IN YOUR PRIME: 6 budget-friendly destinations worth exploring

National parks across North America are budget-friendly destinations.

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National parks across North America are budget-friendly destinations.

Many people equate travel with high prices and some overindulgence. After all, for a lot of people, vacations come but once or twice per year. While it’s true the “go big or go home” mantra is never far from the mind while on vacation, ensuring a fun a trip does not require emptying one’s wallet. The world has plenty of affordable destinations for those willing to do their research and think outside of the box. Plus, even locales billed as expensive can be made more affordable with some smart travel tips.

North American national parks

National parks across North America are budget-friendly destinations. These parks boast incredibly scenic vistas and plenty of activities for outdoors enthusiasts. Most feature modest entrance fees and affordable adjacent lodging. The trip can be even more frugal by camping on park lands.

Chattanooga, Tennessee

The draw of Nashville may be strong, but nearby Chattanooga also can be an entertaining place to enjoy some southern hospitality. Chattanooga is centrally located to many areas in the United States. Chattanooga hosts the Tennessee Aquarium, which has a large freshwater aquarium and an opportunity to touch sturgeon, which is an ancient fish species.

South America

When seeking warmer climates and sandy beaches, many travelers immediately think of the Caribbean islands. But for the budget-conscious, countries like El Salvador, Nicaragua, Guatemala, and Costa Rica may be more affordable. These countries are home to rich jungles and ancient ruins as well.

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St. Augustine, Florida

Theme parks may be a big part of Florida’s tourist draw, but such parks can be expensive for families. Looking elsewhere in Florida for dream destinations that are easier on the pocketbook doesn’t take a lot of work. St. Augustine in Northern Florida is America’s oldest city and is packed with historical monuments, quaint shops and great dining. The city also sits a mere five miles northwest of St. Augustine Beach, which offers miles of shoreline to explore.

Portugal

Plenty of people flock to the relaxing shores of Spain or enjoy the culture and nightlife of France. Nestled nearby, Portugal has its own beautiful beaches, delicious food, historic cities, and locally produced wines without the inflated prices of nearby countries.

Quebec City

Quebec City’s rich history makes it a must-see Canadian destination. It is particularly vibrant in winter, when the snowy landscape creates picture-perfect memories. Accommodations also are very affordable.

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