19 Insanely Cheap Places to Travel in the USA on a Budget in 2023

Some budget travelers avoid the United States because they don’t believe there are any cheap places to visit in the USA, but that’s simply not true. Traveling to the US doesn’t mean having to shell out the big bucks. America is a dream destination for many travelers and there are still some great budget-friendly cities in the United States. So we crunched the numbers to find the cheapest places to travel in the USA on a budget.

We collected travel tips for these 10 cheap vacation spots in the United States. If you’re traveling on a strict budget, keep these affordable US destinations in mind. Before visiting these places, you should also know how to travel in the US on a budget.

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10 affordable places to visit in the united states.

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1. San Antonio, Texas

San Antonio, one of the most colorful destinations in the USA, is a perfect blend of American history and Mexican culture that makes it one of the cheapest cities in the USA to visit. The city is renowned for its 18th-century Alamo Mission which is well preserved as a living history museum with no entry fee.

Budget travelers can indulge in various free or cheap activities in San Antonio. Whether you are a history buff or love to eat food, San Antonio won’t disappoint you. Once you reach here, use VIA Metropolitan Transit which is the cheapest option to get around San Antonio.

Cheap Things to do in San Antonio:

  • San Antonio tour is incomplete without a stroll along the river walk through the city. The whole strip is lined up with award-winning restaurants, shops, and live entertainment.
  • Visit the Alamo which is not too far from the river walk. It is one of the best things to do in San Antonio and a great place to know the rich history of the state of Texas. Take some stunning pictures of this great architecture.
  • Visiting the Japanese Tea Garden is another popular free thing that you can enjoy in San Antonio. It is an ideal place for a romantic walk. There is a beautiful waterfall also in this garden.
  • San Pedro Creek Culture Park is definitely one tourist spot in San Antonio that you won’t want to miss. Admire the beauty of this park that offers a combination of art, nature, and culture. A perfect place for a photoshoot or a romantic stroll.
  • If you are planning to visit a lot of attractions and explore this city completely, then I highly recommend you to buy San Antonio Attractions Pass: Four or Five Top Attractions for $87.99.
Cheap places to visit in the USA - Riverwalk, San Antonio
Riverwalk, San Antonio

San Antonio Travel Budget:

  • Hostel Prices: $40/night (book Cheap Hostel)
  • Cheap Hotel and Rental Apartment: $40-$120/night (see on Booking.com)
  • Cheap flights to San Antonio: from $89 if you fly from New York
  • Meals at an inexpensive restaurant per day: $15-20
  • Local transport: $22

Related Post: 10 Most Affordable Cities to Live in Texas

2. El Paso, Texas

Historical places, vibrant cities, and a strong military scene make El Paso a cheap place to travel as a teenager in the United States. On the left bank of the Rio Grande and west of Texas sits this gorgeous desert landscape that is ripe for adventure. 

Have you ever thought about driving along the winding road as you increase in elevation? Driving along Franklin Mountain is a divine experience. El Paso is also called ‘Sun City’. Its sprawling nature makes it ideal for hikers, and rock climbers. 

Cheap Things to do in El Paso:

  • Just 30 miles northeast of downtown El Paso sits Hueco Tanks, a recreational hotspot for bird watchers, campers, hikers, and rock climbers. The rock formation and natural basins make the place very pictographic.
  • Take a fun free tour of Plaza Theater happening each Wednesday at noon. The architecture reflects the design of the Spanish Colonial Revival style with ornamental metal railing, and antique furniture as if you are in the old times. 
  • Explore the multicultural heritage site, Mission Trail which is considered the oldest mission in Texas in the 17th and 18th centuries. Also, taking the Ysleta Mission way to drive is breath-taking
  • Enjoy the impressive art collection at the El Paso Museum of Art which showcases art from the 12th century to the current time. Do you want to miss that?
Hueco Tanks State Historic Site
Hueco Tanks State Historic Site

3. Daytona, Florida

You must add a beach to your list of cheap vacations in the US. If you are a beach lover Daytona can be a great place to stop at and enjoy on a budget. Daytona is cheaper when compared to other expensive places in the US. Daytona has over 23 miles of sandy beaches where you can spend a family vacation. With unlimited options for free things to do and reasonable hotels and restaurants, Daytona is not only an inexpensive place in Florida but also one of the cheapest places to travel in the USA.

