Back in February, Expedia Group CEO Peter Kern told Bloomberg that summer 2022 would be “the busiest travel season ever.” That may have been a bit of an overly ambitious prediction (thanks largely to inflation), but the travel bug is certainly going around. According to a survey from ValuePenguin published in May, 73% of Americans had plans to travel this summer.
But a lot of consumers will also be staying put at home to avoid the pitfalls of spending. The same ValuePenguin report found that of the Americans who will not be traveling this summer, 57% aren’t doing so because they can’t afford to. Clearly vacationing and living on a budget don’t exactly go hand in hand. But must it be that way? Can we not travel in a way that accommodates a tight budget?
Absolutely we can travel on a tight budget — it just depends on where we travel to (and from). Let’s explore a range of affordable but awesome destinations you can visit this August. Surely the price of your journey depends on your location and other criteria, but you can get a good idea of how much (or little) it costs per day for a family to get by in style in beautiful and, in many cases, exotic locations.
- Price for a family of four for one week: Around $1,750 (not including flights)
“Vibrant Budapest awaits visitors with its fairytale-like architecture, ruin bars and thermal baths,” said Fred Hoffman, founder of The True Wilderness. “It’s also one of the most affordable destinations in Europe. Travelers can find comfortable accommodation for as little as $30 USD per night. Assuming that the family would like to visit some of the main attractions in the city, They should expect to spend around $200-$300 USD per day. This would include accommodation, food, transportation, and entrance fees to sights such as the Matthias Church and Fisherman’s Bastion.”
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- Price for a family of four for one week: $800-$1,000 (not including flights)
“This destination is incredible because it’s so beautiful and serene,” said Kristin Lee, owner and author of Global Travel Escapades. “Tourists aren’t swarming everywhere, and you feel that you can truly appreciate the country’s rich history and culture. [And] if you want to visit arguably one of the most beautiful lakes, you can easily day trip to Lake Bled. It costs less than $10 USD to go there by public transportation and is only an hour away.”
- Price for a family of four for one week: $3,500 (including flights)
“One of the cheapest places to travel to in August is Puerto Rico,” said Megan Jones, a travel writer and owner of Traveller’s Elixir. “To save money, stay in the capital San Juan as it is the most affordable area to stay [and] is filled with an infectious energy, authentic culture, historical sites as well as the famous Isla Verde beach. Another plus is that the airport is easy to reach from San Juan so you’ll spend less money on transport from the airport.”
Jones added that for just $10 an hour, you can hire a kayak and head out into the ocean on your own.
- Price for a family of four for one week: Around $2,000 (not including flights)
“This Baltic nation boasts some of the most beautiful beaches in Europe, unique national parks, historic cities and Nordic vibes for a fraction of the cost of nearby Finland or Sweden,” said Maggie Turansky, the co-founder and head writer for The World Was Here First. “While many visitors flock to medieval Tallinn, the capital, Estonia has a lot more to offer than just this city. The second-largest city of Tartu has a hip, youthful energy and the coastal city of Parnu has a vast white-sand beach that is sure to make any visitor swoon. If you’re looking to go somewhere unique and peaceful, consider heading to the island of Saaremaa for a bucolic escape.”
- Price for a family of four for one week: $1,000 to $1,400 (including flights)
“Just across the border in Canada you can find some exceptional camping vacations that cost very little, but still seem like they’re at the edge of the world,” said Matt Vickery, founder of Wandering Our World. “That includes the over 300 islands that make up the Gulf Islands off the coast of Vancouver — a city that itself can often be reached in August via plane for a $200-300 round trip from several major US cities [and] sometimes even cheaper if you keep a close eye out for last minute deals.”
- Price for a family of four for one week: $2,530 (including flights)
“Portugal is one of the cheapest but greatest places to travel in August because of the great weather (high of 82F) and a variety of things to do for all travel types,” said Jackie Rezk, a solo female traveler and blogger behind Jou Jou Travels. “Portugal is a wonderful place because it has so much to offer from amazing beaches to fairytale castles and vibrant cities such as Lisbon and Porto that offer stunning views and buildings decked with azulejo tiles, which are decorative ceramic tiles.”
