Pinch Pennies or Splurge: Summer Options for the Cost Conscious and Big Spender

Jun 22, 2018Reading Time: 6 min

Today is officially summer which means we are officially looking out for the best ways to spend your summer vacation at affordable prices. Whether you are looking for a weekend getaway or great escape making trips memorable and affordable can be a challenge. At we found some options for those penny pinchers out there looking for unique ways to get away as well as some splurge-worthy trips for big spenders trying to find “once in a lifetime” travel opportunities.

If you have a set budget in mind or are just looking for inspiration by the end of this article you can decide whether you are going to stay cost conscious this summer with your travels or become a big spender with these vacation ideas.

Affordable Local Travel

lounges by the pool


Do you already live in a vacation destination? Whether you are a Palm Springs or Palm Beach native, living in a location that is a vacation spot brings about some feelings of monotony. But have you every truly vacationed in your hometown?

Google “things to do in [fill in the blank]” and see what tourist attractions, events, and locations come up. Perhaps there is a local art festival or famous restaurant you didn’t know what on Diners Drive-ins and Dives that is in your own backyard. If you can’t afford to go away on a vacation, staycations are great ideas. Check out travel sites and see what they suggest in your area for people visiting and explore for yourself. Even if you have lived there for years there can still be a lot to explore as a tourist in your own city to enjoy a vacation on a budget.

flight on tarmac

Domestic trips

Getting on a plane doesn’t have to mean balling out and traveling to exotic places. Even domestic trips and flights in the US can create epic vacation getaways. There are 50 states, put a map on the wall grab a dart and fling away to decide which affordable domestic trip you should go on. International flights on average cost upwards of $991.82 where a domestic flight costs on average $339, if you want to steer clear of spending a grand to get to your destination, look for domestic trips you will love.

Ride the waves at beaches in SoCal or visit Memphis for some rhythm and blues. When you think of taking a vacation it doesn’t have to mean jet-setting to far off lands and emptying your bank account. With affordable trips right in America’s backyard, you can explore new cultures, food, and music domestically.

in the car driving

Long weekends

While everyone would love to take a looooonnnnggg vacation, sometimes a 2-week trip is a little expensive. From the cost per night at the hotel to meals out every day for 14 days, vacation costs add up. Limit yourself and the family to a long weekend away. Take a Friday off and drive to a nearby location for a long weekend to get your summer vacay feels.

A 3-night stay is more affordable on all fronts from travel costs (a full tank of gas vs. flight costs) to food (a handful of meals out and you can pack snacks). While it may not be the extensive trip you are looking for it can be enough to get your summertime fill and relax. Plus with all the money you save you can take a few long weekends throughout the summer without any guilt!

Elaborate Excursions

european beach

Europe Bus Tour

Europe is calling you this summer and you want to see it all. And now you can! If you have been saving up and are looking to spend some dough on a memorable European travel experience than look no further. You can explore France, The Netherlands, and Germany or perhaps take some time and visit Italy, and Switzerland with packages from Compass Holidays. These packages may be a bit pricier, but you get it all, continental breakfast daily, transportation, sight-seeing and city tours in some of the worlds most historic and culturally captivating places.

Make your way to Europe and get to the starting point with an international flight and pay $630 a person for a 7-day trip you will never forget. You may be spending a little extra but you are getting a lot for your money with this extravagant European Bus Tour trip.

temple in thailand

Thailand 10 Day Tour

If Europe feels overdone, you can always go more exotic with a 10-day Thailand trip. Southeast Asia is a perfect getaway for the summer if you are looking to go big this season. This trip includes some daily meals, sightseeing, and daily transportation so you can experience all Thailand has to offer.

While you will have to book your own flights, everything is taken care of in terms of accommodations for around $860 a person. Worth it when you are looking to spend big and travel big with the trip of a lifetime in Bangkok, Chiang Mai, and Phuket!

chinese temple

China Essence Trip

For around $828 a person you can save $1000 on the Essence 10-day China tour. This includes flights and 8-night hotel stay at 5-star accommodations or similar. You can add on extension tours thorough Zhangjiajie or go to Yellow Mountain for 3 days after your trip concludes. With all the options you can turn that 10-day vacay into a 14-day exploration through China.

Hit up Beijing, Shanghai and more with this essence trip and spend your money wisely on this extravagant trip you will never forget. Pinching those pennies for a couple years is worth it to splurge on once-in-a-lifetime memories in exotic places! This summer find your own adventure that fits your budget. For those still penny pinching, don’t forget you can make some memories of your own domestically or in your hometown. Those that are looking to drain some savings on a huge blow-out trip find inspiration with Compass Holidays.