Cheap Things to do in Daytona:

  • Take a free guided tour around Angell & Phelps Chocolate factory.
  • If you visit Daytona beach in summer, don’t miss the free bandshell concert. From jazz to Latin music you can enjoy any type of musical style from May to September each Friday and Saturday evening.
  • Honeymooners can go for a long stroll along the miles of sandy beaches or look out for sea turtles.
  • Photography enthusiasts must visit the Southeast Museum of Photography which is Florida’s official museum of photography.
Cheap Places to visit in the united states  | Daytona Beach, Florida
Daytona Beach, Florida

Daytona Travel Budget:

  • Cheap Hotel and Rental Apartment: $55-$120/night (see on Booking.com)
  • Cheap flights to Daytona Beach: from $97 if you fly from New York
  • Meals at an inexpensive restaurant per day: $15-20
  • Local transport: $15

4. Ocala, Florida

Just imagine you’re in the middle of untainted nature where you can see oaks trees lined along the pathway with Spanish moss dangling on the trellises, and at far you can spot sand pine forest and fresh air brushing your hair, how does that feel? 

Welcome to Ocala, one of the cheapest places to visit in the USA. It is also known as the Horse Capital of the World. It sits in Marion County, Florida, famous for freshwater streams, rolling hills, and clean air. Also, it is very quiet and fun!

Cheap Things to do in Ocala:

  • Come for a walk at Sholom Park. This 44-acre land sits alongside a formal garden, an azalea trail, a ginger garden, and a labyrinth, with a lot of trees, shrubs, and perennials.
  • Do you know that Ocala is home to the Juniper Prairie Wilderness? It covers over 14,000 acres of land space with grass prairie, untouched sand pine scrub, marshes, hardwood swamp, and pine Flatwoods. 
  • Enjoy fishing, cannon, swimming, snorkeling, and scuba diving in the Alexander Springs Recreational Area, a unique freshwater spring.
  • Plan a dinner date at Blue Wagyu restaurant to taste the famous tender Wagyu beef with cream and sauces. 
  • For the view of an untouched ecosystem like cypress swamps and Florida’s wilderness, follow the Santos Trail. 
  • Walk along the third largest forest in the state, Withlacoochee State Park to witness natural beauty. However, remember to watch the documentary at the visitor’s center before exploring.
Sholom Park
Sholom Park

5. Clearwater, Florida

Nestled on Florida’s west coast near Tampa sits Clearwater, a rare precious jewel. If you’re looking for a warm winter vacation in the US on a budget then look no further than Clearwater. It offers you tranquil white sand beaches, refreshing gulf breeze, and gorgeous nature.

READ NEXT:  10 Best Places to Travel Alone in The USA in 2023

The blue water and isolated state park hold a record for consecutive sunny days ranging below the 70s in the winters. Also, enjoying the gulf seafood, and beach bars during the sunsets are so exciting and memorable events. 

Cheap Things to do in Clearwater:

  • To marine lovers, Clearwater is the best place to spot bottlenose dolphin pods on the surface as they happily go around. You can never miss this place!
  • If you never witnessed Matisse paintings, then come to Clearwater Beach during sunset. The tropical sunset against sapphire blue water and soft white sands is mesmerizing.
  • Come to Clearwater Memorial Causeway bridge to witness the sun coming up from the horizon and filling the sky with different shades of yellow, peach, and rose.
  • Hiking in the woods, walking by the beach, and climbing mountains are mesmerizing. But do you know what is more mesmerizing?  Watching black birds in the sky dancing as if in a form of aerial ballet
  • Explore Clearwater by foot, and walk along the Historic Harbour Oaks neighborhood to reach Fort Harrison and further. 
  • Take a bicycle and ride from St. Petersburg to Tarpon Springs taking the Fred Marquis Pinellas Trail
  • Clearwater Beach is also called Spring Break Capital for a reason. But if you’re like me and love offbeat places then come to North Beach across Causeway Bridge
Clearwater beach
Clearwater beach

6. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

You know what they say, nothing good comes for free of cost. However, in Philadelphia, that’s not entirely true. In fact, there are loads of fun, exciting, entertaining and even adventurous things that one can enjoy. Philadelphia is located on the Northeast side of the United States.

The City of Brotherly Love is packed with historical sites, brewery tours, delicious cuisines and many more. Philadelphia is also considered as one of the best solo travel destinations in the USA for its friendly locals, good public transport, cheap and safe accommodation options and unlimited free things to enjoy.