- Price for a family of four for one week: $2,500 (not including flights)
“Traverse City is on the coast of Lake Michigan in the northern part of Michigan’s Lower Peninsula,” said Amanda Ghanbarpour, owner of My Vintage Map. “There are lots of outdoor activity options, like dune climbing (Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore is nearby), kayaking, swimming and more. The weather there in August is perfect — not too hot but nice enough for being outdoors. Traverse City is also known for its cherries and picking season lasts through mid-August.”
- Price for a family of four for one week: Less than $800 (not including flights)
“Querétaro is a booming winemaking region, where you can tour vineyards at a fraction of the cost of a trip to Napa Valley,” said Nate Hake, founder of Travel Lemming. “Its capital, Santiago de Querétaro has an incredible historic downtown that has earned UNESCO World Heritage status for its gorgeous historic architecture and cobblestone streets. There are relatively few foreign tourists, but Mexican tourists know it as one of the country’s best destinations.”
- Price for a family of four for one week: $1,100 (not including flights)
“The capital of Sofia is where you’ll likely fly to when visiting this country, however, there are a lot of other great regions I recommend exploring,” said Cora Harrison, who runs Inside Our Suitcase. “Plovdiv is the second largest city in Bulgaria and was the 2019 European Capital of Culture and is considered to be the oldest continuously inhabited city in Europe (and one of the oldest in the world) dating back more than 8,000 years. Meanwhile, if you’re looking for sun, sea and sand during your trip consider heading out to the coastal region of Nessebar just south of the popular party region of Sunny Beach.”
- Price for a family of four for one week: $900-$1,000 (not including flights)
“Not only is Bali a gorgeous location with lots of natural beauty like waterfalls, beaches, and volcanos, it’s also a cultural destination where you can see amazing Balinese architecture, watch the traditional dances and visit the Balinese royal palace in Ubud,” said Katie Caf of Katie Caf Travel.
- Price for a family of four for one week: $4,000 or less (not including flights)
“August is historically a peak time for families in Las Vegas, but right now we’re seeing more deals than ever,” said Jenna Nye, CEO of On The Strip. “Kid-friendly hotel rooms in the $30 range is almost unheard of, especially amid inflationary times; yet Vegas has come back swinging from the pandemic lockdowns, offering something for everyone in its big revival.”
- Price for a family of four for one week: $400 (not including flights)
“Pakistan is one of the cheapest places I have visited,” said travel blogger Kevin Mercier. “It is fairly easy to visit Pakistan on a budget of around $100 a week per person. This covers food, accommodation, transport, and other fun activities. Besides everything being extremely cheap, if you have Pakistani friends, they will almost certainly insist on treating you to everything. The people of Pakistan are very generous, and would never let me pay for anything.”
- Price for a family of four for one week: Less than $700 (not including flights)
“Athens is an amazing destination in Greece that has a lot to offer,” said Dymphe Mensink, owner of Dymabroad. “You can find a lot of historic sights in this city. Everywhere you walk, you see history. For example, the Acropolis is in Athens. This is a very special ancient citadel that’s interesting to see. Furthermore, besides the great cuisine, museums and climate, the city is home to many gorgeous viewpoints. As the city has something to offer for everyone’s liking, it’s perfect for a family of four.”
- Price for a family of four for one week: $2,000 to $5,500 (including flights)
“Get to know Taiwan through all five senses by visiting one of its 30 night markets,” said Bonnie Whitfield, human resources director at Family Destinations Guide. “There’s no better place to be than where the locals flock if you want to see the country through the eyes of its people. Maybe try the Maokong Gondola in the quest for rich, aromatic tea — some 4km up a mountain peak with panoramic views, as your cable car whisks your family away to the top.”
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