Top 5 Affordable Summer Vacations

Guest Blog by Alexandra Jacobs

Start making big plans for a summer exotic vacation priced just right. You don’t need to spend a fortune to live large on an exciting summer getaway. Pick a destination out of a hat or take a few tips from the top 5 summer vacations that you can afford.

1. ) New York City

new york city central park

The Essex House and Central Park Lake

A week in the Big Apple can be cost effective and affordable when you plan a thoughtful trip. Trade the expensive New York real estate hotels for the smaller budget boutique hotels and slash your travel bill in half. The New York boutique hotels have emerged as the number one way to take Manhattan with style, grace and some cash left in your wallet when you are done. Keep your recreation and entertainment scaled down to a minimum with these top picks that are budget-friendly or free.

  • The Downtown Boathouse

Kayak rentals are provided free of charge to paddle your way past the impressive NYC skyline. This non-profit organization also provides lockers for your gear, however, guests are expected to bring their own combination lock. If you have some extra change, donations are welcomed by The Downtown Boathouse to keep the attraction up and running for others.

  • Central Park

Walk or jog through the beautiful gardens and take in the sights for free at Central Park. In addition to self-guided tours through the grounds, free performances are held regularly showcasing talent from the theater, dance, poetry and music disciplines.

  • The Ed Sullivan Theater

Get in line for free tickets to the David Letterman Show taped at the Ed Sullivan Theater. The tickets sell out quickly, so be sure to arrive early for admission tickets and get back in line early again to secure a good seat.

2. ) Belize

Monkey Bay Wildlife Sanctuary

Macaws at Monkey Bay Wildlife Sanctuary

Belize vacations take you to same of the best beaches in Central America and some heart-pounding jungle action just minutes away. The best of Belize includes:

  • The Hamanasi Resort

Kick back and relax in this tropical jungle atmosphere fitted with vaulted ceilings, exquisite decor and your choice of waterfront or tree house guest rooms.

  • Monkey Bay Wildlife Sanctuary

Take a walk on the wild side with tours of this impressive facility that caters to the conservation of monkeys, pumas, jaguars and over 250 species of birds.

  • Water Sports

Belize is destination number one to hang out on the beaches and participate in the aquatics. Windsurfing, board surfing, snorkeling, diving and open water kayaking are available to everyone for a solo excursion or participation with a group and certified instructor.

3. ) Jamaica

Mystic Mountain

View from Mystic Mountain's Sky Explorer Chairlift

A Jamaica vacation is priced just right with fabulous four-star hotels stretched along the beaches. Spend the day in the crystal clean waters, then head for the hills for more action and adventure.

  • Zip lines. 

Jamaican zip lines run through the rain forests with multiple platforms and strong harness gear.

  • Mystic Mountain is where you will find the one and only Jamaican Bobsled ride.

Not too slow and not too fast, the Jamaican Bobsled attraction whisks you through the rain forest and delivers sweeping panoramic ocean views.

  • Cooking Classes

The Jamaica cooking classes are the place to learn the art of Caribbean cuisine. Many of the classes are free or offered for a nominal fee. Eat what you make and learn a valuable kitchen skill to last you a lifetime.

4. ) Sharm el-Sheikh

Sharm el-Sheikh

On the Beach of Sharm el-Sheikh

A Sharm el-Sheikh vacation is one gorgeous beach destination with class. Five-star waterfront hotels are affordable and come complete with complimentary non-motorized water sports. Eat, drink and be merry in Egypt’s finest beach city stretched along the sugar sand shores at The Red Sea.

  • Relax in your room or on the beach

Get five-star accommodation at four-star prices at the Crowne Plaza Hotel for spacious condominium-styled sea front rooms.

  • The Hard Rock Cafe, Sharm el-Sheikh

The Hard Rock Cafe is opened for lunch through late night dinners and dishes up the best burgers in town. Located in the downtown section near The Promenade shopping plaza, the Hard Rock Cafe is top quality and budget-friendly dining in Sharm.

  • St. Catherine’s Monastery

The St Catherine’s Monastery is a full day’s excursion and easy to book from your hotel tour desk. Daytime visitor’s will walk through the monastery, visit with the staff and catch lunch in a local restaurant. The evening tour of the region includes a midnight climb up Mt Moses to watch the sunrise from the summit rising at approximately 5:AM in the summer months. After the downward trek, climbers are treated to a brief tour inside the St Catherine’s Monastery attraction.

5. ) Los Angeles

Santa Monica Pier

Santa Monica Pier at dusk.

A summer vacation in Los Angeles takes you to the movie industry attractions, golden beaches and theme parks  all the way down to adjacent Orange County.

  • Stay at The Bonaventure Hotel.

Located just a two minute walk from the Los Angeles Metro train station. Connections on the trains take you to Long Beach, Hollywood and a stop right in front of Universal Studios in North Hollywood.

  • Santa Monica Pier

The Santa Monica Pier is a great place to spend the day for sunbathing, boating, fishing, arcade games and carnival rides. Eat cheap on the pier or walk to The King’s Head English pub for bargain lunch prices and ocean front views.

  • The Hollywood Bowl

Tickets for performances at the Hollywood Bowl should be purchased in advance of your Los Angeles vacation. Box seats are limited down front; however, the bleacher seats are close enough to get a good view of the concert. Shows include classical, jazz, pop rock, and a fireworks display on select summer performances.

Alexandra is a travel enthusiast who loves to write about tourism, beaches, food, and the wonderful things in the world.  She provides her own insights on vacationing to the blogosphere.  If you would like to learn more about her, follow her @alexsjourneys or visit her blog

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