GROUPON GUIDE TO WASHINGTON-DC

Cheap Vacation Ideas: 19 Budget Trips for 2020

BY: Andy Seifert |Aug 31, 2022

hero

Sometimes the hardest part of planning a vacation is answering the question "where should I go on vacation?" The beach? Overseas? The Great Outdoors? And where to go if you want to avoid spending a bundle?

Don't be overwhelmed—start using these cheap vacation ideas to inspire wanderlust, or head over to Groupon Getaways to browse live deals across the country and the world.

 

1. Lake Tahoe

lake tahoe

pin Lake Tahoe: Hotel Deals | Things to Do | Sightseeing Deals

While Tahoe ski resorts can be pricey, the rest of the area is marked by charming state parks that offer sensational natural beauty for a fraction of the cost. Stand high above the Lake at Emerald Bay State Park, accessible for a small parking fee.

 

2. Myrtle Beach

myrtle beach

pin Myrtle Beach: Hotel Deals | Things to Do | Sightseeing Deals

Traveling with family? One of your best cheap vacation ideas is Myrtle Beach, with its bustling, boardwalk, amusement parks, family restaurants, and arcades. And in the summer, there are several spots along the coast with beach access.

 

3. Maine

maine

pin Maine: Hotel Deals | Things to Do | Sightseeing Deals

Maine’s official tourism slogan is “Vacationland,” and you’ll see why as soon as you reach the coast. Picturesque, rocky, and dotted with lobster-roll shops, Maine’s coast beckons travelers to dip their toe in the Atlantic and then browse its charming and not-too-tacky tourist towns. If you’re on a budget, spend a lot of your time at Acadia National Park, maybe the prettiest spot on the East Coast, and with an admission fee of $25 per vehicle for a whole week.

 

4. Cancún

cancun

pin Cancún: Hotel Deals

Cancún is the place to enjoy any water-sport activity imaginable, from snorkeling and stand-up paddle boarding to sailing and Scuba diving. Sounds expensive? It’s cheaper than you might think—choose an all-inclusive resort to get the best bang for your buck. You could even bundle an all-inclusive resort with airfare (search for the ✈ symbol on Groupon Getaways Cancun deals).

 

5. Palm Springs

palm springs

pin Palm Springs: Hotel Deals | Things to Do | Sightseeing Deals

You can find some of the world's best spas for such treatments in Palm Springs, a 40s and 50s-style desert oasis for R&R, famous for its hot springs and golf courses. You might have to save up for a luxury spa session or a round of 18, but the desert also holds gorgeous state parks and retro-cool hotels that aren’t so expensive.

 

6. Great Smoky Mountains

smoky mountains

pin Great Smoky Mountains: Hotel Deals | Things to Do | Sightseeing Deals

Around 11 million visitors come to Great Smoky National Park every year, and for good reason: entrance to the park is totally free. Spot black bears and elk, climb to the top of Clingmans Dome (the tallest point on the Appalachian Trail), and then head to kitschy Gatlinburg or Pigeon Forge for a show. There are few inexpensive vacation ideas as family friendly as this.

 

7. Dominican Republic

dominican republic

pin  Dominican Republic: Hotel Deals

Nothing says “vacation” like a picture-perfect Caribbean beach, a tropical drink in your hand, and a palm tree providing just the right amount of shade. To find it without breaking the bank, look to the Dominican Republic, and check out the all-inclusive resort packages on Groupon (usually in the resort-laden Punta Cana area).

8. Minneapolis

minneapolis

pin  Minneapolis: Hotel Deals | Things to Do | Sightseeing Deals

The Twin Cities might not jump out as a hot vacation destination, just because ... aren’t the winters there really, really cold? Well, yes, but that means mild, uber-pleasant summers, and with 22 lakes in Minneapolis alone, it’s a major recreational spot for biking, swimming, and kayaking. Start your morning in the city’s Chain of Lakes and finish your afternoon at the post-modern Walker Art Museum. And if you do decide to visit in the winter, remember: Mall of America is just next door.

