This Is How You Get Paid to Travel - Frugl

This Is How You Get Paid to Travel

Traveling the world is a dream for many of us. The problem is that it’s so expensive, it seems out of reach. But what if you could get paid to travel? Instead of spending thousands of dollars on an international vacation, you can find ways for companies and brands to pay you to travel the world. Doesn’t that sound fantastic?

It sounds like a dream, but there are actually quite a few ways to make money traveling. Some of these methods require a lot of up-front work, while others require commitment and personal sacrifice.

You can get paid to travel by choosing a certain career or pursuing side hustles to help pay for your travel.  Here are all the options to earn money traveling.

How Do I Get Paid to Travel?

There are a few career fields that will pay you to travel. The travel costs will all be on the company’s dime, so it’s free to you. However, remember that if you choose a job that pays you to travel, your main priority will be work, not exploring exotic locales.

Many folks choose a career that pays for travel only to learn that the only foreign lands they’ve experienced are airports and hotel rooms. Some of these jobs aren’t as glamorous as they seem, but if you are brave and adventurous, you can make it work.

The other option for getting paid to travel is starting a side hustle. A professional travel blogger can make a lot of money, but there are many different ways to make your travel dream come true with side hustles.

And of course, if you’re not getting paid to travel, then your only other option is to make sure that you’re doing what you can to save for a vacation, a family trip, or whatever is next to come. Ultimately, the latter comes down to discipline and good money habits.

Careers that Pay you to Travel


Many people will balk at joining the military, especially as a means to travel. However, it’s one of the best career fields for getting paid to travel.

Not only are there training opportunities all over the United States, but there are also trainings abroad as well. Many Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, and Marines get stationed overseas in Europe and Asia, so it’s like you are getting paid to live in a foreign country.

The great thing about the military is that you get to travel almost as soon as you sign up. There are Army bases that conduct basic training in most parts of the country. Still, if you join the Navy, you will most likely get sent to Great Lakes Naval Station and explore Chicago, or you will go to the Naval Station in San Diego and have the opportunity to explore California on the weekends.

Clearly, there are downsides. The United States has been at war for over twenty years, and you may end up traveling to war-torn countries. However, if you are adventurous and feel a calling to serve your county, this might be one of the only ways to see ancient sites in Mesopotamia, like the Ziggurat at Ur.

Remember, though, that with the military, there are no guarantees about where you will go. You go where you get sent. Sometimes it’s an epic experience, and sometimes it’s horrendous. You have to take the good with the bad if you go this route.


Another government career that pays you to live in foreign lands is with the State Department. As a diplomat, you will be stationed at a US embassy somewhere abroad. Newer diplomats tend to get less desirable locations, so if you’ve always wanted to live in underdeveloped countries, this might be a great fit for you. As you work your way up, you can get assignments in developed countries.

It’s not easy to become a diplomat. A rigorous selection process includes a written essay, a role-playing exam, and a written test. However, there are also support positions available in IT, medicine, and general administration. The selection process for these positions is rigorous, but it’s not quite as difficult as that for the actual diplomat.

Although it’s hard to get into it, it’s a great career choice if you want to serve your country without joining the military and see interesting parts of the world.

Flight Attendant or Pilot

If you want to literally get paid to travel, consider getting involved in the aviation industry. Pilots and flight attendants get paid to be in the air, ensuring that everything on a flight runs smoothly.

However, these jobs aren’t as glamorous as they seem. Pilots are highly respected, but it takes years of training to get behind the wheel of an airplane. You need a minimum of 1500 hours of flight experience to earn an airline transport pilot certificate, the minimum requirement for becoming a commercial pilot. Gaining this experience is not cheap. It can cost upwards of a hundred thousand dollars.

Becoming a flight attendant is much easier (and cheaper), but these workers are often underpaid. Some are only paid for the actual flight time, not any prep work, which is ridiculous!

Both of these careers often have quick turnaround times, so it’s unlikely that you will be able to see much of whichever city you landed in before you have to fly back. However, if you plan your work hours with your vacation days and off days correctly, you should be able to find time to explore!

