Are you dreaming of getting out of the house and going anywhere other than your own neighborhood? If you’re anything like me, you’re more than ready to hit the open road, or maybe even grab a fantastic last-minute fare to a cool destination.
It’s definitely time to take a fun trip and enjoy some new experiences. But how do you do it without dropping a ton of cash? Everything is getting more expensive these days, but you can still take a great trip without completely emptying out your wallet. Here are five different trips you take for less than $500 this summer.
Las Vegas, Nevada
Sin City is once again open for business. Thanks to Southwest Airlines, you can get to the city at great rates from numerous locations throughout the western part of the United States. According to the Southwest Airlines low fare calendar, there are dates in July and August where you can fly one-way to and from Vegas for as low as $69.
If you’re flying out of Denver, Phoenix, Seattle or San Francisco, you can get round trip airfare for a three-day trip to Las Vegas for less than $150. Bundle that with a hotel deal for places like the MGM Grand, The Wynn or Caesar’s Palace through Southwest Vacations, and you can get your airfare and hotel for a three-day trip to Vegas for as low as $369 per person.
That leaves plenty of room in the budget for a buffet or two, and you don’t have to blow the rest of your cash at the tables or in the slot machines. Las Vegas has so much to do outside of the casinos that won’t cost you more than $20.
The High Roller on the Las Vegas Strip is a 550 foot tall observation wheel that features air-conditioned, enclosed pods that allow you to see Vegas from a bird’s eye view. Tickets are as low as $18. Tickets for the Eiffel Tower Viewing Deck and the Strat Tower Observation Deck are also under $20.
You could also venture outside of Las Vegas and head 30 minutes south to the Nevada/Arizona border and enjoy a dam tour! More than 21,000 Americans built the Hoover Dam back in the 1930s, and it’s super cool to visit. Just ask Clark Griswold.
Our absolute favorite place to visit in Las Vegas is the Neon Museum and Boneyard. This is where you can see what happened to more than 150 old Vegas signs, and the tour only costs $17.
How to get there: Southwest Airlines “Wanna Get Away” Deals
Where to stay: MGM Grand, The Wynn, Caesar’s Palace
Memphis, Tennessee has so much history and heritage and so much to see! The city played a major role in everything from the foundation of music to politics and culture in America – and they did it all while serving up incredible barbecue.
If you’re flying from cities like New York City, Atlanta, Miami, Dallas, St. Louis or Kansas City, you can get roundtrip deals for as low as $119 on Kayak. Then, you can book a fantastic Airbnb – like this entire one bedroom apartment in the heart of downtown Memphis – for as low as $59 per night.
The low air fare and great Airbnb rates are just the beginning, though. There is so much to do in Memphis, even when you’re on a budget.
Beale Street is where the blues music scene began back in the 1920s, and there are still blues clubs there today that host live music on the downtown street. Other popular spots to visit in Memphis include Graceland, the home of Elvis Presley, and Sun Studio where artists like Presley, Johnny Cash, Carl Perkins and Roy Orbison recorded during the 1950s.
You might be surprised to find out that Memphis has a fantastic craft beer scene, with several local breweries like Ghost River Brewing Co., High Cotton Brewing Co. and Wiseacre Brewing Co.
Another great spot to visit is the National Civil Rights Museum at the Lorraine Motel where Dr. Martin Luther King was assassinated. It has permanent exhibits about student sit-ins and the Montgomery Bus Boycott. The museum also tells the stories of the individuals and the milestone events that shaped the civil rights climate in the United States.
How to get there: Round trip deals on Kayak
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
Oklahoma City is known as the “Modern Frontier,” but it’s also a hidden gem of the Midwest. Expedia has one-way flight deals to Oklahoma City for as low as $45 from various cities in the United States.
When it comes to lodging, Oklahoma City has a number of Airbnb superhosts. You can even stay at a modern guesthouse in a historic neighborhood that rents for $62 per night or a mid-century modern getaway in the Plaza District for $65 per night.
What is there to do in Oklahoma City, you ask? A lot. You can enjoy the Riverwalk in Bricktown that is filled with various dining options, night life and shopping. There’s also the booming art scene that features places like Factory Obscura Mix-Tape, an interactive art experience that “pays homage to the 1980s custom of creating homemade musical compilations on cassette tape.”
How to get there: Expedia deals for as low as $45
If you’re looking for a beach getaway on a budget, look no further than Gulfport, Mississippi. You can find a roundtrip flight to this Southern vacation spot for as low as $119 on Travelocity.
There are also great deals on Airbnb rentals. For instance, you can rent an entire condo for just $78 per night. Or, you can find a superhost with an entire house for rent for just $79 per night.
If you’re looking for other things to do when you’re not enjoying Gulfport’s emerald waters and white sand beaches, there’s the Gulfport Dragway, the Island View Casino and the Zip’N Fun Adventure Park.
How to get there: Travelocity deals as low as $119 roundtrip
Where to stay: A two-story condo listed on Airbnb
Charleston, South Carolina
Once you arrive in this charming city, you can stay at Frank and Edna’s Place via Airbnb for just $69 per night. Or, you can choose an entire apartment as your Charleston retreat for just $80 per night.
When you’re there, you can drive out to the Fort Sumter National Monument. The Joe Riley Waterfront Park is a great place to spend a relaxing afternoon. At the Charleston City Market, you can meet the locals, shop for souvenirs, take a tour and enjoy local cuisine.
How to get there: Expedia flight deals as low as $29
Where to stay: A boho beach hideaway from Airbnb
You don’t have to spend a ton of cash to enjoy a great vacation this summer. Try one of these destinations and make some new memories while staying true to your budget. Have fun and safe travels!