 

9. Las Vegas

las vegas

pin Las Vegas: Hotel Deals | Things to Do | Sightseeing Deals

One of the best cheap vacation ideas...assuming you keep yourself to a reasonable budget at the casinos. If you've never been to Las Vegas, you might be surprised how affordable a trip to Sin City can be, especially with snatching a hotel room, which go as low as $19/night. And if you want to catch an affordable show, there are plenty of options under $50.

 

10. Atlantic City

atlantic city

pin Atlantic City: Hotel Deals | Things to Do | Sightseeing Deals

You’ll find similar prices to Vegas in Atlantic City, which in the summer doubles as both a casino hotspot and a beach destination. Keep your gambling expenses to a set maximum and you'll find both spots should be well within your budget.

 

11. Alaska

alaska

pin Alaska: Hotel Deals | Things to Do | Sightseeing Deals

If you're headed to Alaska, you can visit Denali National Park—home to North America's tallest mountain—for only $10 a person, making it one of the best budget vacation ideas for the summer. If you live in a hot climate, it might be refreshing to enjoy Alaska’s summer climate, when average high temperatures in Anchorage hover around 60 degrees.

 

12. Italy

italy

pin Italy: Hotel + Airfare Deals

European vacations are not cheap, but you can see millenia-old ruins, sip amazing Tuscan wine, taste wood-fired pizzas...and maybe not spend as much as you think. Air- and hotel-inclusive packages to Italy could help you save, and while each package is different, many take you to whimsical Rome, Renaissance-obsessed Florence, and Venice’s iconic canals.

 

13. The Poconos

poconos

pin The Poconos: Hotel Deals | Things to Do | Sightseeing Deals

If mountains are more your style, try the Poconos of Pennsylvania, a scenic area with a number of romantic resorts and B&Bs. East Coasters have seen the Poconos as the perfect weekend getaway for decades, drawn by a number of small lakes and forested trails.

 

14. San Diego

san diego

pin San Diego: Hotel Deals | Things to Do | Sightseeing Deals

Laid-back and perpetually warm, San Diego often seems like a winter paradise, especially for anyone living north of San Francisco. With the Pacific coastline as a backdrop, there are plenty of attractions you can see for cheap, including the spectacular Cabrillo National Monument on the Point Loma Peninsula. (Hint: if you’re heading to the world-famous San Diego Zoo, you can buy admission through Groupon.)

 

15. New Orleans

new orleans

pin New Orleans: Hotel Deals | Things to Do | Sightseeing Deals

If some of our budget vacation ideas are a little too chilly for your taste (especially in the winter), head to the Big Easy, which is warm and welcoming during January, February, and March. The French influence here means you'll find plenty of delicious meals in candlelit restaurants.

 

16. Niagara Falls

niagara falls

pin Niagara Falls: Hotel Deals | Things to Do | Sightseeing Deals

Hey, for Americans, visiting Canada still counts as "going out of the country" for your vacation. Niagara Falls is your best bet for a budget international trip, since hotel deals there offer not only restaurant credits, but also vouchers for local entertainment and the casino. You also can pair a visit here with a trip out to the Niagara-on-the-Lake region, best known for its ice wine.

 

17. Atlanta

atlanta

pin Atlanta: Hotel Deals | Things to Do | Sightseeing & Tours

Year-round pleasant weather, comfort-food restaurants, important historical sites, and a museum dedicated to sampling sodas—what’s not to like about Atlanta? From the World of Coca-Cola to the CNN Studio Tour to the Birthplace of Martin Luther King, Jr., Atlanta has more to see and do than you might think. We recommend saving some cash by picking up this deal to the SkyView Ferris Wheel, an Atlanta icon in Centennial Park.

