10 Ways to Take a Vacation for Less Than $300

Just because you’re eager to get away doesn’t mean you’ll need to spend a fortune. Sometimes a weekend-long scenic hike is all you need to unwind. Check out 10 LearnVest ideas for weekend getaways that cost less than $300:

vacation under $300 road trip

Head to a Bed-and-Breakfast

We far prefer a solid B&B to a pricey hotel. In our experience, the rooms at a B&B are more uniquely decorated, and can cost as little as half of what we’d pay at a hotel. Recently, we found a B&B room in Portland, Oregon for $79. Compare that to $164 for the same type room at a hotel. (Plus, we get breakfast!)

Cruise Last-Minute Deals

If you live near a port, sign up for last-minute cruise getaways from CruiseDirect. We found a three-day cruise from Miami to the Bahamas for only $43 per day!

Go Business Casual

Opt for a business hotel in a nearby city for the weekend. Since they cater to the business crowd that usually stays during the week, weekend stays are sometimes as much as 50% off. Search sites like Starwoods.com or Hilton for hotels in specific cities. As an example, the Westin in Chicago usually costs $189 per night during the week, but sinks its prices to $99 for the weekend.

Park Yourself Outside

State parks are gorgeous (and affordable) year round. See the winter landscape, rent bikes with your loved ones, or canoe.

Hit the Road

There's nothing more liberating than packing the car and leaving town for the weekend with friends. Get ideas at TripWiser.com. If you're renting a car, take more people to split costs. If you're driving somewhere warm, consider staying at campsites while on the road.

Visit Friends

If you can find a cheap last-minute flight while travel is still light in the winter months, call an old roommate and see if you can stay the weekend. A free place to stay is a guarantee that you’ll escape without breaking the bank.

Be a Wino

There are lots of little-known wine regions throughout the U.S., such as the upstate New York Finger Lakes region. Taking part in a wine tasting during the winter can make a great getaway. The Finger Lakes Winter Wine Weekends is a promotional deal at many accommodations in the Finger Lakes Wine Country: Participating inns offer a buy two nights get one night free deal, plus a complimentary bottle of Finger Lakes wine and a Finger Lakes Wine Country PALATE Passport, which offers a variety of discounts throughout the area.

Rent a Weekend House

Rent a weekend house: Gather a dozen friends and rent a place for the weekend. Splitting the cost between so many people will make both food and lodging affordable. Don’t know where to go? Check HomeAway for deals. People who want to spend the weekend in NYC could, for example, rent this place for $150 to $200 per night.

Bus It

If time is not an issue, taking a bus can be a fun (and economical) way to see the country (some, like the Bolt Bus, even offer free wireless!). Also check out Greyhound for well-priced tickets.

Swap Apartments

Though it sounds risky, we've done it. We spent two weeks in Paris via a swap this very month. We found it the best way to live in another city for free. Post an ad on Craigslist or Home Xchange Vacation to find possible swaps. Just make sure you are comfortable with the potential swappers (maybe befriend them on Facebook), and don’t leave any valuables inside the home.


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