Many Americans are up in arms about reduced tax refunds this year — hopefully, you’re not on the short end of that stick — but all is not lost. You can still get away on budgets with affordable trips that range from small to a little more generous. Here’s how:
Glamping for a weekend
Skip town with your partner, or round up a buddy, and say so long to the city for a couple nights in the great outdoors. TravelPirates editor Alanna Smith rounded up great glamping cabins and tents around the US from $50 to $300 a night. In the past, I’ve personally booked several weekend trips through Tentrr and Glamping Hub in the $200 to $250 range. I also recommend checking out KOA’s free camping promotions. Fresh air and toasted marshmallows for everybody!
Cross-country via Amtrak
Train travel is severely underrated in the United States, but Amtrak Superliners may well be the most inexpensive way to cover the most ground and see the most sights. Last October, I embarked on my first cross-country Amtrak adventure. Departing from Manhattan and traveling to Chicago, Denver, Salt Lake City, and San Francisco, the fare was under $500. The price can be reduced even more if you’re willing to make no stops and stay on the train from coast to coast. On Amtrak, it’s not about the destination but rather the journey. I saw more of our beautiful country during last year’s nine-day trip than I have in my entire life.
Asia on a budget
While the prospect of jetting off to exotic locations like Bangkok, Singapore, and Tokyo may seem out of reach, it’s quite the opposite. Departing from coastal cities like Los Angeles will score you can’t-believe it fares, including roundtrip specials to Hong Kong during select weeks through the end of the year.
Affordable packages to Europe
TravelPirates has flagged some great flights to Spain, France, Ireland, and more from both coasts, thanks to the rise of budget airlines. You can spend six nights in Ibiza at very competitive prices, even after including flights from New York City and accommodations at a gorgeous oceanfront hotel.
Cruising in style
Along with Amtrak excursions, cruises are another big deal for relatively little money. You can book an interior cabin on a cruise for under $1000 or less per person. Yes, that depends on the season, where you’re going, and for how long. This is a great time to book cruises, as some are offering wallet-friendly bonuses like liquor packages and free WiFi.
Exploring the pyramids in Egypt
The final price to historical Egypt all depends on what flights are available, says Smith. However, TravelPirates has nine-night tours along the Nile for under $1000. And even when you throw in a few extras like camel rides, street falafel, and kitschy souvenirs, you can score a bucket list adventure for only a modest additional cost.
Road-tripping with Outdoorsy
I’m 100% Team Outdoorsy, a popular RV-rental service; think of it as sort of like the Airbnb of RVs. I did a search in my area of New Jersey just to provide an example, and you can hit the road starting at $125 a night. Prices increase based on the vehicles’ amenities, but even moderate luxury is available for around $300 a night.
Down Under for less than $1000
Yes, $1000 is a lot of to spend on airfare. But considering that air travel to Australia can sometimes be as high as $3000, it’s a relative steal. TravelPirates reports that you can do even better than that with some flights to Aussie cities hovering around $800. That extra savings mean more to spend on cuddling up with koalas. Or cage diving with sharks – and however else you want to get your Steve Irwin on.
Go all out in Mexico
Finally … If you’re looking at a fat tax kickback this year, why not go big? For under $1000, TravelPirates reports that you can stay at Mexico’s only overwater bungalows near Cancun — they’re adults-only and all-inclusive! — with flights from many American cities around $600. It’s like getting all the luxury and magnificence of Fiji without the high price or having to go halfway around the world.
Photo Credit: Michael Cory
Thanks for the great ideas, Mikey. I never heard of Travel Pirates. I’ll be checking it out in the future.
I had ruther not get a tax rebate, wish i could break even as the Government doesn’t pat interest on overpayment