While most trips are at a halt due to the COVID-19 pandemic, one can still dream, right? No law puts planning your dream vacation on lockdown, too. Once we have all settled into the “new normal,” travel will likely pick up again, and you and your significant other can finally take that long-awaited dream vacation together.
But yes, perhaps the pandemic has hit you financially, along with many others. Below are great getaway ideas that will cost you less than a grand. And still, have a grand time with each other.
International Vacation Destinations on a Budget
- The Caribbean
If you’re thinking the Caribbean, by all means, get on the web and hit the search boxes for all-inclusive resorts. These offers make budgeting easier because accommodations, food, refreshments, and entertainment are packaged into one price, usually at a discount. Some resorts even offer free stay for kids 12 and below when accompanied by paying adults if you have kids.
- Rome, Italy
Rome, Italy, is teeming with bed & breakfast inns priced below $100 a night. Find something nice in the city and be close to world-renowned tourist spots such as the Roman Forum, Trevi Fountain, and the Pantheon—places that you can visit for free. With all the savings, you would likely have enough left to hire a limousine service to the airport so that you can kick off your vacation in style.
- Paris, France
You can book round-trip flights to Paris, France from New York or San Francisco for under $350. Book your accommodations in a hostel dorm room for as low as $20 per person per night. There will also be interesting Airbnb finds for similar rates.
Once setting sail gets the green safety signal, cruise deals are likely to come back, perhaps even more than ever, in the industry’s bid to recoup the losses from the travel downturn. It is expected that some seven-night Caribbean cruises can go as low as $250 per person, before port fees and taxes.
Getaways on a Budget: Staying Stateside
- Gulf Shores, Alabama
You do not need to leave the US shores if you are not ready for air travel at this point. If you’re from the East Coast or Midwest, you can drive to Gulf Shores in Alabama. The coastal destination is rife with white sand beaches and endless sights and attractions like water parks and water sports places. There will be plenty of beach resorts, beachfront condos, and other Airbnb rentals for under $200 a night.
- Myrtle Beach, South Carolina
Another gorgeous coastal destination is Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. Here you can find about 60 miles of Insta-worthy coastline that you and your beloved can enjoy while staying on budget. A day on the beach is free, and, all around, you have your pick of resorts, hotels, rental condos, and other accommodations fit for any budget. And if you’re meticulous enough, you can surely scour the web for Myrtle Beach properties that offer deals, including discounted all-in packages, free nights, and more.
- Green Smoky Mountains, Tennessee
If you and your sweetheart are real fans of outdoor scenery, the Great Smoky Mountains in Tennessee is a perfect scenic getaway that can be easy on a budget. There are hotels or mountainside cabins you can book for $150 and below per night. You can really connect with nature and go hiking at the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. With Pigeon Forge nearby, you can also go mini-golfing or go-karting, too.
- Las Vegas, Nevada
And, of course, the bright lights of Las Vegas and its many casinos are awaiting you. Once it’s safe to travel, expect that the bright lights will shine once more. Book a stay with a downtown resort or a hotel where you can get at $50 per night or less. Just make sure to watch out for any “resort fees,” as those add up to the nightly room rates.
- Grand Canyon, Arizona
Have you ever heard of glamping? For those not yet in the know, glamping is essentially camping married to the creature comforts of hotel accommodations. It’s all the rage right now, and you can get in on the action by glamping in the Grand Canyon, Glacier National Park, or Yellowstone. Upscale tent options are offered in the Grand Canyon, starting at around $300 a night.
It’s still possible to find vacation packages or tours for under $1,000 these days. While many of us are still in the middle of various lockdowns or travel restrictions, it might be a great idea to just take advantage of the lull. You can start planning and preparing for your dream getaway. Just make sure your plans include a lot of being safe out there, too.
Bernard is a recreational lone traveler, looking for the next hiking adventure ideally in the winter/spring seasons. His favorite hiking locations are the Philippines, Hong Kong and the Kansai Area of Japan. He published his travels on his Youtube Channel “Wandelust” for the most important person in his life – his Mom.