Summer Vacations On A Budget

It’s time for my family to get down to business with our summer vacation plans. We’ve been discussing things for a few months, so we have some solid ideas about what we’re going to be doing.

Unfortunately, according to a survey, 49% of respondents said they don’t plan to take a vacation this summer. And 24% of all those respondents said cost is the biggest factor for not planning a getaway. Other reasons for not taking a vacation include having too many family obligations (12%) and being too busy at work (11%), according to

So unfortunately, many workers end up not taking all their vacation time. According to,

  • 36% plan to use all their vacation time
  • 19% plan to use almost all
  • 18% plan to use almost half
  • 13% plan to use about a quarter
  • And 13% say they won’t use any paid time off.

So let me just say – please try to take your vacations! It’s good for you!

Can’t afford to get away? Consider a staycation! Relax at home, go for a hike, catch up on your reading, go swimming, go to a movie, and so on!

But if you do want to get away, there are some lower-cost options. According to some great advice from,

  • Look for budget airlines. And be open to traveling on less-popular days, like Tuesday or Wednesday, for lower airfare.
  • Consider unconventional accommodations, such as homeshares and hostels. Some colleges even rent out dorm rooms.
  • Plan to cook some of your meals to save money.
  • And, this is important, don’t worry about any last-minute travel plans. With the many travel apps out there, you can actually book hotel rooms, flights, and cruises for less than what you would have paid if you had booked months in advance.

There’s so many things to do, even if you don’t have much money to spend.

According to U.S. News & World Reports’ Best Vacation Rankings, these are the best cheap summer vacation spots.

  • Grand Canyon
  • Williamsburg, Virginia
  • Fort Myers, Florida
  • Albuquerque, New Mexico
  • Fort Lauderdale, Florida
  • Tucson, Arizona
  • Boca Raton, Florida
  • Daytona, Florida
  • Biloxi, Mississippi
  • Tampa, Florida
  • Myrtle Beach, South Carolina
  • Moab, Utah
  • Annapolis, Maryland
  • Bar Harbor, Maine
  • Surfside Beach, South Carolina

And not to be outdone, has its own list of cheap places to visit this summer:

  • Mount Desert Island, Maine
  • Monterey, California
  • Traverse City, Michigan
  • Saint Michaels, Maryland
  • Greenport, New York
  • Virginia Beach
  • Whitefish, Montana
  • Lexington, Kentucky
  • Astoria, Oregon
  • Boise, Idaho
  • Panama City, Florida
  • Nyack, New York
  • Nashville, Tennessee
  • Bloomington, Indiana
  • Greenville South Carolina
  • Kauai, Hawaii
  • Snowmass, Colorado
  • Orlando, Florida
  • San Juan Island, Washington
  • Louis, Missouri
  • The Great Smoky Mountains
  • Boston, Massachusetts
  • Phoenix, Arizona

These are some great locales. I hope they’re giving you some ideas for your next trip.

Let me know what you’re doing this summer, whether it’s getting away some place, or just staying at home.

Also, remember, if you’re not able to record your purchases, please let the Panel Support Center know at least a week before you leave on your vacation. If you use the NCPMobile App, you can still use it no matter where you are!

Thanks, and have a great weekend!

25 thoughts on “Summer Vacations On A Budget”

  1. Me and my wife plan on taking are summer vacation at the New Jersey shore. I’ve been going to Ocean City NJ my entire life and that’s where we’ll be going this summer.

    1. Is it expensive to get hotels there? What weeks are best for fun with just adults? How far in advance would you suggest booking a room? Sorry to bug you with questions but I’ve always wanted to go there for a vacation but don’t know anyone who has.

  2. I plan on staying home this summer. I’m going to use my MoviePass to go to the movies. I paid just $9.95 a month and I get to see as many movies as I like. My fiancé and I will go to see the Purge and some other movies that are playing in the theater. Also, Don’t forget to use your NYC ID card if you live in New York because they’re great places you can visit for free or half price such as the museums, zoos, festival, carnival, restaurants, etc. Don’t forget to turn on your air conditioner if you plan on staying indoors. Have a wonderful summer vacation!!!

