Staying stateside is often the best way to save on travel costs. In fact, in economic terms, domestic travel is considered an inferior good, meaning its demand goes up when the economy slows down. Domestic travel in the United States however is anything but inferior if you know the right places to go. Whatever you're looking for we've got something for you on our list of the cheapest places to travel in the US. Go ahead and have a look if you want ideas for vacations that won't break the bank. Before you do though, learn more about HomeExchange and how it's one of the most affordable ways to travel.

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1- St. Augustine, Florida: The Cheapest Place to Travel in the US for a Taste of Europe

cheap places to travel in us st augustine

Did you know that St. Augustine is the nation's oldest city? Founded by Don Pedro Menendez de Aviles of Spain 1565 , it's the longest continually inhabited city as well. That means it's full of beautiful colonial European architecture and steeped in history. This makes it an affordable alternative for anyone who might otherwise pay a pretty penny to cross the pond for a taste of Europe. While it can be more expensive to live here than other Florida beach towns, budget travellers will appreciate St. Augustine's abundance of free attractions.

Don't miss landmarks like the Castillo de San Marcos, the oldest masonry fort in the continental United States as you stroll the cobble stone streets of the historic Old Town, where you'll also find the shop lined pedestrian-only St. George Street. Free activities include admiring the architecture of Flagler College and enjoying panoramic views from the top of the St. Augustine Lighthouse. It's also fun to visit the the city's historic Fountain of Youth Archaeological Park, where you can explore exhibits and watch historical reenactments. Don't miss the opportunity to relax on the beautiful beaches and take a self-guided tour of the city's haunted sites. With a mix of free and paid attractions you can design your trip to fit your budget here without feeling like you've sacrificed.

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2- Oklahoma City, Oklahoma: Midwestern Hopsitality Doesn't Come at a High Price

cheap places to travel in the us oklahoma city

Oklahoma City might not be at the top of your travel wishlist, but perhaps it should be if you are looking for great cheap places to travel in the US. Often referred to locally as OKC, Oklahoma City tops the list of most affordable cities to live in with a population of over 500,000, and those savings trickle down to travelers who decide to visit. So why come to the state capital here? Oklahoma City is where the cowboys come home for some midwestern hospitality, and luckily that doesn't come with a high price tag. There are plenty of free and affordable things to do here.

Touring the Myriad Botanical Gardens, Oklahoma City National Memorial, and the Bricktown Canal water taxi are all free in fact. Cultural enrichment won't cost you a dime as you explore the Paseo Arts District. Other affordable sites to see include the massive collection of Western and Native American art at the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum which cost just $15 for admission. As the city's affordability attracts a growing population, the food and beverage offerings have followed. There are tons of tasty eateries popping up ranging sit down restaurants to food trucks that serve affordable food as well as microbreweries and jazz clubs where you can enjoy a night out with friends and offer to pay a round or too without going bankrupt.

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3- The Poconos, Pennsylvania: The Best Things in Life are Free

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The best things in life are free, and that's definitely true when it comes to nature. For budget travelers, enjoying the world's natural splendor without whipping out your wallet is always a great way to save. The Poconos in Pennsylvania are perfect for just that, plus they're known for being less pricey than other outdoor orbit areas thanks to affordable real estate, accommodation, dining, and activities. Come and enjoy this beautiful area of peaks, valleys, lakes, and river on the East Coast perfect for leaf peeping in autumn, skiing in winter, hiking in spring, and water sports in summer.

The Poconos are home to several state parks, such as Hickory Run State Park and Tobyhanna State Park. These parks often have affordable or nominal entry fees, allowing visitors to enjoy scenic trails, picnic areas, and wildlife viewing without breaking the bank. During winter, you can find affordable skiing and snowboarding options, while in summer, water parks and adventure parks provide affordable entertainment options for families. Some local favorite include fishing, hiking, and water sports. There's really no shortage of things to do here so it's definitely worth a trip once in a lifetime!