Ship Crew Member

Another way to literally get paid to travel is to work on a cruise ship. The cruise industry always needs workers to help clean rooms, run the many restaurants and stores on board, and assist guests. The downside of working a cruise ship is that you will most likely be working when a ship is docked in cool places.

Another option is to become a deckhand on a cargo ship. It’s a bit harder to find work in this industry, especially since most ships don’t hire US workers, but it’s still possible. Many different jobs are available on cargo ships, from cooks and janitors to engineers to ship officers. Many crew members can take shore leave when the ship is docked in various locales.

Being a crew member on a ship is not easy. It’s dangerous work, and the majority of the world that you will see is covered in the ocean. However, for someone who loves the idea of being on the water and traveling by sea, this is a great option.


Journalists can be sent on assignment all over the world. One of the best things about this field is that it covers a variety of niches. Fashion journalists can be sent to Paris to cover Fashion Week. Food journalists can be sent to cover the scoop on new restaurants or emerging food trends.

Writers can be sent to uncover stories of people living in desperation, the environmental impacts of developing new technologies, and political disruptions in war-ravaged countries. The work runs the gambit from fun entertainment pieces to dangerous journeys to uncover the truth.

Some journalists venture deep into rain forests to learn about the people or animals who call it home, while others stay safe in Hollywood interviewing up and coming stars. This industry is filled with people in thousands of different niches, all reporting on the things that they truly care about.

If you truly have a passion for traveling, you can become a travel writer. This niche of journalism is highly competitive, but those who make it can travel to exotic locations and write about their experiences.  Travel magazines such as Conde Nast often publish epic tales of amazing adventures. Unfortunately, it is harder to get a full-time job at these publications. Many of their content is written by freelancers, but becoming a regular contributor might be enough to make a living.

Teaching Abroad

A final way to get paid to travel is to get a job teaching English overseas. Native English speakers are in high demand in many different countries. You need a bachelor’s degree in any subject and a TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) certificate to teach English abroad. You can obtain a TEFL certification at a variety of online schools, generally for about $500.

Many people use teaching English to backpack through Europe or Asia while having a home base at the teaching location.  There are opportunities available all over the world. However, it will probably be difficult to find assignments in Western Europe or developed Asian countries as a newer teacher. If you dream of living in Europe, try an Eastern city like Prague or Budapest. If you are in love with Asia, look into teaching in Cambodia or Thailand. The competition isn’t as fierce in these countries, and there might be more opportunities available.

Find Companies that Pay You to Travel

Although the jobs listed above are the ones that traditionally have travel opportunities, they aren’t the only ones. With globalism, more and more companies are becoming multi-national. You may find work at a software company in Seattle that sends you to conferences in Germany or at a supply chain company in California that sends you to China to meet your shipping counterparts. You may be an engineer sent to South America to quality control the production of a certain product.

There are too many possibilities to list. If you want to find a career traveling the world, find skills that are in demand globally. Use job search boards like Indeed to determine which career fields require employees to travel and become essential in one of those fields.

Side Hustles that Pay You to Travel

Not everyone wants a career that forces them to travel. Sometimes, we want to get paid to travel on our own! It’s much better to work for yourself and choose your own assignments than to be tied to what a company wants you to do.

Here are a few side hustles you can start that might lead to paid travel opportunities. Remember that you need to put a lot of work in upfront to score these epic opportunities with side hustles.

Start a Travel Blog

Travel blogging is the first thing that pops into most people’s minds when they want to get paid to travel on their own terms. Those with successful travel blogs often get sponsored trips to interesting places, which they then review and write about for their audience.

Travel bloggers earn money by writing about their adventures. This side hustle is always at the top of any list on traveling the world and making money, and for a good reason. It works. It’s the dream.

But what many writers forget to mention is that it also takes a lot of time and effort. Making a travel blog is hard work, and it will take time to get established enough to earn those sponsored trips. It usually takes at least a year or two for bloggers to see any return on their investments. However, those who stick with it through the hard first few years will be able to monetize with ads and affiliates, and as they grow their blogs, they will start earning sponsorship deals and get paid to travel.

Be an Influencer

If you don’t want to go through the hassle of creating a blog, you can try becoming a social media influencer or content creator to get paid to travel.