If you are not a liquor person, dining out will be pocket friendly in Philadelphia. While traveling in Philadelphia, collect one-day Independence Pass which is only $11 per person or $28 per family, and allows you to ride on any bus, trolley, subway, or train.

Cheap Things to do in Philadelphia:

  • Independence Hall is the first thing that you should visit in Philadelphia. Yes, it’s totally Free. A guided tour is part of your admission. This signature building has huge importance in history where the Declaration of Independence was adopted in 1776.
  • The Rocky Statue and the Rocky Steps are other popular sites where you can run up 72 steps to the Philadelphia Museum of Art and give a ceremonious fist pump at the top. Both are Free.
  • Visit the United States Mint where you can learn the mystery behind the fascinating coin-making process via a self-guided free tour. It is really an interesting and worth visiting place in Philadelphia.
  • Couples can have a romantic stroll through Elfreth’s Alley which was once the residence of 18th-century tradespeople who worked out of their homes. The cobblestone street with lots of cute houses made it an ideal place for photographers.
  • If you are planning to visit most attractions of the city in a convenient way, then I highly recommend you to buy Philadelphia All-Inclusive Pass with 30+ Attractions for $59.
 Independence Hall, Philadelphia - Affordable places to visit in the US
Independence Hall, Philadelphia

Tips: Check out the Independence Visitor Center, where you can receive an overview of the city and its attractions. Pick up free tickets to Independence Hall. City Pass can be a good choice to see multiple attractions for an incredibly low price.

Philadelphia Travel Budget:

  • Hostel Prices: $15-$20/night (Find Cheap hostels)
  • Cheap Hotel and Rental Apartment: $30-$70/night (see on Booking.com)
  • Cheap flights to Philadelphia: from $74 if you fly from New York
  • Meals at an inexpensive restaurant per day: $20-25
  • Local transport: $25

Use WayAway.io to find the cheapest flights to your desired destination.

7. Albuquerque, New Mexico

Traveling to American cities often comes with a hefty price tag. But if you’re heading to Albuquerque on your next vacation, you are in luck. Many travelers consider it one of the cheapest places to visit in the USA. From various museums to gallery tours, from Native American culture to historic old town- Albuquerque offers plenty of fun and free things to do during your visit.

Cheap Things to do in Albuquerque:

  • Exploring the amazing museums can be the best free thing to do in Albuquerque. The Harvey House Museum is popular to learn about the history of the old railroad. Whereas The Maxwell Museum of Anthropology will help you to know how the desert landscape has changed the way people do things in the area.
  • Visit the historic Old Town of Albuquerque, founded in 1706. It is a perfect place to know this affordable vacation spot in the USA more closely. You will find lots of shops, restaurants and museums lined up here.
  • Open Space is another popular place for adventure enthusiasts where you can do biking or hiking and enjoy Albuquerque’s fantastic trails.
  • Travelers can visit the Petroglyph National Monument which offers a great view of some of the most beautiful scenery in all of New Mexico.
Open Space of Albuquerque, Cheap vacation spots in the USA
Open Space of Albuquerque

Albuquerque Travel Budget:

  • Hostel Prices: $30/night (book Cheap Hostel)
  • Cheap Hotel and Rental Apartment: $40-$120/night (see on Booking.com)
  • Airbnb in Albuquerque (for couples and families)
  • Meals at an inexpensive restaurant per day: $15-20
  • Local transport: $30

8. Charleston, South Carolina

Charleston is not only a cheap city but also one of the best places for a romantic getaway in the USA. Charleston offers its visitors beautiful waterfront parks, piers and its surrounding barrier islands and many museums with free admission.

You can score a hotel room at a very low cost with complimentary breakfast even in the busy summertime if you’re willing to stay outside the city proper. Transportation cost in Charleston is very cheap and available through the city’s CARTA bus system.

