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Cheap Vacation Ideas: 19 Budget Trips for 2019

BY: Andy Seifert | Jul 19, 2019


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. Florida Keys

florida keys

pin Florida Keys: Hotel Deals | Things to Do | Sightseeing Deals

Whether you want to meet (and swim with) dolphins in Islamorada or visit Hemingway’s old haunts in Key West, heading to Florida Keys is a great choice. Head during the spring to get the best rates on a cheap hotel, and to save money on airfare, just fly into Miami and drive the Overseas Highway.


4. Cancún


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

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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

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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. Sonoma Valley

sonoma valley

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Instead of more-expensive Napa Valley, try northern California’s Sonoma Valley, where you can still drive past picturesque vineyards and sample a scintillating variety of wines. Instead of lunching at a gourmet restaurant, try picnicing in a park, with a newly purchased bottle of Pinot Noir.


8. Jamaica


pin Jamaica: Hotel Deals

Want to go international, but not spend like you’re going to Europe? Grab one of our excellent deals to Jamaica, where you can dive off the cliff into the sea at the famous Rick's Cafe—or watch people do it instead.


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


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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. Cape Cod

cape cod

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It’s an East Coast peninsula dotted with charming, antique-laden towns, rustic state parks, postcard-esque coastlines, and seasonal whale watching. And it doesn’t have to be super expensive, if you find a hotel deal and stick to Cape Cod National Seashore, where the daily vehicle fee is only $20.


13. The 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. Spain


pin Spain: Hotel + Airfare Deals | Things to Do | Sightseeing Deals

If you need to go overseas, consider exploring the stately art galleries and whimsical architecture of Spain. Since it’s one of continental Europe’s westernmost countries, Spain will typically cost less to fly to than other European countries. Add it’s not too expensive to eat out either! A meal in Madrid, on average, costs about 40% less than a meal in New York.


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. Austin, TX


pin Austin, TX: Hotel Deals | Things to Do | Sightseeing Deals

It’s not known as a major vacation destination yet, but Austin is well worth spending a few days just for its food and music alone. Known as the Live Music Capital of the World, Austin boasts dozens of music venues (plus two major music festivals), and we bet you’ll be able to find a free show whenever you’re in town. It’s also rife with food trucks, as well as some of the best BBQ you’ll find in America.


18. Denver


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

You don’t hear a lot of people say they’re vacationing in Denver. But maybe they should? The Denver area is home to four major-league sports teams, the underrated Denver Museum of Art, and a scenic byway around nearby Mt. Evans. Plus, you’re only a few hours from a number of world-class skiing resorts and Rocky Mountain National Park.


19. 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.


