If you are stopping yourself from taking a vacation just because it is not fitting in the budget, think again. Here are some affordable destinations and ideas which don’t cost too much and provide maximum fun for everyone.
In the year 2011, according to UNWTO, 51% people traveled only for leisure. Leisure includes holidays, vacations, weekend trips, etc. Hardly 15% traveled for professional purposes and the rest to visit relatives/friends.
Summer Vacation Ideas
Yellowstone National Park
Divided between three states in America, this park (and a World Heritage Site) is one of the most famed vacation spots globally. The highlights of this park are its mountain ranges (and hence the trails), waterfalls & cascades (more than 45) and plateaus (some of them, lava-formed). Must-see sites include Eagle Peak, Yellowstone Lake, Yellowstone Falls, Silver Cord Cascade, etc.
The wealthiest region in Europe, this season is your chance of visiting this global city and capital of Portugal for a little less money. 3 years back, it was the 7th most-visited city in South of Europe. Must-see sites include the two World Heritage Sites of Jeronimos Monastery and Belem Tower, Alcantara docks, Praca do Comercio, Rua Augusta Arch, Chiado Square, Pavilhao Atlantico, Castle of Sao Jorge and the Lisbon Zoo that hosts more than 2000 animals.
Known as the most popular destinations in South East Asia and together cater to millions of tourists. Singapore alone has said to attract tourists double the size of its population. Sentosa Island, Universal Studios, Marina Bay Sands, Night Safari, Underwater World Aquarium, Jurong Bird Park and VivoCity.
The Petronas Twin Towers, Teluk Cempedak, Perhentian Besar, Mulu Caves and George Town.
Phanom Rung, Phuket, Pattaya, Ko Samui, and The Thung Salaeng Luang National Park.
Known for the most inexpensive resorts in Europe, this place is your chance of visiting few of Europe’s secluded beaches, away from all the tourist crowds. Must-see sites include The city of Veliko Tarnovo, The National Historical Museum in capital city of Sofia, the Balkan Mountains, the Rhodope Mountains, the Trigrad Gorge, the Ustra ruins, and the Bachkovo Monastery, which is one of Europe’s oldest and largest Eastern Orthodox monasteries.
Winter Vacation Ideas
Central America consists of seven countries – El Salvador, Belize, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Panama and Honduras. Central America is home to some breath-taking beaches and rare species of flora and fauna. Must-see sites include El Chorreron and Coatepeque Caldera (El Salvador), San Pedro Beach (Belize), Poás Volcano Crater (Costa Rica), Tikal Ruins (Guatemala), Corn Island (Nicaragua), Mayan Stelae and Roatán (Honduras), and Panamá Viejo (Panama).
Main attractions include the Masai Mara National Reserve, Aberdare National Park and the Samburu National Reserve .First let me tell you that you will be missing the annual Wildebeest Migration from Tanzania to the Masai Mara that happens between July to September. This includes Cheetah, Leopard, Lion, Black Rhino, Buffalo, Zebra, Giraffe, Elephant, Hartebeest. You can see the Crocodiles and Hippos too! Also found are Somali Ostrich, Oryx, Grevy’s Zebra, Gerenuk and Hyenas among many others!
Dubai is the cultural and economic hub of the Middle East. An ideal destination for couples, try to book a helicopter for a beautiful aerial view of this country. Must-see sites include Al Fahidi Fort, Wild Wadi Water Theme Park, Ski Dubai in Mall of the Emirates, Dubai International Film Festival, Burj Khalifa, Burj Al Arab, Palm Jumeirah, Floating Bridge, The Dubai Fountain and the Jumeirah Lake Towers. Also, DO NOT miss the Dubai Shopping Festival and Dune bashing.
An archipelago consisting of 7107 islands, this is an ideal destination for couples seeking adventure or relaxation, together. Some of the Must-see sites include the Manila Ocean Park, Banaue Rice Terraces, Chocolate Hills, Mount Apo, Mount Santo Tomas, Taal (also the lake) and Mayon Volcano, Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park, Star City, Enchanted Kingdom, Taoist Temple Cebu.