Cheap Things to do in Charleston :

  • If you are looking for free things to do in Charleston, hit the beach. Enjoy a relaxing vacation on Folly beach with a great view of the Atlantic Ocean.
  • Visit Charleston Tea Plantation, country’s only tea plantation which is just 20-mile drive down to Wadmalaw Island.
  • Stroll through Charleston City Market, one of the country’s oldest public markets. Explore the market and take some souvenirs for your loved ones.
  • Battery park and Point Gardens are free admission public garden area that offers fantastic views of Fort Sumter and Charleston Harbor.
Piers in Charleston | Best Places to visit in US on a budget
Piers in Charleston

Charleston Travel Budget:

  • Hostel Prices: $35/night
  • Cheap Hotel and Rental Apartment: $55-$120/night (see on Booking.com)
  • Cheap flights to Charleston: from $36 if you fly from New York
  • Meals at an inexpensive restaurant per day: $15-20
  • Local transport: $22

9. Raleigh, North Carolina

Planning affordable family vacations in the USA can be tricky, but Raleigh offers local events, activities and entertainment options within a wide range of budgets. Everyone can afford an inexpensive vacation to Raleigh. Raleigh’s affordable hotels, restaurants and low taxes make it one of the cheapest travel destinations in the US.

Cheap Things to do in Raleigh:

  • Enjoy a day in Triangle Lakes which is home to some small lakes and two large lakes: Jordan Lake west of Apex and Falls Lake. This place is equally popular among locals and international travelers.
  • The admission-free North Carolina Museum of History features military history, decorative arts, and sports heroes of North Carolina. The museum has a wide collection of artifacts that consists of over 150000 items.
  • Don’t miss Pullen Park, the first public park in North Carolina. This amusement park is the hub of the playground, green fields and lots of rides. It is an ideal place for families. Enjoy a pedal boat ride and a historic carousel that was built in 1911.
  • Pay a visit to the North Carolina Museum of Natural Science which is the Southeast’s largest natural history museum. The museum features all sorts of bugs, spiders, and snakes. There is also a live animal presentation that takes place daily.
Raleigh Cityscape - Cheap Holiday destination in USA
Raleigh Cityscape

Raleigh Travel Budget:

  • Cheap Hotel and Rental Apartment: $55-$1130/night (book Cheap Hotels on Booking.com)
  • Cheap flights to Raliegh: from $87 if you fly from New York
  • Meals at an inexpensive restaurant per day: $15-20
  • Local transport: $22

10. Phoenix, Arizona

People who are looking for some of the cheapest places to vacation in the USA can visit Phoenix. It is not only the capital of the state but also one of the best places to visit in Arizona. This cultural powerhouse of Arizona is known for its warm, humid and harsh climate of desert. What also makes Phoenix a great travel destination are the many free attractions. Just make sure not to travel in the mid-summer when this city is at its hottest.

Cheap Things to do in Phoenix:

  • The Desert Botanical Garden offers one of the world’s largest collections of desert flora. There are several garden trails that visitors can take to explore the unique gardens. If you are a garden lover, check out the best botanical gardens in California.
  • Adventure seekers can hike Camelback Mountain, the most popular hiking trail in the Phoenix region. The hike is challenging with excessive heat but worth the effort for some breathtaking views from the top. Check out this guided tour to the top of Camelback Mountain.
  • If you are an art lover, a visit to the Phoenix Art Museum is highly recommended. The museum exhibits some of the most unique pieces of art and fashion. With more than 18,000 works of American, European, Latin American, modern and contemporary art, expect to spend some time exploring this popular museum.
  • South Mountain Park is totally free to visit that offers magnificent views of the city and surrounding landscapes. You can hike or bike early in the morning to beat the heat.
READ NEXT:  8 Cheapest Places to Live in Hawaii in 2023

 The Desert Botanical Garden, Phoenix | Pocket friendly places to visit in the USA
The Desert Botanical Garden, Phoenix

Phoenix Travel Budget:

  • Hostel Prices: $35-50/night (book Cheap Hostel)
  • Cheap Hotel and Rental Apartment: $40-$120/night (Book on Booking.com)
  • Cheap flights to Phoenix: from $119 if you fly from New York
  • Meals at an inexpensive restaurant per day: $15-20
  • Local transport: $24

11. New Orleans, Louisiana

If you’re looking to have a fun time in New Orleans but don’t want to open up your wallet, no worries. There are plenty of ways to explore the city at cheap.

