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Who said that travel needs to break the bank? Today we’re counting the top 10 cheapest US vacation cities to visit this year.

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By Amir

Published: Jun 13, 20228 min read



We’re taking a look at cities across America where according to USA Today, your travel budget will go the farthest without compromising on the quality of your vacation.

#10 San Diego, California

Sunrise in Coronado Island, San Diego, California, USA

The Golden State is sure beautiful, but the glorious weather and picturesque landscape for which California is famous make it incredibly popular. And wherever there are crowds, prices tend to skyrocket. Thankfully, San Diego is relatively affordable compared to the state’s other major population centers like San Francisco and Los Angeles. The average cost of hotels tends to be noticeably lower than in the other mentioned cities. And yet San Diego still checks most of the boxes that people are looking for in a California vacation. Including beautiful beaches, trendy neighbourhoods, nearby hiking trails, surfing a vibrant nightlife, and more. Not only is it home to the world-renowned San Diego Zoo, but because of its close proximity to the border, many argue here is the best Mexican food to be found in the United States.

#9 Detroit, Michigan

Downtown of Detroit, USA

In Motor City, not only does your dollar go far, but there's also a lot to see and do that won't cost you a thing. For starters, the Detroit Historical Society Museum offers free admission meaning that you can get a crash course in this city's rich history. Other free attractions include the GM Renaissance Center and the Art Deco Guardian building. Another solid reason to visit America's comeback City is the Eastern Market which many consider Detroit's beating heart. The country's largest open-air historic public market, dating back over 150 years, makes for a fascinating experience even if you don't buy anything. Though vendor prices do tend to be quite fair.

#8 Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Milwaukee downtown skyline, Wisconsin, USA

Milwaukee might be unlikely to appear high on the average person’s must-visit list, but the prices here might just have you thinking differently. Fear, food, entertainment, this under-the-radar-city has got it all. And at a fraction of the cost, you’re likely to encounter in other American destinations.

As the home of the Miller brewery, it’s something of a mecca for mainstream American beer enthusiasts. In addition, the city’s beautiful waterfront, remarkable architecture, and numerous parks can be appreciated without spending a dime. And free live music is never hard to find, especially during Milwaukee’s annual Summerfest.

#7 Phoenix, Arizona

Phoenix downtown cityscape, Arizona, USA

With its abundance of national parks and diverse wilderness, the southwest United States is a region of the country where you can experience a lot while spending relatively little. For those looking to explore the American Southwest but not just the outdoors, Phoenix is, without a doubt, your best bet.

For starters, the average price of airfare to the City Sky Harbor International Airport, given that it’s a major transportation hub, is among the cheapest in the nation. Food and drinks are affordable, and with a wide range of accommodations, there’s a place to rest your head to fit every budget. And back outside with the entirety of the Sonoran Desert to explore, you’ll never be at a loss for inexpensive but unique experiences.

#6 Denver, Colorado

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In Denver, you might expect to pay slightly higher prices for your accommodations than in some of our earlier entries, but the prices are well within the affordable range. If your budget is really tight - you’re in luck - because the city has hospitals starting as low as $19. And in terms of a place to sleep in the United States, that’s about as cheap as it gets without having a friend in the city with a couch to spare.

Denver also stands out from the crowd and that it’s home to several free museums like the US Mint and the Buffalo Bill Museum. You can also get a free tour of the Coors brewery though it is a short drive outside the city.

#5 Austin, Texas

Texas Capitol in Austin, USA

Keep it weird but also keep it inexpensive. Now we feel that this particular entry deserves a caveat. As a hip and trendy city known for its festivals, food, and music scene, Austin is the place where you can easily spend a small fortune if you're not careful. Artisanal cocktails and boutique fashion accessories don't come cheap. Thankfully, while the hotels in the business district are pretty pricey, you can easily find a bargain by going a bit off the beaten path. And there's just so much to do in this city, like climbing Mount Bonnell, swimming at the Barton Springs pools, and watching over a million bats take flights at Congress bridge.

#4 Salt Lake City, Utah

Salt Lake City downtown skyline in Utah, USA

Today, Utah’s capital and the most populated city are actually pretty kind to travelers’ bank accounts. The accommodation price is definitely on the steeper side. Still, you’re guaranteed to make up the difference with a multitude of free and affordable attractions.

Airfare is also a big selling point. Flights to Salt Lake City International Airport are about as cheap as they come in the United States. Outdoorsy travelers will find that it’s the perfect home base for adventure in Utah’s various state and national parks. While within the city itself, there’s plenty of green space as well as free museums and tours to enjoy.

#3 San Antonio, Texas

San Antonio cityscape at the River Walk, Texas, USA

They say that everything is bigger in Texas. At least, as far as San Antonio is concerned, that also seems to apply to savings. Beyond seriously affordable food and drinks, this beautiful city has a wide range of activities, attractions, and experiences that won’t cost you a dime.

Apart from the cost of public transportation, San Antonio missions National Historical Park is home to 4 churches, some dating back to the 1700s. History buff or not, most travelers are sure to appreciate the city’s biggest slice of American history - the Alamo, which is similarly free to visit. The same goes for the San Antonio Museum of Art. Add to that outdoor spaces like the city’s Riverwalk, Brackenridge Park, and Maker Square, and you can see San Antonio’s appeal.

#2 Las Vegas, Nevada

Las Vegas cityscape, Nevada, USA

In Las Vegas, they want you to come and stay as long as possible so that you keep feeding those machines and hitting the tables. As a result, resorts make far more profit from your daily bets than they ever could by upping the price of a room. Knowing that you’re most likely to gamble in the hotel you’re staying at, they try to keep the cost of their rooms to the absolute bare minimum. This philosophy extends beyond accommodations to food and drinks within your hotel as well. Suppose you can keep that particular activity to a relative minimum. In that case, you can actually have the vacation of a lifetime for a fraction of what you’d usually spend. You can instead put your funds toward shows and other memorable Vegas experiences.

Nevertheless, even though prices at the Las Vegas hotels are kind for travelers, resort fees are not so much of a friend. Thankfully, here is how to spend relatively the smallest amount of money per your stay. All tips you need to know before going to this famous America’s playground 👉 13 INCREDIBLE TIPS TO SAVE MONEY ON LAS VEGAS HOTELS IN 2022 [with examples]

P. S. We know people going to Las Vegas are super curious to stay at the famous Bellagio. And we have a little secret to share about how to save some money booking this high-end hotel. RatePunk browser extension is the way to go.

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Hotel deal for Bellagio in Las Vegas, USA

#1 Orlando, Florida

Orlando cityscape at sunset, USA

We all know why people come to Orlando - the theme parks. And while your time at Disney World or Universal Studios will cost you a pretty penny, the City of Orlando itself is actually just about one of the cheapest cities in America to go on vacation. Flights to the city are incredibly affordable!

Once you arrive, not only are there many discounts and budget hotels to choose from, but you can also go the alternative route of renting out a timeshare. They’re typically offered in one-week chunks, and many of these places have excellent facilities that will make you feel like you’re staging at an upscale. And yet somehow the prices remain very reasonable making them a great value especially, for families. Add to that the low cost of food and drinks in the area, and Orlando makes for a cheap sunny getaway.

Do you agree with our picks? Share your experiences in the comments below!

Jun 13, 2022

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