 

18. Orlando

orlando

pin Orlando: Hotel Deals | Things to Do | Sightseeing Deals

You’re probably thinking: an Orlando vacation can be cheap? Well, it doesn’t have to be as expensive as you might think. A hotel in the land of theme parks can be quite affordable–there are several options on Groupon starting in the $35-$60/night rage. And while those theme parks can be pricey, at the very least you can snag a deal for a free theme park visit at Universal Orlando Resort.

 

19. Ireland

ireland

pin Ireland: Hotel + Air Deals | Things to Do | Sightseeing Deals

If you have a travel bucket list, seeing the bright-green hills of Ireland has to be on it. And this might be a good opportunity for you to see it for yourself, since we often offer air-inclusive vacations for less than $1,000/person. Check here to find an Ireland trip that works for your budget.

 

travel banner

 

RELATED READS


Best Family Vacations in All 50 States Best Family Vacations in All 50 States

You might be surprised which spots we picked for Illinois (it's not Chicago) and New York (it's not NYC).
Why You Should Consider Wellness Resorts for Your Next Vacation Why You Should Consider Wellness Resorts for Your Next Vacation

We look at three types—yoga, weight-loss, and meditation retreats—to help determine the right resort for you.
BY:

Great Hotel Deals

Hotel Stay at Beach Quarters Resort in Virginia Beach, VA.
Oceanfront Resort in Virginia Beach
501 Atlantic Avenue, Virginia Beach173.8 mi
4.0
icon-full icon
icon-full icon
icon-full icon
icon-full icon
icon-blank icon
326 ratings
$86.25 $51.75
40% discount_off
Oceanfront Studio
Stay at Excalibur Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas, NV
Iconic Excalibur Hotel & Casino in Vegas
3850 South Las Vegas Boulevard, Las Vegas
3.8
icon-full icon
icon-full icon
icon-full icon
icon-half icon
icon-blank icon
5,116 ratings
hide_price
19% discount_off
Resort Tower King Room
Stay with Food and Beverage Credit at The STRAT Hotel, Casino & SkyPod in Las Vegas, NV.
Casino Hotel on Las Vegas Strip
2000 South Las Vegas Boulevard, Las Vegas
3.6
icon-full icon
icon-full icon
icon-full icon
icon-half icon
icon-blank icon
4,366 ratings
$40.30 $19.44
52% discount_off
Standard King or Double-Queen+ w/$20 Credit (bed type assigned at check-in)
Stay at 4-Star Luxor Las Vegas Hotel and Casino, NV
4-Star Las Vegas Casino Hotel
3900 S Las Vegas Blvd, Las Vegas
4.0
icon-full icon
icon-full icon
icon-full icon
icon-full icon
icon-blank icon
4,040 ratings
hide_price
19% discount_off
Pyramid Premier Double-Queen Room
VRBO Vacation Rentals Under $200/Night
VRBO Vacation Rentals Under $200/Night
VRBO Vacation Rentals Under $200/Night
Stay at The Claridge Hotel in Atlantic City, NJ
Stylish Hotel near Atlantic City Boardwalk
123 South Indiana Avenue, Atlantic City165.2 mi
4.0
icon-full icon
icon-full icon
icon-full icon
icon-full icon
icon-blank icon
321 ratings
$65.56 $50.15
24% discount_off
Superior King Room
Discover the Best Beach House or Cabin Spring Break Rentals
Discover the Best Beach House or Cabin Spring Break Rentals
Discover the Best Beach House or Cabin Spring Break Rentals
Vacation Rentals Under $100 at Vrbo
Vacation Rentals Under $100 at Vrbo
