Everyone wants to take a vacation, but traveling can really add up, especially if you’re with kids. But fret not — there are always ways to save money. Traveling in the off-season is one way to travel on the cheap, not to mention visiting lesser-known areas that you may not have considered. So, pack your bags and keep your bank account intact, because here are some cheap vacation ideas to consider when planning your next trip.
Seattle — Oregon
Seattle is known for the Space Needle, Puget Sound views, and a next-level Pacific Northwest foodie scene. Sure, it rains a lot, but that’s what coffee houses and craft breweries are for!
It’s free to explore Pike Place Market, which dates back to 1907 (stop for a latte at the first-ever Starbucks), as well as the waterfront area, where you can snap photos of the many ferries crisscrossing the harbor.
Where to Stay: Thompson Seattle
Chicago — Illinois
A cheap vacation idea getaway that won’t break the bank is the Windy City, which has plenty of free attractions, including Lincoln Park Zoo and Millennium Park — don’t forget to snap a selfie in front of the famously reflective Cloud Gate sculpture! It’s worth the price of admission to see iconic paintings like American Gothic at the Art Institute of Chicago and a Cubs game at Wrigley Field.
Where to Stay: Hilton Chicago
Toronto — Canada
For a budget-friendly vacation idea, consider Canada’s largest city. See the Toronto skyline from atop the 1,815-foot CN Tower, check out contemporary art in the Art Gallery of Ontario (free on Wednesday evenings), nosh on cheap eats like peameal bacon sandwiches at the historic St. Lawrence Market, and sip locally brewed beer in the trendy pedestrian-only Distillery District.
Where to Stay: Fairmont Royal York
San Juan — Puerto Rico
Puerto Rico, named one of Fodor’s Go List 2019 destinations, is bracing for a robust upcoming tourist season. San Juan, home of resort areas like Condado and Isla Verde, is where most of the action is and there are good deals to be had as it tries to attract the crowds it had before Hurricane Maria.Old San Juan, with its cobbled streets, shops, and historic El Morro fort, is ideal for strolling and the beachfront hotels have plenty of fun (and cheap) rum bars and restaurants — not to mention nightlife.
Where to Stay: Sheraton Old San Juan
Houston — Texas
Named by Lonely Planet as one of its Best Value cities in its Best in Travel 2019 list, Houston will celebrate the 50th anniversary of the lunar landing next July — the Space Center Houston will offer numerous Apollo II-themed exhibits and events. Other top tourist spots include The Menil Collection museum (free admission) and the 445-acre Hermann Park, home to gardens, lakes, and the zoo.
Where to Stay: Marriott Marquis Houston