Influencers are the new rockstars, and becoming one is not as easy as it seems. It takes a lot of content creation, curation, and understanding of the variety of social media platforms available to make it big on any of them.

However, if you are successful at it, you can earn a living by posting to social media. Companies will start paying you to post if you build a following on your travel Instagram of over 100K. You can get sponsorship deals with tour companies, hotels, and more. In addition, you could become a brand ambassador and get paid to promote a certain brand’s products. Some influencers work with travel gear companies, getting paid to show off the latest trends in luggage or travel jackets. There are plenty of ways that influencers can make money and get paid to travel.

Become a Photographer

Being a photographer ranks up there with journalism as a great way to get paid to travel, but with the advent of smartphones and easy access to editing tools, anyone can become a great photographer.

The difficult part is selling your photos and making a living off of your photography. There are a few ways you could go about this. You could become a freelance photographer for a travel magazine and get paid to take great shots for them. You could set up your own photography website and sell prints of your epic travel photos, and you can even post your photos to apps like Instagram and try to become an influencer.

Another way to make money with photography is by selling stock photos. Amazing photos of interesting places are in demand. Upload your best shots to sites like Shutterstock and make money whenever someone uses your photo. A final option is to upload your photos to a print-on-demand website, so people can use them to create t-shirts, mugs, or wall prints. ArtPal is designed specifically for printing works of art, but you may be able to sell your photos on sites like Tee Public as well.

House Sitting

House-sitting can be a great way to cut your travel costs, if not get paid fully for your trip. Rather than paying for lodging on your next trip, use an app like Home Exchange or Love Home Swap to find opportunities for house sitting and house swapping. You can also exchange services, such as pet sitting, for free lodging on apps like Trusted House Sitter. This app matches house sitters who love pets with people who need trusted pet sitters while they are away. They get the pet sitter while you get free lodging.

Many of these apps do have service fees or membership fees, but if you use them often, the cost will be much lower than the cost of lodging. That’s like getting free money to travel!

Become a Digital Nomad

Getting paid to travel is the dream, but they don’t always have to go hand in hand. Instead of getting paid to travel literally, you could find remote work. By working remotely, you can travel wherever you want and get paid for your normal work while doing it.

There are tons of ways to be a digital nomad. You could become a freelancer and write articles for a variety of outlets. You could land a few virtual assistant jobs and help others manage their social media accounts or blog schedules. These digital positions would allow you to work on your own schedule and travel whenever you want. You could also create your own businesses, like a blog or a YouTube channel. The difference between being a digital nomad blogger and a travel blogger is only in the niche. You can write about whatever you want while traveling.

Other digital nomads prefer to work full-time with a normal company, but their jobs are completely remote. Sit in on Zoom meetings from a beach in Belize. Finish that JavaScript program from a bar in Berlin. Work wherever you want, whenever you want with remote work opportunities. It’s not exactly getting paid to travel, but it’s pretty close.

Volunteer Work that Pays for Your Travel

Volunteer work is traditionally unpaid, of course. Still, many volunteer organizations will pay for your airfare, and some even provide a stipend while you are in a foreign country working for them. However, don’t expect to go to fancy cities like Paris and Rome if you go this route.

If you are doing volunteer work, you will likely be heading to countries that need the help. Expect harsh weather conditions and poverty conditions. Volunteer with organizations like the Peace Corps or Volunteer Service Overseas to do good in the world and get your travel paid for.

Getting Paid to Travel

Getting paid to travel is the ultimate dream. Start with the ideas on this list to turn that dream into a reality! This post originally appeared on Savoteur.

20 Cheap Travel Destinations Across America For Fun-Filled Vacations - Frugl

20 Cheap Travel Destinations Across America For Fun-Filled Vacations

91% of Americans are looking to practice better money habits. So when it comes time for a vacation, don’t drain all your savings, or even worse, go into credit card debt. With over 19,000 cities in America, there are many fantastic places for a vacation outside of expensive towns like Waikiki, San Diego, Washington D.C., or Chicago. Below are 20 Cheap Travel Destinations across American to inspire your next fun-filled and budget-friendly vacation.