Cheap Things to do in New Orleans:

  • Strolling along the Mississippi Riverside can be one of the best things romantic couples can do here. This impressive landmark of the city is great for a family picnic.
  • Exploring French Quarter and Garden District is one of the best things to do in New Orleans. The aroma of local cuisine and an array of local antique shops, restaurants, and museums made it one of the most photographed places. Garden District is home to some famous persons like Anne Rice and rock star Trent Reznor. Take the popular streetcar ride from French Quarter to Garden District and they are very affordable.
  • To get an up-close view of the Mississippi River, ride the Algiers Ferry. It’s not completely free, just $2 per person that offers great views of the oldest parts of the city and a view of the downtown skyline from the ferry.
  • Visit 100-year-old the New Orleans Museum of Art which has a collection of fine paintings, sculptures, photography, glass and historical objects ranging from the pre-Christian era to modern.
 French Quarter, New Orleans
French Quarter, New Orleans

New Orleans Travel Budget:

  • Hostel Prices: $10-$15/night (book Cheap Hostel)
  • Cheap Hotel and Rental Apartment: $25-$80/night (Book on Booking.com)
  • Cheap flights to New Orleans: from $41 if you fly from New York
  • Meals at an inexpensive restaurant per day: $10-15
  • Local transport: $20

12. Salt Lake City, Utah

Salt Lake City is one of the best fall destinations in the USA and also known as the world headquarters of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. It offers a wide variety of free historic visitor attractions at its Historic Temple Square.

Utah Transit Authority operated a low-cost transport system that will help you to save some bucks while traveling the city. However, the best thing about it as a tourist destination is that many of its museums, gardens, and major attractions are completely free.

Cheap Things to do in Salt Lake City:

  • Visit historic Temple Square, the signature tourist attraction of Salt Lake City. The square features the Mormon Temple, the Tabernacle, Assembly Hall, beautiful gardens, the Seagull Monument and other significant structures and artworks.
  • Adventure enthusiasts can walk the Bonneville Shoreline Trail. The trail is 160 kilometers long and offers incredible views of the Salt Lake Valley and City skyline. The trail is more scenic with colorful wildflowers in spring.
  • Joseph Smith Memorial Building is a must-visit place in Salt Lake City. You will be amazed by its gorgeous architecture and opulent decor. The building was at first a hotel that was transformed into a social center venue in 1993.
  • Utah State Capitol Building is an iconic tourist attraction that proudly sits high on Capitol Hill overlooking the city. Visitors can explore this Corinthian-style building and can take a guided tour to learn the significance of seagulls painted on the ceiling and magnificent murals.
Utah State Capitol Building | Cheap USA destinations
Utah State Capitol Building

Salt Lake City Travel Budget:

  • Hostel Prices: $25-$30/night (book Cheap Hostel)
  • Cheap Hotel and Rental Apartment: $60-$120/night (find on Booking.com)
  • Cheap flights to Salt Lake City: from $104 if you fly from New York
  • Meals at an inexpensive restaurant per day: $15-20
  • Local transport: $25

13. Tucson, Arizona

Tucson is located in the north of the US-Mexico border and is heavily influenced by the desert region in which it stands. It is a great place to visit when traveling on a budget in the USA. The local people are very friendly, the food is amazing and there are lots of cool attractions just waiting to be explored. From hiking a scenic trail to ogling stunning architecture, there is definitely no shortage of amazing things to do in Tucson.

Cheap Things to do in Tucson:

  • Hike the Turquoise Trail, the historic walking tour of downtown Tucson. The hike is about 2.5 miles long that includes 23 historical landmarks of the city such as the 1850s Sosa-Carillo-Frémont House, the Pima County Courthouse, and the old Railroad Depot.
  • Visit Tucson Museum of Art which features over 8,000 works of Western, Latin American and contemporary art. On the first Thursday of each month, admission is free from 5-8 p.m. 
  • Explore the Saguaro National Park trail. Try to avoid hiking here in the summer months. Visitors can see the different types of cactus on the trail.
Tucson, Arizona
Tucson, Arizona

Tucson Travel Budget:

  • Cheap Hotel and Rental Apartment: $50-$110/night (see on Booking.com)
  • Cheap flights to Tucson: from $146 if you fly from New York
  • Meals at an inexpensive restaurant per day: $20-25
  • Local transport: $20

14. Big Bear Lake, California

On the east of Los Angeles by the rugged snow-capped peaks of the San Bernardino Mountains sits a charming mountain town called Big Bear Lake. It is the best backpacking destination in the USA to witness panoramic views of skiable terrain. 

The view of San Bernardino National Forest and the mountain is like a scene from a movie. The stunning vistas of the alpine region towering with Ponderosa pines are such a splendor to hike along the forested path and water skiing. 