  3. We are booked for a cruise with Holland American to visit Niagara Falls, then catch the ship in Montreal & sail through the Hudson Bay waterways to Halifix Nova Soctia, the St Lawrence river & end up in Boston for two days to see historical sights. 11 days total for a much needed vacation!! 😊👏👏👍

  4. My favorite spot is Jamaica in the Caribbean. It warm cool at nights and the food, energy of the people and the beaches are amazing. Must go vacation spot.

  5. Our go to spot is the Outer Banks of North Carolina. We went for a week in June and will be going back for 2 weeks this August. I have a friend that owns a house with a pool and we get it pretty cheap, and split the cost with family. The more the merrier and it helps to keep our expenses down.

    1. Yes, I agree! We go to Avon the 1st week in June. I spend 1 week in paradise and 51 weeks thinking about the next time! We rent a house w/ pool and hot tub, make 95% of our meals at the house and relax. It’s a 4 bedroom and I try to get more relatives on board to reduce the price. I’m on a lot of the OBX websites, it keeps me informed and it gets me thru a cold Ohio winter! Have fun in August, I hope it drys out down there soon. Where do you stay?

  6. I am short on funds this year so it’s going to be a staycation may do some fishing go to the county Fair some races just relax

  7. Unfortunately I don’t usually take vacations because I cannot afford it. I have been a single Mom of 3 since divorcing in 1998 and vacations were the last thing on my mind. After feeding, clothing and keeping a roof over my children’s heads there just wasn’t anything left for extremes. I took my kids on many adventures without having to pack up and leave town so they wouldn’t feel they were missing out. I also made sure they were able to go on trips with the church and their school every chance they had.

  8. I just got back from a driving trip to New Jersey to see old friends and family. While there we planned to go to NYC, stay there a couple of days and do some shopping and to see the 911 Memorial. When I was planning this vacation I quickly realized that the trip to NY was going to be a lot more expenses than I thought. The hotels and parking was more than what I wanted to spend. So this is what I did. After some internet searching I found a hotel in NJ, near NY, that was less than half the cost of those in NY. Across the street from my hotel was a bus stop for a bus to NY. Length of trip about 20 minutes to Port Authority. Cost of bus [round trip] was way, way, less than parking and tolls. Once there you don’t have to leave the building, just walk to the subway or other bus. It depends on where you want to go. Just plan ahead. And once you are there don’t be afraid to ask someone for help. New Yorkers that we asked were more than happy to point you in the right direction. Plan ahead, save money and enjoy. Oh, one more thing, senior citizens get discounts on public transportation.

  9. I made the move to Surfside Beach which is close to Myrtle Beach! Now I reward myself when I get housework done by going a mile to the beach. Can wait until winter, love the beach in winter 🤗.

  10. Vacation? What is that? I’ve never been on one and I’m 47 yrs old. At least I hope everyone else is having a good time.

  11. Hi Taylor We plan on taking our vacation in Tennessee this year. Thanks for all the awesome tips. They’ll come in handy.

  12. My favorite vacation spot I would have to say was Hawaii and coming up closely behind we would be Oregon.

  13. We visited Tennessee for an overnight trip a couple of weeks ago. We went to Chicago in the spring. And we’re headed to Vegas in the fall to see Cher!!

  14. New Orleans is great! But don’t go for the drinking and partying, there are lots of Historic things to see and do, Food, Garden District, Museums, go see the Civil War museum, there is a submarine there that was used in the war, also the Old US Mint. Where they minted the famous Morgan Dollar, in the French Quarter you can visit the Buragard house! Its where the order came to fire on Ft Sumpter, True Fact, and you need to go to The Central Market on Decatur St and eat a Muffolatta, you will like them!!

  15. I have two places that are my ultimate favorite. Disney world for the rides and trip down memory lane. A cruise to anywhere in the closeness you meet a lot of fascinating people on and all the icecream you can eat 24/7. 😂

  16. Our Summer vacation includes going home and while many think it’s probably the worst place on Earth, eastern Nebraska is absolutely beautiful this time of year. The corn and watermelon are ripe and Omaha boasts with tons to do.

  17. Me and my family have gone on a summer vacation to the big water park in Virginia. We also plan to go to Bush Gardens soon as well!

  18. I can’t go on Vocation Never have enough money to go but I like to go to North Carolina or New Jersey. I live along but my son takes care of me when i need it

  19. You can always try White water rafting in Fayetteville WV where i am from or walk the Trails in the Mountains ans see the New River George Bridge. Its beautiful to visit there.

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