Cheap Weekend Getaways in USA

The Most Affordable Destinations for Short Trips

It’s almost Fall –  check out our Best Fall Getaways by Region for your 2019 Top Fall Destinations with Road Trip directions and tips!

We also focus a little bit more on the Midwest Region in our Best Midwestern Weekend Getaways – featuring road trip directions, distances, beautiful stops and things to do when you arrive.

If you’d like to learn how to travel on a budget and plan your own vacations, check out our Budget Travel Course with detailed info.

cheap weekend getaways in USA

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Taking a weekend and turning it into a short vacation has so many benefits. You get to relax and get away from the every-day. You can see and experience something different from what you’re used to. When you come back home from one of these short getaways, it’ll feel like you were away for a week. Not to mention the lifelong memories you’re going to gain!

But what about if you’re tight on money and can’t afford to spend hundreds or thousands of dollars to get away for 2 days? That’s okay, we’ve all been there. It’s definitely not a reason to stay home. All you need is the right destination with affordable attractions where your money will be better spent than other places. 

To learn some great tips and tricks about traveling on a budget, check out our Budget Travel post!

Now, let’s get to those destinations!

cheap weekend getaways in USA

Road Trips

Firstly, Road Trips are really the cheapest option of travel within the USA. You might take a bit longer to arrive somewhere, but you will save hundreds to thousands of dollars!

Once you’ve picked a destination for your trip, come back here and click the “directions” (desktop) or “larger map” (mobile) on our map below to get your road trip directions to and from any destination in the US.

Cheap Weekend Getaways in USA

cheap weekend getaways in USA


Missouri is definitely a great state to visit with many interesting cities and beautiful nature options. If you want to explore a city, Kansas city and St. Louis have a lot of affordable attractions. St. Louis has more free activities than Kansas City, like the FREE St. Louis Zoo, Museum, Science Center, Forest Park, the Gateway Arch, Sculpture Park and more. Check out all the affordable things to do in St. Louis here. Kansas City is a beautiful city with many attractions like their Zoo, Museums, Union Station and many parks. However some of these are not free or cheap. Another cheap destination in Missouri is Branson with many lodging and attraction options for everyone’s budget. You can find all the top attractions in Branson by clicking here.

cheap weekend getaways in USA


Since the driving distance from many places to Florida will be quite long, Florida might not be the best place for short weekend getaways from anywhere. However, if you’re coming from Texas, Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi, Louisiana, Tennessee or other states less than 7 hours away, then Panama City Beach and Destin would be great options for you. Panama City Beach is our top choice for cheap getaways. You can find a lot of cheap hotels, resorts and motels with condos for under $100 per night. Attractions are plentiful and range from enjoying the beach, pools, playing mini golf and other things. Attractions will range depending on your budget, but it’s all here.  If you want a really quiet and relaxing beach atmosphere and don’t mind renting across the street to save money, check out the beautiful quiet Seagrove Beach, located between Destin and PCB!

If you’re in PCB, make sure to check out our Best Beachfront Restaurant recommendations!

cheap weekend getaways in USA


Vegas might not seem like an obvious choice, but many hotels (off-the-strip) will offer really cheap rooms because they have to compete. Another benefit in renting a room there is that parking is often included so you don’t have to pay extra for that. Vegas isn’t all about gambling and wasting money if that’s how you feel – there’s a lot to see and do like hiking, nature parks, great food and fun. If you take a road trip there, you’ll have a huge advantage by having your car, so that you’re not stuck being on the strip! You can even drive to the Grand Canyon if time allows. Look on the bright side, if you set a budget (that you’re ok with loosing) to play some, maybe you’ll win some money – at least enough to pay for you trip!

cheap weekend getaways in USA


Taking a road trip through Arizona can be both boring and adventurous depending on what you’re into. The Grand Canyon National Park is one of the most astounding things you will ever see if you go. As we mentioned previously, by taking a road trip there you’ll be able to drive around and explore on your own (not be stuck with a group all day). The Grand Canyon is a perfect and cheap trip full of exploration and adventure. Hike trails, camp out and watch the stars, or drive around and take pictures. There are plenty of maps and even videos of trails to check out, some of them lead you to beautiful, secluded waterfalls and caves!

We’ve created a great, FREE & Printable Road Trip Checklist to help you plan and prepare before any road trip vacation. You can get it here.

cheap weekend getaways in USA


Cleveland, Ohio is another affordable short-vacation destination if you’re within driving distance. Cleveland has a lot of art and culture including the Cleveland Institute of Music featuring performances that are often open to the public. FREE Cleveland Museum of Arts and the Cleveland Orchestra offers cheap and even free tickets (under 18) which are great if you have kids. The Great Lakes Science Center is a new attraction opening October 12th 2018 that will be offering many affordable tickets, some being under $10!

cheap weekend getaways in USA

Washington, DC

Washington, DC offers travelers many affordable attractions like the FREE Smithsonian museums and zoo. With 19 museums, gardens, galleries and even a zoo, your trip will be full of educational adventure. The best part – you will save a lot of money by not having to pay expensive admission prices! Check out all the Smithsonian attractions. More cool things to do in Washington, DC include the National Capitol Columns, Albert Einstein Memorial and Tudor Place, a historic house and garden with cheap admissions ($3+, 5 and under are free).

Want to make your vacation more romantic? Then check out our Romantic Vacations for tips on how to create a more romantic trip. All of the featured cheap destinations are perfect for couples, singles and even solo travelers.

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