompasses a whopping 20,000 acres of pristine forests, gushing waterfalls, and, perhaps the most popular aspect of Ohiopyle, pieces of architecture. Famed architect Frank Lloyd Wright chose Ohiopyle as the place to erect two of his architectural oddities, Fallingwater and Kentuck Knob. Book a tour of either to learn why Wright’s nature-inspired masterpieces are well known all over the country.
  3. Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. When you want to get out of the country, but not splurge on expensive airfare, Mexico is a good option. Flights are usually cheap, regardless of where you’re flying from, and you can often get package deals to resorts if you book your hotel at the same time as your flight. Plus, Mexico is known for its all-inclusive resorts—including many in the beautiful Puerto Vallarta. If your idea of a vacation is swimming, sunbathing, and sipping, Mexico might be for you.
  4. Rincon, Puerto Rico. Another place that’s just a short plane ride away, Rincon resides on the west coast of Puerto Rico—away from the tourist traps and resorts. That’s what ensures you the cheaper stay. Check out AirBNB for affordable options, and look at websites like Kayak and Expedia to snag deals on your flight to Puerto Rico. Once you’re there, you can explore the beautiful sandy beaches and stunning caves that have been hiding in this largely overlooked corner of Puerto Rico.
  5. Barcelona, Spain. This one might be a stretch if you have a really tight vacation budget, but if you have a little bit more money to spare, you can still do Barcelona on the cheap. That’s because the euro is almost equivalent to the U.S. dollar right now—meaning that three-euro bottle of wine is actually just about $3, not $5 like it has been in years past. Take advantage of the growing strength of the dollar by strolling along the sandy beaches of Barcelona, drinking in the view of the city from Park Guell, and touring its many famous cathedrals.
  6. Dubrovnik, Croatia. Croatia is having a real moment right now when it comes to international travel. Eastern Europe was once routinely overlooked, but now this notoriously beautiful country is receiving its fair share of the spotlight thanks to the notoriously friendly locals and wealth of things to do. Sunbathe along the Adriatic Coast in Dubrovnik, Croatia before other travelers catch on and the prices in touristy areas start to climb.


The Ten Best Travel Destinations for 2016 [Forbes]

8 unique summer vacations that won’t break the bank [Mashable]

10 Exotic Vacations That Won’t Break the Bank [Men’s Health]