Before we dive into the 20 destinations, it’s important to remember that if you’re planning on saving for a vacation, Frugl has your back. We make saving for your next vacation, whether it’s to one of the 20 destinations below or not, extremely easy by giving you the right tools you need to create your savings goal, automate your savings, make monthly contributions, and improve your savings routines using science-backed, habit-forming principles. 

1. Florida’s Jacksonville

As the locals call it, Jax is located in the northeastern part of the state, making it a road-trip option for those in the southeastern United States. Whether you’re an explorer, historian, beach, or salt-life lover, Jacksonville has 22 miles of beach (the most of any city in the state!), an extensive park system, fishing, museums, and even a craft beer scene.

There are accommodation options for various budgets with 18,000 hotel rooms across chain hotels, inns, and bed & breakfasts. Also, you don’t have to spend a lot to discover Jacksonville’s beauty, vibrant arts, and culinary scene.  Bike along the Baldwin Trail, a lush, shaded path, before making your way over to Jacksonville Beach, a popular seaside destination where swimming and sandcastles await on its white-sand beaches.

Stop by the Jacksonville Farmers Market, one of the oldest markets in Florida, where seafood, fresh produce, and local delights line the streets. Afterward, walk The Riverwalk, take a scenic stroll along the St. Johns River before dropping into the Riverside Arts Market, a weekly arts festival free to visitors that features live entertainment. Finally, make sure you check out the city’s many fish camps (casual, inexpensive waterside fish restaurants) and try Mayport shrimp, chowder, and other authentic Florida seafood.

2. Florida’s Ocala

If you’ve ever dreamt of sleeping under the stars, add Ocala in Marion County, Florida, to your bucket list! Full of picturesque campgrounds, R.V. parks, charming cabins, and other budget-friendly accommodations, it’s one of many cheap travel destinations that might not be on your radar.

Ocala has so many free things for visitors to do! Stroll through Tuscawilla Art Park in the historic Art District, and enjoy the sculptures throughout nature. Then take yourself on a historical tour of the area, walk around the Ocala Historic Downtown Square or explore the Fort King National Historic landmark. After working up a sweat, kids can cool down at Lily’s Splash Pad or Citizens Circle Splash Pad. Finally, wrap up your trip by attending one of the many local events hosted by the Ocala Recreation and Parks Service, such as monthly outdoor movie screenings and line dancing events at the community center.

3.Florida’s Orlando

While pricey amusement park tickets could bust most vacation budgets, it may be surprising that Orlando actually belongs on a list of cheap travel destinations. With almost 500 hotels in the city, there are many travel deals to be had and tons of free activities. That’s why USA Today ranked Orlando the #1 Most Affordable Vacation Destination Among Top U.S. Cities.

You can get your Disney, LEGO, or Universal Studios fix for free at Disney Springs, Disney Boardwalk, or Universal City Walk, all chock full of tourist attractions.  Nature lovers can explore The Nature Conservancy’s Disney Wilderness Preserve and downtown’s 43-acre Lake Eola Park with no admission fees. Or enjoy free admission to The Charles Hosmer Morse Museum of American Art, Cornell Fine Arts Museum, or CityArts.

4. Idaho’s Twin Falls

Known as The City of Waterfalls, Twin Falls has over 30 of them, including The Niagra Falls of the West, Shoshone Falls, which is even taller than its New York counterpart. While you could spend your entire trip swimming, hiking, boating, or relaxing in Shoshone Falls Park for less than $10 admission, this affordable destination has a long list of free hiking and outdoor sites. For thrill-seekers, activities are reasonably priced, such as renting Snake River kayaks for as little as $15.

According to Idaho Tourism, hotel rates on average are $120 a night, with options even under $100 a night. With lava fields, summer fairs, historical sites, and cowboy culture, there’s something for almost everyone in Twin Falls.

5. Iowa’s Council Bluffs

Perfect for those looking for cheap travel destinations for a family vacation, visitors call Council Bluffs a pleasant surprise. Located on the east bank of the Missouri River, across from the city of Omaha, Nebraska, it’s a great alternative in the region. With 25 hotel options in Council Bluffs alone, there are accommodation options for a range of budgets as well as free and inexpensive things to do.

