Picking the right location for a summer getaway that is equally affordable and enjoyable can be a challenge. The worst thing to happen on vacation is running out of money. In between classes and parties, saving money in college isn’t always the top priority. For those of us who scramble for last-minute cash to carve out some summertime fun, here are great ways to save money and still have a memorable trip.
Here are some great places to visit domestically that won’t break the bank and some helpful tricks to stretch your dollar as far as possible.
1. Hamptons, New York
If you can get to New York City, it’s easy enough to hop the jitney to the Hamptons! With enough friends you can rent a house for a weekend that no doubt will have a pool, massive kitchen, and more than enough space for you to party or kick back and relax. Pretty much anywhere you stay is within walking distance to the beach. It’s almost impossible to be disappointed in the Hamptons. There are great shopping streets and more than enough spots for brunch and dinner. If you want to save some cash, bringing a cooler with food to stock up at the house is a great idea!
2. Nashville, Tennessee
If you’re looking for straight-up fun without the beach, Nashville is the fresh affordable spot for you! The people are warm and welcoming, the southern food is out of this world, and the nightlife is next level. Nashville is no longer just the home of country music, however, I do recommend paying the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum a visit. The nightlife ranges from honky-tonk bars to raging clubs, and the cost of a drink is much less than you’d expect for such a good time. Chances are there’s a concert going on nearby or a great outdoor festival. It’s pretty hard to have a bad time here.
3. Austin, Texas
Austin is a thriving city with immense potential and a hot spot to visit this summer. You have to check out their wide range of food trucks, the second largest in the country, and of course, the barbeque. Free music festivals, outdoor movies, and tarot card readings are another great attraction for a trip on a budget. Also, the massive influence of street art has transformed the city into a walking museum. Your Instagram will look like it got a makeover after visiting Austin! Oh, and if that wasn’t enough, you can kick back and watch urban bats (yes, bats) fly around the Congress Avenue Bridge.
4. Wawayanda State Park, New York
This park upstate has a wide range of recreational opportunities including boating, biking, swimming, and hiking. The main section of the park has a lot of easy hiking trails and carriage roads that are great for groups to explore. Fishing is also big here so I would take advantage of the scenic landscape and hop in a boat! There are kayaks, canoes, rowboats and Jon boats with electric motors available to rent. Outdoor yoga and biking are other big draws to this location. With many cabin options to rent and a small park fee to enter in the summer, it’s a very affordable price to pay for such a relaxing stay.
5. Panama City Beach
You want sun in your hair and sand in your toes? Panama City Beach is the right college spot for you! This is the go-to vacation for the outgoing crew that doesn’t mind crowds. The summer is usually always packed, but the more the merrier, right? The bars are great and the drink specials are reasonably priced.
If you’re looking to do more than drink on the beach, you can swim with dolphins and go whale watching! You can’t say that about the Jersey Shore, can you? If you brought your wealthy friend along you can charter a boat for a day, but there’s plenty to do ashore if you want to save that money for the clubs.
Hopefully, these affordable options give you some relief when thinking about what to do this summer without blowing all the cash you made at school. Each of these spots offers up something unique that gives you a five-star experience free of charge! Another great thing about these vacations — they don’t take a lot of time planning. You can easily plan a long weekend at any of these options and come back refreshed and relaxed and ready to go!