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4- Augusta, Maine: Low Cost Living Makes Travel Affordable

cheap places to travel us augusta

Augusta has of late begin gaining a reputation as an affordable place to live. Once attractively priced cities like Portland, Oregon and Austin, Texas are boom towns now. With their prices rising some people are setting their sites on cheaper alternatives. Enter the state capital of Maine, Augusta, where home prices still seem affordable and those savings trickle down to tourists. Is it worth visiting though? We think so if you're on a budget and looking for the cheapest places to travel in the US that are actually worth the visit. Here's some ideas for what you can expect here.

For one, the natural beauty that Maine is known for is something you'll find here. Nestled amidst picturesque landscapes, take a leisurely stroll along the scenic Kennebec River Rail Trail, for biking, walking, and picnicking with a view. Kayaking and fishing are also in order on the nearby lakes and rivers. Golf enthusiasts will be pleased to discover Augusta's pristine (and affordable!) golf courses, perfect for a relaxing round amidst lush surroundings. Visit the iconic Maine State House and the Maine State Museum for some history, and when you're hungry dig into delicious seafood dishes at the city's charming restaurants.

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5- Albuquerque, New Mexico: Desert Splendor on a Budget

Albuquerque cheapest places to travel us

If you're a budget traveler take a second look at Albuquerque. On average, Albuquerque costs 53% less than neighboring Santa Fe for anyone looking to discover New Mexico. This desert city is doted with tons of reasons to visit, beyond being affordable. Like many of the cheap places to travel in the US we choose to highlight, part of its appeal it local nature that is either free or very affordable, like Petroglyph National Monument, where you can hike amidst ancient rock carvings. This allows visitors to keep spending slim and the money you save you can spend on dining out in all the delicious Mexican eatieries.

We recommend though you start your visit with a ride on the Sandia Peak Aerial Tramway to get a lay of the local landscape with awe-inspiring views of the city. Learn about local Native American Culture at the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center with exhibits and performances. The historic Old Town is great for a stroll with adobe buildings, charming shops, and art galleries. For something truly breathtaking though, come during the world-famous Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta, a magical event where hundreds of colorful hot air balloons take to the skies.

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6- Tuscon, Arizona: Awesome & Affordable Arizona

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For another desert oasis that doesn't have you digging deep into your wallet, check out Tucson. Overall costs of living in Tuscon is less than the national average and this is reflected in the cost of traveling here as well, making it one of the cheapest places to visit in the US with points of interest. The average cost of person per week visiting Tuscon is just over $1000, but with the cost saving strategy of a home exchange you can drastically reduce that but paying next to nothing compared to vacation rentals and hotels. If you take a trip to Tuscon, here's what to do.

For natural wonders, explore the famous Saguaro National Park to see the world famous towering cacti, and hike the trails in the nearby Catalina Mountains and Mount Lemmon. Visit the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum with interactive exhibits and captivating wildlife encounters. For historic charm head to Old Tucson, a movie set turned theme park, where you can experience the Wild West through live shows and themed attractions. Dine on delicious Mexican cuisine and Arizona's Southwestern flavors, and don't miss the opportunity to visit Mission San Xavier del Bac, a Spanish colonial mission with ornate craftsmanship.

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7- Salt Lake City, Utah: A Budget City Escape in the Salk Lake Basin

cheap places to travel us salt lake

Salt Lake City has emerged as popular destination for budget-conscious travelers and it's easy to see why. Particularly for outdoorsy types who use it as a home base to hit the slopes at the neighboring mountain resorts in any given direction. The city itself though shouldn't be overlooked. Salt Lake has a rich historical tapestry. Serving as the headquarters of Latter-day Saints, Salt Lake City holds immense significance in the Mormon faith. Travelers from around the globe make their way here each year to see the historic Salt Lake Temple.