Vacation Rentals Under $100 at Vrbo
Hotel Stay at 4-Star DoubleTree by Hilton New York Downtown in Lower Manhattan, NY
4-Star Hotel in Lower Manhattan
8 Stone Street, New York217.3 mi
4.1
icon-full icon
icon-full icon
icon-full icon
icon-full icon
icon-half icon
700 ratings
$130.66 $98.29
25% discount_off
King Room
Hotel Stay at 4-Star YOTEL Washington DC
4-Star Hotel in The Heart of Capitol Hill
415 New Jersey Avenue Northwest, Washington27.6 mi
4.3
icon-full icon
icon-full icon
icon-full icon
icon-full icon
icon-half icon
191 ratings
$145.00 $113.10
22% discount_off
Premium King Room
20% Off Advance Bookings: Red Roof Inn Promo Code
20% Off Advance Bookings: Red Roof Inn Promo Code
20% Off Advance Bookings: Red Roof Inn Promo Code
Explore The Best Vacation Rentals From TurnKey
Explore The Best Vacation Rentals From TurnKey
Explore The Best Vacation Rentals From TurnKey
Hotel Stay with Water Park Wristbands at Great Wolf Lodge in Manteca, CA
Great Wolf Lodge Water Park Resort in Manteca
2500 Daniels St, Manteca
4.6
icon-full icon
icon-full icon
icon-full icon
icon-full icon
icon-half icon
899 ratings
$281.99 $139.99
50% discount_off
1NT Family Suite
Hotel Stay with Daily Water Park Passes at Great Wolf Lodge Anaheim in Garden Grove, CA
Great Wolf Lodge Water Park Resort in California
12681 Harbor Boulevard, Garden Grove
4.7
icon-full icon
icon-full icon
icon-full icon
icon-full icon
icon-half icon
10,399 ratings
$281.99 $139.99
50% discount_off
1NT Family Suite
Hotel Stay with Daily Water Park Passes at Great Wolf Lodge Minneapolis/Bloomington in Minnesota
Great Wolf Lodge Water Park Resort near Minneapolis
1700 American Boulevard East, Bloomington
4.4
icon-full icon
icon-full icon
icon-full icon
icon-full icon
icon-half icon
2,622 ratings
$254.70 $119.00
53% discount_off
1NT Deluxe Bunk Bed Suite
Hotel Stay with Daily Water Park Passes at Great Wolf Lodge Sandusky in Ohio
Great Wolf Lodge Water Park Resort in Ohio
4600 Milan Road, Sandusky
4.5
icon-full icon
icon-full icon
icon-full icon
icon-full icon
icon-half icon
5,908 ratings
$345.70 $99.00
71% discount_off
1NT Family Suite
Hotel Stay with Daily Water Park Passes at Great Wolf Lodge Grand Mound in Washington
Great Wolf Lodge Water Park Resort in Washington
20500 Old Highway 99 Southwest, Centralia
4.6
icon-full icon
icon-full icon
icon-full icon
icon-full icon
icon-half icon
7,255 ratings
$333.35 $189.50
43% discount_off
1NT Family Suite
Hotel Stay with Daily Water Park Passes at Great Wolf Lodge Chicago/Gurnee in Illinois
Great Wolf Lodge Water Park Resort in Illinois
1700 Nations Drive, Gurnee
4.4
icon-full icon
icon-full icon
icon-full icon
icon-full icon
icon-half icon
4,845 ratings
$228.70 $99.00
57% discount_off
1NT Family Suite
Hotel Stay with Daily Water Park Passes at Castaway Bay in Sandusky, OH.
Kid-Friendly Ohio Resort with Indoor Water Park
2001 Cleveland Road West, Sandusky
4.1
icon-full icon
icon-full icon
icon-full icon
icon-full icon
icon-half icon
1,938 ratings
$459.00 $129.00
72% discount_off
1NT Standard Two-Double Room
Hotel Stay with Daily Water Park Passes at Great Wolf Lodge Boston/Fitchburg in Massachusetts
Great Wolf Lodge Water Park Outside Boston
150 Great Wolf Drive, Fitchburg
4.5
icon-full icon
icon-full icon