Cheap Things to do in Big Bear Lake:

  • In winter you can enjoy sledding and tubing at Grizzly Ridge Tube Park and Big Bear Snow Play
  • It’s a little expensive but for the cool perspective of such beauty with mountains, lakes, and deserts, you can book a helicopter tour or Big Bear Jeep Experience.
  • Sit by the sapphire Big Bear Lake water, soaking in the sun. You can also bring your food and have a small picnic with your friends
  • Hike along the rocky terrain or ride a horse or mountain bike following the Castle Rock trail. The view from t800 feet above sea level is gorgeous
  • In autumn and spring, come to Boulder Bay Park to capture extra color and timeless nature
  • If you’re here in the Fall season, please attend the Oktoberfest, one of the highest-ranked celebrations in the USA.  
Big Bear Lake
Big Bear Lake

15. Death Valley, California

Just as the name sounds, Death Valley seems to be mysterious. Will I die reaching there? No, my friend, you will fall in love with it. It looks desolate wasteland but in reality, is one of the budget-friendly cities to travel to in the USA.

Driving out to Racetrack Playa on the lowest part of the USA at Badwater Basin outside of Alaska sits Death Valley National Park which also earned its name as Dark Sky Preserve. Remember, though it is unique but is a land of extremes with unbearable heat and biting cold resulting in unending drought. 

Cheap Things to do in Death Valley

  • The most fun thing to do in Death Valley is go sandboarding or boogie board
  • Drive straight through the valley to Badwater Basin to get the most shocking view called Dante’s view. You can also drive up Aguereberry Point Road.
  • Camp in the remote regions of Death Valley – Eureka Sand Dunes and Racetrack Playa. Explore the Backcountry, spend the night and understand its ecosystem
  • Hike to visit the Natural Bridge or Historic Mosaic Canyon near Stovepipe Wells and Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes is so thrilling 
Death Valley
Death Valley

16. Red Feather Lakes, Colorado

Have you ever thought of cheap vacation destinations for couples in complete remoteness? 45 miles west of Fort Collins and in the heart of Roosevelt National Forest sits Red Feather Lakes, a charming and rustic mountain town of Colorado.

Its location at the elevation of 8,245 feet offers a dramatic outlook with a golden opportunity to explore. Snowshoeing, sleigh rides, ice skating, and cross-country skiing are popular options to try.

Cheap Things to do in Red Feather Lakes:

  • Canoe or kayak or paddle board at Lake Hiawatha. The Hiawatha Park sits on a 241-acre land with mature trees, open space to walk, and a lake to have fun.
  • How can you not fish at Red Feather Lakes? They have three public lakes with valid Colorado fishing licenses. 
  • Enjoy the rustic town sitting over the horseback riding and enjoying the view. Come to Beaver Meadows Resort Ranch
  • Go for a drive taking the west side of the Continental Divide and continuing to Fort Collins
  • Invest in your health and book a session or attend a workshop or educational program with Shambhala Mountain Center, a Buddhist retreat center offering meditation and yoga classes.
  • You do not need to keep your dog at home, bring him hiking on Lady Moon trailhead. Also, follow the North Lone Pine trail for an easy-breezy walk
READ NEXT:  27 Cheapest Places To Live In The US

17. Fort Collins, Colorado

Along the Cache, Ia Poudre River sits the famous destination Fort Collins which is also known as “FoCo” and is a beautiful college town in Colorado. Not only that, it is Colorado’s Craft Beer Capital. Interestingly, 70% of Colorado’s craft beer is manufactured herein. 

With 2.53 (violent crime rate per 1,000) and ample job opportunities, Fort Collins is one of the cheapest and safest cities to travel to in summer in America for students. Colorado State University and the Rocky Mountains are just miles away!

Cheap Things to do in Fort Collins

  • Change your weekend plans and take the free tour at New Belgium Brewing Co. 
  • Wander along the Cache La Poudre River watching fishes teeming in the water. This is one of the famous spots among locals.
  • Appreciate local art and enjoy the walking tour at Downtown Fort Collins’ First Friday Art Walk. 
  • Explore and soak the beauty at Benson Sculpture Garden. The garden has been recognized as – “ one of the 200 most important modern and contemporary art sites around the world”
New Belgium Brewing Co
New Belgium Brewing Co

18. Klamath Falls, Oregon

Klamath Falls is the most inexpensive place to travel in the USA to witness nature without any makeup. It sits on Volcanic Legacy Scenic Byway, halfway between Lava Beds National Monument and Crater Lake.

