Being one of the largest countries by land worldwide, the US offers numerous vacation hotspots for everyone. But whether you’re traveling solo or with family or friends, the costs in most vacay-famous areas quickly add up, leaving you high and dry.
The white sand beaches, the bustling cities, the serene mountain retreats—they all seem like a distant dream when you glance at your budget. The good news? Plenty of destinations in the United States allow you to stretch your dollar and have a great time.
Here, we’ll unveil five U.S. cities where you can enjoy a vacation that won’t drain your savings.
Vacationing on a Budget: 5 Budget-Friendly US Cities
Memphis, Tennessee: The Birthplace of Blues and Soul Food Heaven
Memphis is a city with a true Southern vibe. This city offers history, music, and unforgettable culinary experiences. Known as the birthplace of blues music and the home of Elvis Presley’s Graceland, Memphis offers rich experiences in American culture. You can stroll along Beale Street, which is essentially a timeline of American music history, filled with lively bars and soulful tunes.
Average Costs in Memphis, Tennessee are:
- Accommodation: $80-130 per night for a mid-range hotel
- Food: $25-45 per day per person, unless you go overboard on the BBQ
- Transport: $20-35 per day for a car rental; public transport is affordable but not as comprehensive.
Buffalo, New York: The Revitalized Rust Belt Gem
Buffalo is an underrated destination that’s rapidly gaining popularity. There are a variety of attractions with its bustling waterfront, burgeoning arts scene, and proximity to Niagara Falls. When here, make sure you try Buffalo wings, as this finger-licking treat originated in this city.
Average Costs in Buffalo, New York are:
- Accommodation: $70-110 per night for a mid-range hotel
- Food: $25-40 per day per person
- Transport: $15-30 per day for public transport; car rental is a bit pricier.
Knoxville, Tennessee: The Hidden Jewel of the South
Knoxville is a welcoming Southern city with its own distinct identity. You can enjoy outdoor activities like hiking or boating, get a dose of culture at its theatres and galleries, or dine on mouthwatering Southern cuisine. The nearby Great Smoky Mountains are always a worthwhile day trip.
Average Costs in Knoxville, Tennessee are:
- Accommodation: $75-115 per night for a mid-range hotel
- Food: $25-45 per day per person
- Transport: $20-35 per day for car rental; public transport options are available but not as extensive.
San Antonio, Texas: Where Tex-Mex Meets History
San Antonio offers a beautiful tapestry of Mexican and American cultures. With historical sites like the Alamo and the bustling shops and eateries along the River Walk, you’re in for an all-around experience. The food scene here is especially rich, offering a mix of Texan and Mexican cuisines.
Average Costs in San Antonio, Texas are:
- Accommodation: $90-140 per night for a mid-range hotel
- Food: $30-50 per day per person
- Transport: $25-40 per day for car rental; public transport is also available but limited.
Omaha, Nebraska: The Underestimated Midwestern Hub
Omaha is another uunderrated vacation spot that deserves more attention. Known for having one of the best zoos in the US, the city also offers a thriving food scene, artsy neighborhoods, and many outdoor activities for nature lovers.
Average Costs in Omaha, Nebraska are:
- Accommodation: $60-100 per night for a mid-range hotel
- Food: $20-35 per day per person
- Transport: $15-30 per day for public transport.
Choosing any of these cities for your next vacation means you’ll have the best of both worlds—a memorable getaway that doesn’t require you to splurge. So pack your bags and get ready to create some priceless memories, all without emptying your bank account.
- Depending on how you like to travel, you can tailor your experience without compromising on the quality of your vacation.
- The costs mentioned in the article are per person. Based on these figures, you can estimate the cost of two or more individuals.