It is finally summer! The temperatures are high, the water is cool…and you have no money for a vacation. It is a reality that many of us face. We are working hard all week long, and want nothing more than a short break. By the time you factor in transportation, lodging, food and other expenses, it’s more relaxing just to throw on your favorite comfy pants, and binge watch Netflix.
Take heart, weary would-be adventurer! We’ve done the hard work for you. Get ready to find the perfect destination. Thank you to the travel app Hipmunk, and Thrillist Travel for assembling the cost per weekend day! Pack your bags, and get ready for an adventure.
San Diego, California
Average cost per weekend day: $178.00
Whether you want to bury your feet in the sand, or explore the local culture, San Diego has plenty to offer. Explore hot spots in the Old Town, downing tequila and tacos along the way, complete with ghost stories! Check out Sea World, or ride the Giant Dipper Roller Coaster. Can’t help but visit a museum when you are traveling? You’re not alone—swing by the USS Midway Museum.
Not sure about San Diego? Head to the city on the bay, San Francisco, for $231 a day, or check out Los Angeles for $140!
Las Vegas, Nevada
Average cost per weekend day: $126.00
Las Vegas has some great things to offer, whether you are going the traditional casino route, or not. Bus tours are offered for the Grand Canyon, a relatively short drive away. Some Grand Canyon tours include other local landmarks like the Hoover Dam, and even a delicious meal. Take a helicopter ride above the city, champagne optional, or visit the Shark Reef Aquarium. If you’re looking to do the traditional Strip, catch a Cirque du Soleil show, or see your favorite magician.
Average cost per weekend day: $188
Surprise, surprise—Seattle is not rainy all of the time, despite its reputation. Summers in Seattle are actually rather lovely, providing excellent opportunities for hiking, winery tours, and even day trips to Canada or cruises around the Puget Sound. If the weather happens to not be cooperating during your visit, head to the Museum of Flight, or take a chef-guided tour of Pike Place Market
Average cost per weekend day: $226
While there are incredible Museums to enjoy (I highly recommend the Newseum myself), there are myriad other things to do in D.C. Join Historic Tours of America on a moonlight trolley tour of the national monuments, and don’t forget to stop by Madame Tussauds. Delicious, cheap restaurants are spreading throughout the city. You won’t want to miss Ben’s Chili Bowl in the U Street neighborhood, and Lucky Buns on 18thStreet
New York City
Average cost per weekend day: $296
Many Manhattanites flee on the weekends, meaning that restaurants finally have spots open, and there may not be quite as many people packing the sidewalks. Go traditional, indulging in shopping and a Broadway show, or break the mold and head for the beaches off of Long Island, a short train ride away.
Not feeling Manhattan on this trip? Try Brooklyn!
Myrtle Beach, South Carolina
Average cost per weekend day: $160
Recently given a face lift, Myrtle Beach has a new boardwalk, but the same delicious eats and fantastic concerts right on the water. Visit the Hollywood Wax Museum, or step back in time to the 18thcentury at Hopsewee Plantation!
Average cost per weekend day: $322
Swing by Fenway Park, home of the legendary Boston Red Sox and the famed Green Monster, indulge in some delicious food, and don’t forget to get out on the water! Check out the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, and day trip to Martha’s Vineyard.
Ocean City, Maryland
Average cost per weekend day: $252
It’s all about the timing at Ocean City; plan for the right weekend, and you can stay for nearly half the cost. Aim for a September visit, and enjoy the still-warm water, some sunshine and some music.
Average cost per weekend day: $253
“Chicago?” you may ask. “Chicago,” I definitely reply. There is a different festival almost every weekend, and get in on the great food, good company, and don’t forget to dip your toes into Lake Michigan—all sand, and no salt!