Klamath Falls landscape, lakes, rivers, and forests are so dreamy! Mostly, the place is famous for hiking, fishing, biking, and soaking in peace. Also, the restaurants offer a true taste of Klamath Falls’s southern culture.

Cheap Things to do in Red Klamath Falls:

  • How can you miss the beauty of Upper Klamath Lake? Stop by Moore Park which sits on 450-acre land offering a view of lush forest trails, towering pines, flying great bald eagles in the sky and complete peace all around.
  • Beside the Klamath Falls sits Link River Trail where you can enjoy the peace to the fullest. You can take the gravel path to reach Upper Klamath Lake. On the way, you will spot hundreds of rare water birds. 
  • Klamath Lake sits on 91,000 acres; you can sit by the lake and just enjoy the breathtaking views or arrange a small picnic with your friends
  • Spend a night under the sky camping at Lake of the Woods Resort. The experience itself was very rejuvenating. Do not forget to roast marshmallows and enjoy the darkness.
  • Come to Link River Falls, the seventh smallest river in the States to enjoy breathtaking views of waterfalls. Plaikini Falls, Duwee Falls, Annie Falls, and Vidae Falls are so pictured worthy

19. Mount Hood National Forest, Oregon

If you’re planning for tenting, camping, or staying in a cabin then there is no other good place than Mount Hood National Forest. This area offers classic Pacific Northwest landscapes filled with adventurous activities.

Remember, to bring your hiking boots, skis, tents, and cameras as Mount Hood stands at the elevation of 11,240 feet above sea level. Timberline Lodge, waterfalls, hot springs, wildlife, and alpine wildlife are the special features of this park. 

Cheap Things to do in Mount Hood National Forest

  • Up for a long hike? Wear your hiking boots and climb up the Bald Mountain
  • Hang around the stunning Mirror Lake and walk along the Tom, Dick, and Harry Trail to enjoy the still water
  • Did you click a photo of yourself against the backdrop of Tamanawas Falls?
  • Sense adventure along the rocky scrambles and the bridges getting effortless good shots for Instagram at Umbrella and Sahalie Falls.
Tamanawas Falls
Tamanawas Falls

How to Travel Cheap in the USA?

In the world of “dollars”, “cheap” really exist? 15 years old me always wondered. 

Crossing coast to coast to explore America’s states without spending an arm and a leg is a debatable topic. However, Nomadic Matt, my inspirational character, proved it to be true. 

Backpackers and Budget travelers, welcome to blog on the cheapest places to visit in the USA, informing you how to travel on a budget and experience more. 

Moreover, I promise there will be no sacrifices made in experiencing – world-class music, and dances, witnessing stunning gorgeous landscapes, and incredible culture, making friends, and tasting delicious cuisine.

So, here are the ways to travel cheaply without spending millions of dollars on exploring and traveling. I will break your expenses into fixed and variable expenditures.

Let’s look forward to fixed expenditure –

Accommodation: 

Hostels or dorm rooms are your saviors. Also, you can try Couchsurfing. A dorm room with 4-6 beds usually costs between $35-50 USD per night depending on the city and time of your travel. Check out these useful tips about how to book cheap hotels.

On the other hand, Couchsurfing allows you to reside freely in exchange for any service requested by the homeowners. However, always remember to check reviews and stats before booking any one of them. 

Food:

Thankfully, the USA has diverse options in terms of food. Starting from seafood, and BBQ to healthy salad and organic smoothies, there is no singular food culture. Every place has different types of food options at varied rates.

A sandwich or fast food combo meal costs around $10 -$15 if you get it from roadside stalls. The same food is available at $30-$34 at mid-range casual restaurants. On the other hand, if you want to save money on food while traveling, you can cook your food at hostels free of cost.

Public transport

Taking a bus for a cross-country trip is not weird, the best way to save “dollars”. Traveling in buses or trains, or metros is the best way to meet new people, watch and witness amazing sights while keeping the budget fixed. 

However, the only disadvantage you might face while traveling on public transport is long journeys and no WiFi to work along the way. Though you cannot change the first part but upgrade your travel router to work along the way.

Now let’s know your variable expenditure – 

Expenditures, like buying gifts or eating food at a fancy restaurant or participating in paid fest and more, are called variable expenses. However, you cannot completely ignore them but surely reduce their frequencies to save ‘dollars’. 