There are a few main reasons Salt Lake is attractive price wise. One is that it's quite advanced in terms of affordable public transport for a smaller sized city. The second is that it has an abundance of free and affordable attractions. Among them is the famous temple where admission to the building and gardens are free. The local Museum of Fine Arts also often offers free admission and has art from all around the world. Lastly, a sort of middle America mini metropolis, there is quite a convergence of culture here that's led to a flourishing art scene, excellent eateries, cute home and clothing boutiques, and other cultural experiences that make it quite a vibrant place to explore. You might come for the ski but don't hesitate to explore all Salt Lake can offer. We don't think it will break the bank!

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8- Portland, Oregon: Pick Portland Over San Francisco or Seattle for Budget Travel

cheap places to travel us portland

If you're looking for a great west coast city stay that will cost you a fraction of places like San Francisco or Seattle then pick Portland for your next trip. Portland's cost of living comes in around the national average, but when compared to the explosive prices of the Bay Area and Seattle it seems like one of the cheapest places to travel in the US! Portland's more affordable pricing won't force you to sacrifice things to do.

The city has everything you could hope for in a metropolis - a vibrant downtown area with great places to eat, drink, and shop. The trendy Pearl District is a favorite. There are also thriving books stores, great galleries, and a multitude of museums. Just outside the city limits is the great outdoors. Take a short drive from Portland to the Columbia River Gorge to hike along scenic trails, marvel at stunning waterfalls like Multnomah Falls, and enjoy panoramic views of the gorge. For an affordable city break at nature's door, there is no better place than Portland really!

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9- Idyllwild, California: Mile High Paradise For a Great Price

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California is known to be quite a costly state, but if you get away from the coast and off the beaten path there are quite a few destinations that stand out among cheap places to travel in the US. One of them is Idyllwild. Idyllwild, California is known for its picturesque mountain setting, serene natural beauty, and artistic community. This affordable mountain escape is nestled in the beautiful San Jacinto Mountains, which are covered in pristine wilderness, towering pine tree included. If you're dream is to find a cozy cabin to enjoy the pioneer country here, then Idyllwild is the place for you.

Idyllwild has a thriving artistic community and is often referred to as an "artsy mountain town." The town is home to numerous art galleries as well as music and film festivals each year. Hiking, camping, rock climbing, and mountain biking are popular pursuits in the area. Many visitors are drawn to Idyllwild for its tranquil ambiance and serene environment. The town embraces a slower pace of life, making it an ideal destination for relaxation, rejuvenation, and connecting with nature. If you're looking to get away from busy city life, then this hile high paradise is for you!

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10- Temecula, California: "Poor Man's" Wine Country

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Not far from Idyllwild and also in Riverside County is Temecula, another one of the cheapest places to travel in the US for wine lovers and gamblers. This town has accurately being described as a mix between Napa Valley and Vegas for anyone on a budget. If wine and gambling are your thing, then Temecula is for you! Wine tasting at one of the local 50 wineries won't set you back nearly as much as the well known Napa. For example, a wine tasting that would cost 70$ in Napa costs as little at 25$ in Temecula.

With all that spare change you'll have plenty left over to take your chances at the local Native American owned casino, Pechanga Resort Casino, which is also a big attraction in the area. The local golf offering is also great, so don't miss the change to tee off in the desert. Old Town Temecula is as cute as can be with antique shops and art galleries galore. Pack a picnic and enjoy one of the many outdoor recreational area surrounded by desert scenery. Go star gazing at night and admire the incredible tapestry of the celestial desert. The annual Temecula Valley Balloon & Wine Festival, it's a must-see event as well. Enjoy hot air balloon launches, live music, wine tastings, and great food.

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Use HomeExchange For Cheap Places to Travel in the US

home exchange cheap places to travel US

If you're a budget traveler, then there is no better way to stay than with HomeExchange in the US and all over the world. Accommodations are the biggest cost when it comes to travel, so finding a way to stay with family, friends, or via home swapping is a serious way to save. With HomeExchange you can find homes in cheap places to travel in the US to make your vacation even more affordable. But not just, it's also an incredible opportunity to connect with likeminded travelers and get locals insights into making the most of these destinations. So don't wait, sign up today and see what it's all about!

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