If you’ve always wanted to stand in two places at once, take a stroll over the beloved Bob Kerrey Pedestrian bridge connecting Council Bluffs to Omaha. Train-lovers will enjoy the free-of-charge Union Pacific Railroad museum featuring 150 years of history and interactive exhibits. Or enjoy budget-friendly family vacation classics like disc golf, mini-golf, bowling, indoor go-karts, public art, and bike trails.

6.Iowa’s Mason City

Architectural lovers and fans of Frank Lloyd Wright will enjoy a getaway to Mason City, one of America’s relatively unknown cheap travel destinations.  Select nights are available for $150 at the Historic Park Inn Hotel, the last remaining hotel designed by Frank Lloyd Wright in the world.

Another Wright-designed property, the Stockman House, is also open for tours for only $10 a person. Or enjoy a self-guided walking tour through The Rock Crest & Rock Glen neighborhood, showcasing the largest group of Prairie School-designed homes on a unified site.

7.Massachusetts’s Berkshires

The Berkshires in western Massachusetts include part of Vermont’s Green Mountains and over 30 towns. Nature lovers, or those looking to escape the hustle or bustle of Boston, or New York City, will fall in love with all the region offers. See why it’s been named one of The 12 Last Great Places by The Nature Conservancy. While the region has luxury resorts and high-end hotels, it is also one of the Northeast’s cheap travel destinations with a wide range of accommodation options.

Besides a nature-lovers paradise, it’s also known as a mecca for the visual and performing arts. Between the MassMoca, Tanglewood Music Center (the Summer home of the Boston Symphony Orchestra), Barrington Stage Company, and the longest-running dance festival, Jacob’s Pillow, there’s so much to see!

You can save money for performance tickets by booking a condo resort stay on Tripbeat by Wyndham, starting at $210 for an entire week. Take your pick of resorts in South Lee, Lenox, Hancock, and Great Barrington. With a fully equipped kitchen, you can cook some of your vacation meals yourself to afford even more concert tickets.

8. Missouri’s Branson

Branson is not only the #1 best value in U.S. travel according to Trivago but is described as the Orlando of the Midwest for its Disney World meets Nashville vibe. Drawing vacationers for over a century to its stunning scenery, outdoor activities, warm people, and a wide range of things to do, it’s not a surprise that 9 million people a year visit Branson.

With 16,500 guest rooms across resorts, brand-name hotel chains, independent inns, cabins, condos, timeshares, and vacation homes, you can find accommodations for your budget. Like other cheap travel destinations on this list, cities with tons of hotel rooms often have great deals available.

While Branson does have over 100 live shows that could empty your wallet, it also offers tons of free things to do. Explore historic downtown Branson on the hop-on-hop-off trolley, check out Branson Landings’ hourly water spectacular show, take in Ozark Mountain views at scenic overlooks, or explore all that Table Rock Lake State Park and Lakeside Forest Wilderness Area have to offer.

9. Missouri’s St. Louis

Home to the iconic Gateway Arch, St. Louis boasts an abundance of free fun and reasonably priced accommodations perfect for those looking for cheap travel destinations in cities. With more than 40,000 hotel rooms ranging from $54 to $248, the average hotel room price in St. Louis is a wallet-friendly $93.

Explore the Gateway Arch National Park and its surrounding grounds or explore the recently renovated Museum at the Gateway Arch, a free hands-on experience. Then, spend the day at Forest Park, where visitors can stop by the St. Louis Zoo,  the St. Louis Art Museum, the Missouri History Museum, or the Saint Louis Science Center. Visitors can stroll through the Laumeier Sculpture Park, one of the country’s first and largest sculpture parks. Every single one of these St. Louis attractions is free, with no admission charge.

10. Nevada’s Las Vegas

With super affordable hotel accommodations, all-you-can-eat buffets, and local casual restaurants, plus a long list of free activities, Vegas is another one of the urban cheap travel destinations on this list.

With over 150,000 rooms in town, there are always travel deals available. With many large resort casinos not relying on room rentals to make money, you can find hotel rates at fantastic resorts for under $100 a night.