To reduce expenses on variable expenditures you can follow these points –

  • Prepare a budget
  • Be friendly and try to include other fellow travelers in your plan too
  • Research the destination
  • Book early or too late 
  • Take care of yourself – believe your instinct, and never doubt it
  • Be tech-savvy, try to plan your destinations without seeking help every time from tourist companies
  • Check out these tips for booking cheap flights from anywhere. Always before booking your flight, I would recommend you to read the blog on the most affordable places to fly in the US.

Conclusion

In the end, there are many ways to travel cheaply as well as many fun things to do in the USA. However, the USA might not be a cheap travel destination, but by following travel hacks and meeting the right people, you can make that happen. 

The best way to travel to dream destinations at cheap rates in the USA is to be hopeful to experience dreamy things in a budget-friendly manner. If you’re not from America, I would recommend you save this blog for a better source of information. 

FAQ – Cheapest Vacations in the US

1. Where can I travel with a $1000 budget?

A: With $1000 you can come to Joshua Tree National Park in California. The park sits between the Colorado Desert and the Mojave Desert. Here you can see how arid low desert and high desert vegetation meet to create an incredible natural desert treasure. Moreover, it is unique to find a desert ecosystem.  

2. What is the best month to travel cheaply in the US?

A: The best month to travel cheaply in the USA is from May to early June and late August. Always try to visit in the off-season when the price of hotels and restaurants reduces their rates. I would recommend traveling in January and September. 

3. Which state is very cheap to travel to?

A: Texas is affordable for travelers as there are plenty of hostels, roadside food hauls, and good-running public transport facilities. Strolling down the Paseo del Rio is so mesmerizing. Also, buses in Texas are inexpensive and on time.

4. What is the cheapest beach vacation in the United States?

A: The cheapest beach vacation in the United States is in California. You should come to Carlsbad to enjoy easy-going charm and miles of unexplored coastline. The rocky cliffs and rugged surroundings with soft sand along the beach are so beautiful. Though the average cost of living here is $2,836 in terms of beauty and amenities it is nothing. 

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22 Comments

  1. mariah green says:

    I love San Antonio, lived there for 7 years! A must-visit for sure

  2. I never thought it this affordable but the itineraries aren’t cheap at all……..best catalog I’ve seen so far………

    1. You are right Jefferson. If one wants to visit all, it might be expensive, but certainly there are some free things and comparatively cheaper places where budget travelers can travel.

      1. Chirpybrains says:

        Wow…. Thanks for listing these down. Great suggestions!!

  3. This is a fantastic list. It’s amazing the things you can find to do with a little creativity.

  4. Thank you for this detailed list of inexpensive places to travel and things to do. It’s nice to know that AZ has a number of free parks.? This is a great guide for people to use to plan a trip when things calm down.

  5. Love this list! I love traveling and even better if it can be done cheaply.

  6. Gervin Khan says:

    Utah is definitely a place for me, great scenery and is one of the best fall destinations in the USA.

  7. This is a great list of places. I will bookmark this post so I can reference it when I plan to visit US.

  8. Philly is my recommendation because I love Philly food. I love Philly cheesesteaks, pretzels, and Italian water ice. (Sorry, my dad is from there so I often traveled there).

  9. I’ve been to Raleigh, Daytona, and New Orleans. I think next would be San Antonio Texas, judging from this post!

  10. Ran | Travel & Lifestyle says:

    Thank you for this super comprehensive post! I love how it includes budget suggestions. I’m definitely bookmarking this for the future!

  11. Great post! We’ve been to about 2/3 of these I think, and Charleston was my favorite place by far! Going to add a few of these other cities to our travel list, thank you! 🙂

  12. Great suggestions! I am adding Arizona and Lousiana to my list!

  13. Taylor Justin says:

    I have visited half of the cities on this list and completely agree—they are cheap and fun to visit! I will have to make it my mission to add the additional cities to my list. Especially Salt Lake City, I have always wanted to go.

  14. Absolutely stunning post! Thank you for a detailed impressive guide on a cheap vacation spot in the US!

  15. I’ve been to Philly, Charleston and NC. These places are very much affordable and great things to do. Be sure to go to the Elfreth alley in Philly at night. It’s awesome for photographs.

  16. thank you for sharing useful info about cheap places to visit in USA

  17. A most helpful article about Budget-Friendly Travel in the USA.

  18. USA is the greatest nation in the world. There are such a number of delightful spots in US that are well known among the world. This list contains the top 10 wonderful traveling spots.

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