Autumn Vacation Ideas
If you want to celebrate your vacation at an extraordinary spot by not spending much, Death Valley is the perfect choice. The park is filled with rare and exotic species of animals and plants. The park is filled with ranches which provide accommodation for couples who prefer an adventurous night experience. Must-see sites include Artist’s Palette, Charcoal Kilns, Badwater Basin, Mosaic Canyon, Red Cathedral, Zabriskie Point, Devil’s Golf Course and the Ubehebe Crater.
The republic of Ireland, which constitutes 1/5th of the island of Ireland, is a paradise on earth. Since this season is comparatively cheaper for planning a trip, I would advise you to make most of it. Few of the main cities in this country are Dublin, Cork, and Galway. Other than the attractions in these, you Must-see Carrantuohill, the highest peak in the country, which is great for hiking. Standing tall at 1038 meters, it is located in County Kerry.
The island is famous for its beautiful white sandy beaches, thermal geysers, glaciers and snow clad mountains. Must-see sites include Stirling Falls, Milford Sound, Mitre Peak, Aoraki/Mount Cook (highest mountain in NZ), Totaranui and the entire Abel Tasman National Park, Tongariro Alpine Crossing and the entire Tongariro National Park. Apart from these, cities such as Queenstown, Wellington, Rotorua and Christchurch. The Waitomo Caves and Bay of Islands are also highly visited.
In this city alone, you can visit the San Telmo, Montserrat, Plaza de Mayo La Casa Rosada, Banco de la Nación Argentina and the Metropolitan Cathedral. Also famous are The Perito Moreno Glacier in Parque Nacional Los Glaciares and Cerro Catedral in Nahuel Huapi National Park. Enotourism, commonly called wine tourism is famous in the Mendoza province. Don’t forget to see the Lácar Lake, Neuquén River and Punta Tombo for the largest colony of Magellan Penguins in Patagonia.
Spring Vacation Ideas
The Valley, Mughal Gardens, Gulmarg, Pahalgam, Jammu, Dal Lake and Leh in Ladakh. Some areas in Kashmir require a special permit, for non-Indians.
Shimla, Manali, Kullu, Kasauli, McLeod Ganj in Dharamshala and the Kalka-Shimla Railway. Dharamshala is the headquarters of the Tibetan government-in-exile.
This Eurasian country is home to magnificent landmarks, beautiful white sand beaches, amazing restaurants and museums filled with artifacts which display the richness of Turkey’s history. Must-see sites include the Fairy Chimneys in Cappadocia, Ararat, bordered by 8 countries, Dead Sea Beach, beaches in the Turkish Riviera, Ortaköy Mosque, Bosphorus Bridge and the Hot water springs in Hierapolis (World Heritage Site). The country has more than 280 archaeological sites.
Historic Centers of Florence and Rome (World Heritage Sites), Piazza del Duomo (Milan), Colosseum, Trevi Fountain, Fontana della Barcaccia and Piazza del Campidoglio (Rome), Syracuse and Segesta (Sicily). Also, a couple vacation isn’t complete without Venice and its Lagoons (World Heritage Site).
Beaches of Sardinero, Campoamor (little secluded), Platja de la Nova Icària (crowded) and Valencia, Alhambra (Granada), Plaça Reial (Barcelona), Guggenheim Museum Bilbao, Picos de Europa National Park, Pamplona and of course Alcalá Street, Plaza Mayor and Gran Vía (Madrid).
There are so many avenues for recreation that you wouldn’t be able to cover them all. Must-see sites include Disneyland, Getty Center, Hollywood Bowl, Santa Monica Pier, Griffith Park, Walt Disney Concert Hall, Hollywood Walk of Fame, Hollywood Boulevard, Hollywood Wax Museum, Olvera Street, Knott’s Berry Farm, Venice Boardwalk (something definitely different!), Universal Studios (entry around $70), Venice Canals and of course, Manhattan Beach.