Fill your day in the Entertainment Capital of the World touring attractions without paying for admission. Whether it’s seeing Chihuly’s stunning blown glass sculptures, touring a botanical garden, or catching the infamous water fountain show, it’s all available free of charge at the Bellagio Hotel. At night head to historic Fremont Street to watch the pedestrian area studded with more than 14 million lights come alive and check out one of the city’s free concerts with acts like Three Doors Down and Plain White T’s.

11. New York’s Catskills

A go-to escape for centuries, there’s always been magic in a back-to-nature Catskills vacation. Less than 2 hours from New York City and about 3 hours from Boston, you’ll feel away, even if you’re close to home. See for yourself why it’s a Lonely Planet Top 10 region in America.

Long gone are the resorts depicted in Marvelous Mrs. Maisel,  as millennial entrepreneurs, hoteliers, and restaurateurs from New York and other cities help modernize the region once again.  From hotel chains, cabins, small inns, and hotels, there are many budget-friendly options in the region, such as Jesse’s Harvest House Restaurant and Lodge. Opened by former staff at the best restaurant in the country, Michelin-rated Blue Stone at Stone Barns, you can stay in a room for around $125 a night and enjoy a delicious, elevated meal for a fraction of the price.

From month-long free Octoberfest Festivals to hiking infamous Kaaterskill Falls to exploring small towns like Tannersville, NY, and their no-cost Mountain Top Arboretum, there’s so much to do. Art lovers can step into the infamous Hudson River School of Art by visiting the exact public locations of their paintings from 200 years ago. Three of the Art Trail locations are in North/South Lake, a 1,000-acre state park named “America’s First Wilderness” with so many activities you could spend a weekend there alone.

12. North Carolina’s Fayetteville

Known as America’s Hometown for decades, it’s not just one of the most accessible cities on the East Coast (located halfway between New York City and Miami), but its low cost of living translates into a great vacation on a budget.

In Fayetteville, there’s something for everyone. It’s home to two regional parks, more than 1,000 acres of recreation space, trails, lakes, and a new minor league ballpark with affordable tickets.  Chock full of historical sites like The Airborne & Special Operations Museum,  The Fayetteville Area Transportation and Local History Museum, and The African American Heritage Trail, all of which have free admission.

13. Oklahoma’s Chickasaw Country

Tucked into the rolling hills of south-central Oklahoma, Chickasaw Country is a low-budget destination that provides a high-quality outdoor experience. In addition to an abundance of picturesque campgrounds and R.V. parks, the area boasts a wide array of charming boutique accommodations for a serene, romantic getaway.

Couples can stay at Cedar & Stone, Pecan Valley Inn, or Acorn Vacation Homes, with hotel rates under $200 a night on average. The Arbuckle Mountain Range provides not only stunning vistas but plenty of free or low-cost outdoor adventures to keep visitors busy. Hike, bike, or run through the endless miles of trails found in the Chickasaw National Recreation Area to catch glimpses of nearby natural wonders, including the Lake of the Arbuckles, Turner Falls, and Veteran’s Lake.

14. Pennsylvania’s Lancaster County

Located in the heart of Pennsylvania Dutch Country, Lancaster County is a great value destination and within driving distance from Pittsburgh, New York, New Jersey, Washington D.C., and Virginia. There’s a wide range of lodging options with many motels, hotels, farm stays, country bed and breakfasts, and house rentals in the $100 to $150 a night range. Cheeky couples can stay in one of the many accommodations in the town Intercourse, PA.

There really are enough things to do in Lancaster to keep busy for months. For starters, learn about the Amish way of life at Kitchen Kettle Village or Lancaster Central Market, the nation’s oldest continuously operating farmers market. Bike ride along the 14-mile Northwest Lancaster County River Trail or explore Lancaster County Central Park. After you’ve worked up an appetite, go out to dinner at one of the many Pennsylvania Dutch all-you-can-eat reasonably priced smorgasbords like the family favorite Good ‘N Plenty.

15. Pennsylvania’s Pocono Mountains

For more than 50 years, the Poconos Mountains welcomed honeymooners to their famous heart-shaped tubs. But its proximity to major metro areas, endless natural beauty, year-round activities, and wide range of accommodations lands it on this list of cheap travel destinations for families or group trips as well.