icon-full icon
icon-full icon
icon-half icon
7,169 ratings
$230.70 $139.00
40% discount_off
1NT Deluxe Queen Suite
Hotel Stay with Daily Water Park Passes at Great Wolf Lodge Traverse City in Michigan
Great Wolf Lodge Water Park Resort in Traverse City
3575 North US 31 South, Traverse City
4.6
icon-full icon
icon-full icon
icon-full icon
icon-full icon
icon-half icon
2,619 ratings
$228.70 $99.00
57% discount_off
1NT Family Suite
Hotel Stay with Daily Water Park Passes at Great Wolf Lodge Atlanta/LaGrange in Georgia
Great Wolf Lodge Water Park Resort in Georgia
150 Tom Hall Parkway, LaGrange
4.7
icon-full icon
icon-full icon
icon-full icon
icon-full icon
icon-half icon
2,074 ratings
$231.35 $139.50
40% discount_off
1NT Deluxe Queen Suite
Hotel Stay with Daily Water Park Passes at Great Wolf Lodge Pocono Mountains in Scotrun, PA
Great Wolf Lodge Water Park Hotel in the Poconos
1 Great Wolf Drive, Scotrun180.4 mi
4.5
icon-full icon
icon-full icon
icon-full icon
icon-full icon
icon-half icon
9,225 ratings
$332.70 $169.00
49% discount_off
1NT Family Suite
Hotel Stay with Daily Water Park Passes at Great Wolf Lodge Kansas City in Kansas
Great Wolf Lodge Water Park near Kansas City
10401 Cabela Drive, Kansas City
4.5
icon-full icon
icon-full icon
icon-full icon
icon-full icon
icon-half icon
2,943 ratings
$228.70 $99.00
57% discount_off
1NT Family Suite
Hotel Stay with Daily Water Park Passes at Great Wolf Lodge Cincinnati/Mason in Ohio
Great Wolf Lodge Water Park Resort in Ohio
2501 Great Wolf Dr., Mason
4.6
icon-full icon
icon-full icon
icon-full icon
icon-full icon
icon-half icon
4,974 ratings
$293.70 $149.00
49% discount_off
1NT Family Suite
Hotel Stay with Daily Water Park Passes at Great Wolf Lodge Grapevine in Texas
Great Wolf Lodge Water Park Resort near Dallas
100 Great Wolf Drive, Grapevine
4.5
icon-full icon
icon-full icon
icon-full icon
icon-full icon
icon-half icon
8,946 ratings
$280.70 $139.00
50% discount_off
1NT Family Suite
Hotel Stay with Daily Water Park Passes at Great Wolf Lodge Wisconsin Dells
Great Wolf Lodge Water Park Resort in the Dells
1400 Great Wolf Drive, Baraboo
4.4
icon-full icon
icon-full icon
icon-full icon
icon-full icon
icon-half icon
3,289 ratings
$228.70 $99.00
57% discount_off
1NT Double-Queen Sofa Suite
Hotel Stay with Daily Water Park Passes at Great Wolf Lodge Charlotte/Concord in North Carolina
Great Wolf Lodge Water Park near Charlotte/Concord
10175 Weddington Rd., Concord
4.7
icon-full icon
icon-full icon
icon-full icon
icon-full icon
icon-half icon
5,921 ratings
$180.70 $139.00
23% discount_off
1NT Family Suite with Balcony
Hotel Stay with Daily Water Park Passes at Great Wolf Lodge Scottsdale in Arizona
Great Wolf Lodge Water Park Resort in Arizona
7333 North Pima Road, Scottsdale
4.7
icon-full icon
icon-full icon
icon-full icon
icon-full icon
icon-half icon
1,424 ratings
$280.70 $119.00
58% discount_off
1NT Family Suite
Hotel Stay with Daily Water Park Passes at Great Wolf Lodge Colorado Springs in Colorado
Great Wolf Lodge Water Park in Colorado Springs
9494 Federal Drive, Colorado Springs
4.6
icon-full icon
icon-full icon
icon-full icon
icon-full icon
icon-half icon
2,623 ratings
$205.35 $119.50
42% discount_off
1NT Deluxe Queen Suite