We know that taking a vacation is important for our mental health and well-being, but when you take into account the cost of flights, accommodation, and activities, it often falls to the end of our priority list. If you've been deliberating over whether or not you can afford to take a trip, it's time to get smart about the way you plan your trip.
As Forbes points out, a number of key U.S. and international destinations are cheaper than ever to visit and offer a welcome summer break without draining your account. From island hopping via a ferry in Croatia to renting a houseboat on Lake Powell, Arizona, these are the insider spots travel experts swear by.
Yes, you can totally afford to take a vacation if you book one of these four places.
- Lake Powell, Arizona: Renting a houseboat from Antelope Point Marina comes in at about $100 per person per day. Kelly Lewis of Go! Girl Guides recommends checking out Rainbow Bridge, the world's largest natural bridge, from the water.
- Camino de Santiago, Spain: "I completed the Camino Frances Trail (500 miles) only spending $35 a day," says Sherry Ott, founder of Ottsworld. "The trail is easy to follow, and in the summer you won't be lonely; thousands from around the world do the pilgrimage. This slow mode of travel is the cheapest way to see Spain."
- Barbados: The favorable exchange rate means your dollar will go further on vacation in Barbados. Spend a few days lounging on the beach and enjoying the sun.
- Croatia: Island hopping might sound luxurious, but it's surprisingly affordable if you take the ferry. Alyssa Ramos of My Life's a Movie says it's one of the best ways to explore Croatia.
Where do you recommend travelers go when they're looking to vacation on a budget? Share your tips below.