The large region offers a range of budget-friendly accommodations from camping, glamping, inns, resorts, and vacation rental deals. You can rent a cabin at Promised Land State Park for about $40 a night or score condo resort rental deals for as low as $87 on Tripbeat.

Featuring many national, state, and local parks, bring a picnic lunch and explore Lehigh Gorge State Park, Prompton State Park, Promised Land State Park, or Tobyhanna State Park, to name a few!

16. South Dakota’s Hot Springs

Escape to this small town that offers so much! Located in the Southern Black Hills, take in all the landscape offers from the historical Mammoth Archaeological Site, Angostura Reservoir State Recreation Area, and Wind Cave National Park.

There are options for every budget with a wide range of chain hotels, R.V. sites, KOA cabins, small inns, and bed and breakfasts.  Couples will love to get away and relax in the mineral health spas and can enjoy adult-only budget-friendly accommodations like Bluebird Mesa Cabins that offers glamping, teepee, and cabin rentals at affordable prices.

17. South Dakota’s Yankton

Both outdoor enthusiasts and history buffs will enjoy the small town of Yankton. Located along the Missouri River, take your pick of water recreation activities, fishing, or exploring the Lewis and Clark Recreation Area, one of the state park system’s most popular parks. Located on the northern shore of the 31,400-acre Lewis and Clark Lake, it features over 20 budget-friendly activities.

The downtown is bursting with history, budget-friendly dining, and breweries and offers a range of accommodations giving South Dakota at least two cheap travel destinations for you to consider.

18. Tennesee’s Smoky Mountains

The Smoky Mountains ranks among the Top 10 Most Affordable Travel Spots by Lonely Planet, only one of two American cities to make the list. Home to not only the most visited National Park in America but the family favorite Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge towns, it’s one of the most popular cheap travel destinations on this list.

Smoky Mountains National Park not only contains some of the tallest mountains in North America, including Clingmans Dome, Mount Guyot, and Mount LeConte, but all of its 500,000 acres can be explored free of charge!  The region is also home to the iconic amusement park Dollywood, a TripAdvisor Best Amusement Park in the World, and Budget Travel’s Best Value Theme Park. Meaning you can make thrilling family memories even on a budget.

19. Tennessee’s Chattanooga

One of the most popular cheap travel destinations for families in the Southeast, it’s been named by Lonely Planet as one of the Best Destinations in the U.S and a New York Times Top 45 Places to Go in the World. While outdoor enthusiasts have been coming here for decades, a recent urban revitalization has drawn a growing number of people to this city tucked between mountains along the stunning Tennessee River.

There are accommodations to meet a wide range of budgets from hip modern hostels, cabins, romantic bed and breakfasts, chain hotels, and even railroad sleeper cars. Explore the city on a bike, pedaling over the longest pedestrian bridge in the world to reach Coolidge Park, or hike the stunning mountains at  Point Park or Coker Creek Falls.

20. Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley

Even in high-cost of living areas, you don’t need to go far to find cheap travel destinations! If you’re one of the 6 million people who live in the Washington D.C. metropolitan area, you don’t need to spend an arm and a leg for a weekend getaway or fun-filled family vacation. About 75 miles from D.C., the Shenandoah Valley features a national park, caverns, history, water parks, music, art festivals, wineries, breweries, and distilleries.

Go on a day-long road trip along the 105-mile Skyline Drive to marvel at the Blue Ridge Mountains and its vistas. Next, explore the Shenandoah National Park’s 500 miles of hiking trails or 200,000 acres of protected lands for $30 a car. Then, retire back to a wide range of chain hotels, cabins, campsites, or resorts like Massanutten, the Mid-Atlantic’s Premier Four Season Resort Destination, where you can score condo rental travel deals from a timeshare owner for as low as $100 a night.

These 20 Cheap Travel Destinations will be waiting to welcome you on your next road trip, couples getaway, family vacation, or honeymoon!  You don’t need a lot of money to make memories. There’s no need to blow your hard-earned savings to explore our beautiful country. Instead, you can save money by visiting off the beaten path towns, booking resort deals, or filling your days with inexpensive and free activities!

This post originally appeared on Savoteur.