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Great Hotel Deals

Stay at Radisson Hotel Baltimore Downtown-Inner Harbor, MD. Dates into November
Contemporary Hotel in Downtown Baltimore
Baltimore, MD 48.9 mi
$84.15 $63.00
25% discount_off
Stay at Red Lion Hotel Harrisburg Hershey, PA. Dates into October.
Family-Friendly Hotel in Harrisburg
Harrisburg, PA 90.0 mi
$119.00 $69.00
42% discount_off
Stay with Daily Water Park Passes at Great Wolf Lodge Williamsburg in Virginia
Great Wolf Lodge Water Park Resort in Virginia
Williamsburg, VA 124.3 mi
$279.99 $129.00
54% discount_off
Stay at Fort Magruder Hotel, a Trademark Collection by Wyndham in Williamsburg, VA, with Dates into September
Pet-Friendly Virginia Hotel on Historic Site
Williamsburg, VA 130.8 mi
$92.65 $70.00
24% discount_off
Stay at Avanti Palms Resort and Conference Center in Orlando, FL, with Dates into August 2019
Newly Remodeled Resort near Orlando Theme Parks
Orlando, FL
$63.99 $50.56
21% discount_off
Stay at Summit Suites Pittsburgh Airport, PA, with Dates into January 2020
Member Pricing: Large Suites in Pittsburgh
Pittsburgh, PA 173.4 mi
40% discount_off
Stay at 4-Star The Westin Reston Heights in Reston, VA. Dates into December.
Member Pricing: 4-Star Westin near Lake Fairfax
Reston, VA 9.4 mi
27% discount_off
Stay at SureStay Collection by Best Western Lehigh Valley Hotel in Bethlehem, PA. Dates into December.
East Pennsylvania Historic Town Hotel
Bethlehem, PA 157.7 mi
$81.59 $69.35
15% discount_off
Stay with Food and Beverage Credit at Stratosphere Casino, Hotel & Tower in Las Vegas, NV.
Casino Hotel on Las Vegas Strip
Las Vegas, NV
$52.00 $30.00
42% discount_off
Stay with Optional Daily Parking at Red Lion Hotel Atlanta Airport in College Park, GA
Greater Atlanta Hotel with Free Airport Shuttle
College Park, GA
$66.75 $40.05
40% discount_off
Stay with Optional Daily Breakfast at The Grand Orlando Resort at Celebration, FL. Dates into October.
Luxury Resort Near Orlando Theme Parks
Kissimmee, FL
$55.20 $44.00
20% discount_off
Adults-Only Stay with Optional All-Inclusive Package at Cove Haven Resort in the Poconos, PA. Dates into September
Adults-Only Couples Retreat in Poconos
Lakeville, PA 201.9 mi
$187.53 $129.00
31% discount_off
Stay at Berlin Encore Hotel & Suites in Millersburg, OH
Stylish New Hotel in Ohio's Amish Country
Millersburg, OH 251.4 mi
$159.00 $89.00
44% discount_off
Stay at Radisson Hotel Washington DC-Rockville in Maryland.
Comfortable Hotel Outside DC
Rockville, MD 15.9 mi
$75.65 $50.07
34% discount_off
Stay at the Liaison Capitol Hill in Washington, DC
4-Star DC Hotel on Capitol Hill
Washington, DC 27.0 mi
$127.41 $95.56
25% discount_off
Stay at Circus Circus Hotel & Resort in Las Vegas, NV
Member Pricing: Las Vegas Hotel and Casino with Theme Park
Las Vegas, NV
10% discount_off
Stay at The Historic Powhatan Resort in Williamsburg, VA
Spacious Condos in Historic Williamsburg
Williamsburg, VA 129.3 mi
$69.00 $48.99
29% discount_off
Stay with Optional Dining Credit at Downtown Grand Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas, NV. Dates into September.
Member Pricing: Sprawling Vegas Hotel and Casino
Las Vegas, NV
14% discount_off
Stay at Showboat Atlantic City Hotel, NJ
Hotel on Atlantic City Boardwalk
Atlantic City, NJ 165.2 mi
$63.20 $50.56
20% discount_off
Stay with Breakfast at the Natural Bridge Historic Hotel & Conference Center in Virginia
Hotel near Stunning Natural Bridge State Park
Natural Bridge, VA 149.2 mi
$85.20 $56.96
33% discount_off
Stay at Hampton Inn Pittsburgh – McKnight Rd., PA
Member Pricing: Comfortable Hotel Near Downtown Pittsburgh
Pittsburgh, PA 168.4 mi
28% discount_off
Stay at Wyndham Philadelphia - Mount Laurel, NJ, with Dates into December 2019
Eco-Friendly Wyndham Hotel Outside Philadelphia
Mount Laurel, NJ 147.6 mi
$110.51 $79.00
29% discount_off
Stay at Clarion Inn in Chattanooga, TN.
Hotel in Chattanooga near Lookout Mountain
Chattanooga, TN
$99.99 $51.26
49% discount_off
Stay with Optional Parking at Sheraton Dallas Hotel By The Galleria in Texas. Dates into December.
Newly-Renovated North Dallas Hotel Near Galleria
Dallas, TX
$127.00 $74.00
42% discount_off
Stay at Champions World Resort in Kissimmee, FL, with Dates into April
Kid-Friendly Resort near Orlando Theme Parks
Kissimmee, FL
$65.00 $41.60
36% discount_off
Stay at Ocean Spray Hotel - Miami Beach, FL.
Miami Beach Hotel One Block from Ocean
Miami Beach, FL
$66.75 $59.00
12% discount_off
Stay with Slot Play Credit and Beverages at Plaza Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas, NV. Dates into December.
Member's Only: Downtown Las Vegas Hotel and Casino
Las Vegas, NV
57% discount_off
Stay at Quality Inn & Suites Airport/Cruise Port South in Hollywood, FL. Dates into November.
Florida Hotel near Airport and Cruise Lines
Hollywood, FL
21% discount_off
Stay at Top-Secret Metairie Hotel in Louisiana, with Dates into November
Top-Secret Hotel near New Orleans
Metairie, LA
$98.00 $76.25
22% discount_off
Stay at Best Western Orlando Gateway Hotel, with Dates into June 2019
Orlando Hotel with Shuttle to Theme Parks
Orlando, FL
$94.99 $55.43
42% discount_off