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As the travel industry recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic, people’s desire to get out of town has increased. A “Vengeance Journey” urges Americans to make up for lost time and book the vacations of their dreams this summer. This demand raises prices quickly.
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If you’re traveling on a budget, know that most of it will likely be devoured by plane travel, which is up 18% in April alone. But that doesn’t mean you have to spend thousands to go on vacation. We reached out to travel experts to get their best recommendations for cost-effective destinations. Here are some ideas for where to travel on a $1,000 budget.
Joshua Tree National Park, California
Heath Hammett, CEO of VacationRenter, said that with a budget of $1,000, you can find some great spots in Joshua Tree National Park to go great. You can even rent an RV for up to six guests for $99 per night. “Make the most of your outing by hiking or visiting Joshua Tree Lake,” he said. Fishing is only $10 for adults and $5 for children under 12, but guests must bring their own sticks due to COVID-19 restrictions.
To save more money, Hammett suggested making food over a campfire. “Of course, s’mores are an all-time favourite. But grilled corn on the cob and skewers of vegetables and meat are a great choice before dessert rolls.” For those with more wiggle room in their budgets, visit Crossroads Café or drive along Twentynine Palms Highway. To discover dining options.
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Branson is considered one of the main destinations for live music. So if you’re hoping your vacation includes plenty of concerts and dancing, Branson is the place to visit.
However, if you are traveling with kids, they might not be excited to see the top bluegrass teams. Fortunately, Branson is home to a unique attraction: Silver Dollar City. Greg Wilson, co-owner of personal finance blog ChaChingQueen.com, recently took his family of five out there on vacation for less than $1,000. “There was something to do for all ages, including our two-year-old twins,” he said. “The lodging was very affordable and only a few miles away.”
You are also allowed to bring your own food into the park, which can save quite a bit. Parking is free, and there is a free cart that can take you to the park entrance.
If you’re more interested in an international vacation, Alika Barnsley, travel blogger at Alika in Wanderlust, recommends Bali.
“Bali is one of the cheapest islands in the entire world,” she said. “Not only is it incredibly cheap, but it’s also a beautiful destination with lots of things to do and see on a budget.”
Barnsley said you can find hostels that cost about $8 to $15 a night, while hotels cost about $20 a night and up. Eating street food will cost you $2-4 per meal, and restaurants aren’t much more than that.
Transportation options are also cost effective. You can rent a scooter to get around Bali for about $3 to $5 per day, or you can get a GoJek (like Uber) for about $1 to $5 per ride, depending on the distance. She noted that “to see the waterfalls, rice terraces, and beaches, there is an entry fee.” “But it’s small — usually only $1 to $5.”
For those who crave a somewhat European feel of Latin American flair, Carlos Greider, of travel site A Brother Abroad, said Argentina is an ideal destination. “The economy is still recovering from the effects of the pandemic, leaving prices insanely cheap,” he said. “But the country, the people, and all its beauty are just as amazing as before.”
According to Grider, a thousand dollars can go very far in Argentina now. Ten days are typical, although you can extend this budget per month if you’re frugal. He explained that in Buenos Aires, a good hotel would cost $30 per night, while a hostel would cost roughly $15. Meals cost about $10, and a bus ticket between Buenos Aires and Mendoza costs about $30.
He added that the capital has a well-connected metro system, allowing you to explore for 25 cents per trip. There are also inexpensive long-haul and “sleeping” buses that allow you to travel to the highlights of Iguazu, Mendoza, San Carlos de Bariloche and El Chalten on the edge of Los Glaciares National Park. “Across the country, fares are roughly 25% to 50% cheaper than they are in Buenos Aires, which means that as travelers take risks, their money will go further.”
Try a cruise
If all-you-can-eat buffets, nightly entertainment, and the gentle rocking of the ocean are your preference, a cruise can be an excellent way to travel internationally for less. As cruise lines continue operations to return to normal, onboard capacity limits are slipping, according to Colin McDaniel, editor-in-chief of Cruise Critic. “Because of the limited time they have left to fill the cabins in the summer season, the rates are very competitive,” she said. “Add to that the savings you get from not having to fly to your final destination, and sailing is an incredibly budget-friendly option for travelers this summer.”
In the Caribbean, for example, McDaniel said the average fare for a five-night cruise starts at less than $500 per person at the peak cruises in July. If you sail in August, the price will drop further to about $325 per person.
“While these are entry prices and you’ll still have additional costs to pay like taxes and gratuities, they do include things like lodging, meals and entertainment,” she explained. “If you can make a deal that includes things like free drinks or onboard credit, you’ll be able to save even more.”
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