During these hard times, Americans are trying to get as much value for the dollar as possible. Cost cutting, economizing and budgeting have gotten many Americans to a point of frustration. Then after all of the money matters have been scrutinized with a fine tooth comb, you turn on the news, pick up the newspaper or read on the internet about more layoffs, foreclosures and bankruptcies. Now more than ever, Americans need a vacation, but taking a vacation during these trying times can seem difficult, if not impossible. What many Americans don’t realize is that the same things that are forcing us to need a vacation are creating some very affordable trips that can be taken on a very small budget. Here are few cities that now offer nice and surprising vacation spots that will work for even the smallest budgets.
Why – People have found that Biloxi not only is there an abundance of nightlife, but also a large variety of family activities that won’t have you taking out a second mortgage.
Where to Stay – A great place to stay while in Biloxi is Treasure Bay Casino. As with all the Casinos in Biloxi, it operates around the clock. At Treasure Bay you can find casino quality rooms as low as $59 per night. Treasure Bay also, offers some great dining choices that won’t max out your card. The buffets at Treasure Bay are top notch and have a vast variety of choices. The breakfast and lunch buffets are about $10 per person and the dinner buffet is about $20 per person. If you join the players club, you will receive additional savings on rooms and meals.
What to do – There are various seafood festivals in Biloxi that take place year round and only cost $5 – $10 per person to enter. These festivals, not only offer great food, but generally have rides and other attractions. Also, you can always take advantage of the beaches. Biloxi’s beaches are 100% free and open to the public year round. If you feel a bit lucky, head to the casinos. All Biloxi’s casinos offer quarter, nickel and even penny slot machines to insure that you don’t spend the mortgage while visiting. Some of the better Casinos for the financially challenged are Boomtown, The Palace Biloxi and The Isle Casino Biloxi. Joining the players club at these casinos can also get you additional savings on rooms and meals and remember as long as you’re playing all your drinks are free!
San Antonio, TX
Why – San Antonio is a beautiful city rich in history and tourist attractions and even in the best of times San Antonio has always made a very economical place to visit.
Where to Stay – When going to San Antonio, you have to stay on the romantic San Antonio Riverwalk. One of the best deals on the Riverwalk is the Riverwalk Plaza Hotel. In an area of town where hotel rooms can run easily over $250 per night, the Riverwalk Plaza Hotel offers rates as low as $90 per night. Staying at the Riverwalk provides you with easy access to all the city has to offer.
What to do – While in San Antonio, you have to visit the world famousAlamo. Admission to the Alamo museum is free, however they do ask for donations. Also, if you’re into the paranormal, you can take the San Antonio Ghost Tours which range from $10 – $15 per person. The tour provides you with investigator tools to use and provides you with some of the cities haunted history. I personally recommend a free romantic walk down the Riverwalk under the moonlight.
Las Vegas, NV
Why – The economic downturn has hit Las Vegas extremely hard and because of this, many Americans are discovering that Las Vegas is a more affordable trip than ever.
Where to Stay – Las Vegas offers so many choices that you can go insane trying to choose and the prices of most of these resorts have fallen dramatically. The Tropicana Las Vegas has completely renovated many of its rooms and they are offering them at unheard prices starting at $59 per night. The Tropicana is conveniently located on the Vegas strip and is literally close to everything. In typical Vegas style, the hotel offers a comedy club, Vegas style shows, exhibits and a casino. Be sure to join the players club to get additional savings.
What to do – In Vegas a better question would be…What not to do? Vegas has a large assortment of concerts, museums, comedy clubs and dance clubs. If you have a couple of hours to burn, there is always a timeshare company that offers you free entrance to concerts, shows and dinners if you will go and see their resort and hear the sales pitch. Typically in Vegas, you can find entertainment in your price range as the city does a good job of providing something for every price range. Try Madame Tussauds Las Vegas for a really fun and entertaining time. You can get tickets on line as low as $11 per person or if you need a laugh to get through the recession, you can visit the Las Vegas Comedy Club. Online tickets for the comedy club can go as low as $15 per person.
Why – Atlanta is well known for its business districts and high rises, but what people don’t know is that Atlanta can be an incredibly inexpensive location with things to do for everyone.
Where to Stay – Unlike a lot of areas, if you’re visiting the Perimeter Center of Atlanta on the weekends, you can actually get some spectacular deals. Because many areas see business travelers, they get a lot of traffic Monday thru Thursday and are light from Friday to Sunday. The Westin Atlanta North at Perimeter Center is a spectacular hotel and you can room rates there starting at $90 per night. The hotel has an eloquent bar and fine dining restaurant. Located in the Perimeter Center area of Atlanta, it is centrally located and is short distance from any area of the city. If you book online in advance, you can get additional savings.
What to do – For only $8 per person, you can go to the Lake Lanier Islands water park. With wave pools, water slides and so much more, Lake Lanier is one of the most cost effective theme parks in the country. If you’re more of a thrill seeker, you can visit Six Flags Over Georgia. A bit more pricy at about $30 per person, Six Flags is one of the coaster capitals of the country. Coke Cola usually has savings coupons that will provide you with additional discounts on your entry price. If you’re more of a rustic or outdoor romantic, you can go to Stone Mountain and for the price of parking take a walk through one of the most beautiful sites that Georgia has to offer.
Fort Lauderdale, FL
Why – Having Spirit Airlines running a base out of your city’s airports make you absolutely one of the most inexpensive destination in the world.
Where to Stay – For what you get with the price, I highly recommend the Vacation Village at Weston. Rate here start at about $119 per night, but what you save in your overall trip will more than compensate for the higher room rate. Spirit typically runs specials flying from any of its cities to Fort Lauderdale for as low as $29 each way making an upgraded hotel possible. This vacation rental property offers one of the most beautiful pool areas around and dining in Fort Lauderdale can be as inexpensive as anywhere in the country.
What to do – When in Florida, you must go to the beaches. Fort Lauderdale offers up some of the most beautiful beaches in Florida and they are 100% free. Another cheap way to have fun while in Fort Lauderdale is to take the Everglades Tour. The tours range in price from $18 – $20 per person ,but are good and you will see a variety of plant and animal wildlife that is indigenous to Florida. If you book the tours in advance though on of the online sites, you can get additional savings. For a really fun evening, you can take the Jungle Queen Riverboat Tour. The tour provides you with dinner and drinks and provides an atmosphere unlike any other. The tour is usually around $30 per person, but you can get discount books at most of the hotels and visitor centers for additional savings.