How To Travel USA’s Biggest Destinations On A Budget

Most budget travelers avoid the USA because it is generally thought to be an expensive place to visit.

How To Travel USA’s Biggest Destinations on a Budget
Photo by weston m on Unsplash

While some places in the US are really expensive, there are places to visit and things to do in the US that do not require a lot of money. Now that the pandemic is mostly over, it is the best opportunity to visit the US, and after going through this article, you can do that without having to burn a hole in your pocket. 

Here are the top American cities that you can visit on a limited budget and the things that you can do there for cheap. 

San Antonio, Texas

San Antonio can rightfully be called one of the most colorful destinations in the United States. It offers a unique combination of American history and Mexican culture, essentially giving you the chance to experience two countries in one go. Here are some of the things you can enjoy in this city on a tight budget: 

  • One of the most fun (and free) things to do in San Antonio is to stroll along the riverwalk that passes through the city. You can find some of the best restaurants, shops and live entertainment performances in all of Texas here.
  • Not too far from the riverwalk is the Alamo Museum. Built in 1718, it documents the history and culture of the state of Texas and is free to enter. 
  • Another of the free attractions in the city is the Japanese Tea Garden. It is the perfect spot for some romantic time with a loved one, full of lush green grounds and a waterfall. 
  • If you are into nature and culture, head to the San Pedro Creek Culture Park, where you can snap amazing photos or go on a romantic stroll surrounded by nature.

Chicago, Illinois 

Situated on Lake Michigan, The Windy City is one of the biggest and most famous cities in the United States. It is famous for its bold architecture, colorful culture and museums. If you want to get the most out of a trip to Chicago, the first thing to do is to stay in a hotel in Chicago downtown because that way you’ll be near the center of the city and be able to save a fair bit of money on transportation. 

Here are some of the things you can do in Chicago on a budget: 

  • If you want to experience music up-close and personal, The Empty Bottle is the perfect place for that. The tickets are really affordable (less than $20), and you can catch a free show every Monday.
  • The Museum of Contemporary Photography is a great place where you can go for free and catch an exhibition. Usually, just one show is on display at a time, so you can easily visit this place even if you have an hour to spare. Do reserve your place in advance, as capacity restrictions are usually in place. 
  • For people who are into history, the Oriental Institute Museum, featuring more than 35,000 artifacts, is a great place in Chicago. This place was founded by archeologist James Henry Breasted and tries to establish that civilization started in the Middle East rather than Greece or Rome. 
  1. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

If you think good things don’t come free, a visit to the City of Brotherly Love can change that view. This metropolis is known for its historical sites, brewery tours, mouth-watering cuisine and much more. It is also considered one of the best destinations for solo travelers and adventure seekers worldwide. For those on a tight budget, the Independence Pass costs just $11 per head and lets you ride any bus in the city. 

Here are some things that you can do in The Cradle of Liberty without burning a hole in your pocket include: 

  • There’s a reason Philly is called the Birthplace of America. This city is home to Independence Hall, the place where the Declaration of Independence was adopted in 1776. Visiting the venue is free, and a guided tour is part of your admission. 
  • The United States Mint is another place of importance in Philadelphia that you can visit for free and see how the coins are made. 
  • For couples, the best place in the city is Elfreth’s Alley, a cobblestone street with cute houses perfect for a romantic stroll and photoshoots. 

Daytona, Florida

Daytona is the best budget option for beach lovers. It is among some of the cheapest places to travel in the entire US for both solo travelers and families. The more than 23 miles of serene sandy beaches offer a perfect place to spend family time. The hotels here are quite affordable, and there are many free things to do in this city. 

If you are in Daytona on a budget, here are the things you can do: 

  • Go on a free guided tour of the Angell & Phelps Chocolate factory.
  • If you go to Daytona in Summer, you can enjoy free live music. The Bandshell Concert is held every Friday and Saturday evening from May to September and is totally free. You can catch anything from jazz to Latin music here. 
  • Couples can enjoy romantic walks on the secluded stretches of Daytona beach
  • If you love photography, visit the Southeast Museum of Photography, Florida’s official photography museum.

There is a common belief that the US is expensive for travelers, but that is not entirely true. There are places in the US that you can visit and enjoy on a limited budget if you know where to go and what to do. San Antonio, Texas, is the first one on the list with its riverwalk, Alamo Museum, Japanese Tea Garden, and San Pedro Creek Culture Park. If you go to Chicago, stay in a hotel downtown and save money on transport while visiting the famous places in the city. Experiencing the place where the US was created in Philadelphia is also on the list of things you can do for cheap in the US. If you are with family, the best place in the US for a budget vacation is Daytona, Florida.

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