Traveling on a budget does not mean traveling totally broke, it means allocating proper resources to the activities you actually want to spend money on. Many tourist destinations have inflated prices with poor service because the general belief is that a tourist has an unlimited amount of cash and not much common sense. To avoid some of these account draining locations, consider visiting these hidden budget traveler gems and save money.

Take a Long Drive

It would be better to buy or rent a camper, load it up with RV supplies and drive from Washington DC to the Great Smoky Mountains. The journey will take you across two national parks and introduce the beautiful yet majestic Blue Ridge Parkway and its natural resources. When traveling between Virginia’s Shenandoah National Park and North Carolina’s Great Smoky Mountains National Park, one unique aspect that will jump out is that the road is seemingly unchanged from its 1935 origins. There are many 19th century farms and towns that seem to come straight from a postage stamp.

Myrtle Beach, South Carolina

Charleston is the more popular South Carolina hotspot, but it tends to have massive crowds and beachgoers. Visiting the quiet and pristine Litchfield beach or the four mile Pawleys Island stretch where a true taste of Southern food can be had, seems to be a much better place for any budget traveler.

Do not assume that there is little to do outside of sleeping and eating in Myrtle Beach, there are really active centers for water sports enthusiasts. Once the safety presentation is done, feel free to rent a jet ski or pontoon and ride to your heart’s content.

Charleston, South Carolina

Since you would have been in the area anyway, head up to Charleston where the food is just as good, but the music is better. For lovers of classical music, there are many annual orchestral concerts where both the masterworks of yesteryear and the pop sensations of today are played. If the music of the grand concert halls is not enough, try visiting the world renowned Gibbes Museum of Art where a string quartet plays music related to the art on display. If you are an activity driven traveler, set off to the Kiawah Island where there are many bike trails which merge with woodlands beaches and many waterways. If you are feeling the bug to be on the water, do not dismay as rented kayaks are available for further exploration.


Be sure to visit this historic city during the summer when most universities are on break; the city truly empties out and the traffic is lighter. The history of the American Revolution as it started in Boston can be found via the Freedom Trail which carries you through 16 significant and historic sites. There are also many river cruises offered in the city which will merge history and fine dining into one.


During the months of April to October, visit the Larkin Square on a Tuesday night. In addition to free parking and free concerts, there are up to 50 food trucks on location simply there for your enjoyment. In addition to great food, Buffalo has been leading the craft cocktail resurgence seen in the US in the past few years. So for all of the lovers of tasty beverages, be sure to drop in at happy hour to one of the “new Buffalo” type of drinking holes. Finally, the Albright- Knox Art Gallery is popular for having the iconic artworks of Picasso, Khalo, and O’Keeffe on display year-round.


Author bio: Rana Tarakji is an entrepreneur and a contributing writer at Stylerail, a lifestyle blog as well as Sataco, an electro mechanical company in Lebanon.