15 Cheap Weekend Getaways to Take in 2020/21 [U.S., Mexico & Dominican Republic Ideas]

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If you’re short on time and money but are desperate for a quick trip away, you need to find somewhere that is easily accessible and won’t cost the earth.

Whether you’re looking to unwind on a beautiful beach after a busy working week, or are on a mission to discover the best places to eat and drink, these 15 destinations are perfect for a cheap weekend getaway.

Cheap Weekend Getaways

Cancún, Mexico

Cancun
Cancún beach. Image Credit: Mariamichelle via Pixabay

Cancún is warm year-round, and you can bag yourself a bargain in late spring, summer, or fall outside of the high season months of December to April. Located in the Gulf of Mexico, Cancún is a short hop from many southern and eastern U.S. cities, and with round-trips from Atlanta or New York starting at $200, it’s the perfect weekend beach escape.

Treat yourself to an all-inclusive hotel so you know what your upfront costs will be, or book a room-only rate and eat like a local at cheap food stalls. The beaches are all free to visit, and you could even take a travel cooler with a picnic if you’re on a serious budget.

Where to Stay

  • Aloft Cancun: Located in the Hotel Zone, this 4-star hotel has an outdoor pool, roof garden, gym, and steam room. The beach is just 200 yards away, and guests can enjoy the on-site restaurant and bar. Prices run around $218 or 30,000 Marriott points per weekend
  • Flamingo Cancun Resort: This 4-star beachfront hotel is 20-minutes from downtown Cancún. All rooms provide lagoon or sea views, and facilities include 2 outdoor pools, a restaurant, and a bar. A stay at the Flamingo Cancun Resort runs around $283 per weekend (all-inclusive).

Chicago, Illinois

Chicago
Chicago skyscrapers and parks. Image Credit: Nancy Bourque via Pexels

With free museums, music, parks, and beaches to explore, Chicago is great for a cheap city break. Book your flight at least 3 weeks before your departure date and visit outside of summer for the best rates. You’ve got the choice of flying into Chicago O’Hare International (ORD) or Chicago Midway International (MDW).

Before your weekend break, check out the tourism board’s 10 free things to do for the month ahead, including scheduled exhibitions and events.

Where to Stay

  • Warwick Allerton Chicago: This reasonably priced 4-star hotel can be found along the Magnificent Mile, in the heart of downtown Chicago. Navy Pier and Millenium Park are around 1 mile from this boutique hotel. A stay here will cost around $228 per weekend.
  • Club Quarters Hotel, Wacker at Michigan: This historic 4-star hotel is located inside Mather Tower and overlooks the Chicago River. Rooms are stylish and offer river or city views, and Grant Park is just a 10-minute walk away. Staying here will cost you around $258 per weekend.

Estes Park, Colorado

Estes Park
Estes Park. Image Credit: profnohair via Pixabay

Estes Park is the perfect place to base yourself for a weekend exploring the Rocky Mountain National Park. Take the Estes Park Aerial Tramway to the summit of Prospect Mountain or hike one of the many trails within the national park. Estes Park attracts visitors year-round — hiking in the warmer months and snowshoeing or cross-country skiing during the winter.

Accommodation can be 50% cheaper outside of the summer season, and you’ll be sharing your spectacular surroundings with fewer people.

  • Nicky’s Resort: This 2-star resort is next to Fall River, just 2 miles from the north entrance of Rocky Mountain National Park. There’s a restaurant, outdoor swimming pool, and sun terrace. A stay here will start around $175 per weekend.
  • Murphy’s River Lodge: This 3-star lodge is a 5-minute walk from the town center and has an indoor swimming pool and hot tub. BBQ facilities are provided, and breakfast is included in the rate. Staying here will cost you around $185 per weekend.

Finger Lakes, New York

Finger Lakes
Finger Lakes. Image Credit: Visit Finger Lakes

The Finger Lakes region consists of 11 long, narrow lakes surrounded by rolling hills, forests, and waterfalls. Around a 4-hour drive from New York City, Finger Lakes is the perfect weekend escape from the bustling city. Sample some of the region’s fantastic wine at one of the many wineries or go hiking in the spectacular Letchworth State Park.

Summer and fall attract the most visitors as the orange and red trees look striking against the lake waters. Rent a car from New York City or fly from Boston Logan International (BOS) into Greater Rochester International (ROC) starting at $70.

Where to Stay

Glacier National Park, Montana

Glacier National Park
Glacier National Park. Image Credit: 12019 via Pixabay

Outdoor enthusiasts will love spending the weekend hiking the miles of trails in Glacier National Park. You can also admire the spectacular mountain views, alpine meadows, and waterfalls from the comfort of your car when driving the 50-mile Going to the Sun Road that stretches from east to west of the national park.

Although lodging and park entry fees are the lowest in fall, winter, and spring, you’ll need to consider the weather and avalanche risk if there has been a heavy snowfall. July and August are the most popular months to visit, as most trails and roads are open, along with general facilities and campsites. Camping is the most affordable way to experience Glacier National Park or take a look at the accommodations below that are situated in gateway communities.

Where to Stay

  • Historic Tamarack Lodge and Cabins: The lodge is 8 miles from the west entrance to Glacier National Park. All cabins feature full-equipped kitchens, and the lodge has a seasonal restaurant and espresso bar. Prices run around $191 per weekend.
  • Glacier Peaks Hotel: Located in Browning on the eastern edge of the Glacier National Park, this 2-star hotel offers comfortable rooms, including breakfast. Guests may use the indoor swimming pool, hot tub, and fitness center. A weekend stay here will start around $265.

Hot Tip: You can enjoy the spectacular mountains, lakes, and forests of Glacier National Park from the comfort of your home — the park is featured in our guide to virtual tours of iconic U.S. national parks!

Gulf Shores, Alabama

Gulf Shores Alabama
Gulf Shores. Image Credit: Gulf Shores & Orange Beach Tourism

Gulf Shores is located at the southernmost tip of Alabama and boasts sparkling white sandy beaches made from quartz crystal. When you’re not splashing around in the turquoise water, you can cycle through Gulf State Park, take a dolphin-watching cruise, or go fishing.

As a beach resort, summer is the busiest time for visitors with the highest rates for accommodation, but spring and fall can still be warm enough to enjoy a weekend beach break with fewer crowds. Staying in a beachfront hotel will set you back more than inland accommodation, so if you’re on a budget, opt for the latter.

Where to Stay

  • Comfort Inn & Suites: This 2-star hotel is 200 yards from the beach and is close to Gulf State Park. The hotel has an outdoor swimming pool, fitness center, and rates include breakfast. A weekend will cost starting around $224 or 50,000 Choice Privileges points.
  • Quality Inn Ft. Morgan Road-Hwy 59: This 3-star hotel is 1.5 miles from the beach and has an indoor pool. Rooms feature a refrigerator and microwave and include breakfast. Rates start around $102 or 50,000 Choice Privileges points per weekend.

Las Vegas, Nevada

Las Vegas
Las Vegas. Image Credit: suyashdixit via Pixabay

When you can book a round-trip flight from Los Angeles for as little as $65 or from Chicago for $140, Las Vegas can be an excellent destination for a weekend getaway. Although the city is all glitz and glamour, there are ways to ensure that you don’t spend all your cash before you get a chance to hit the slot machines.

Check the Las Vegas convention calendar before you book your trip to plan around any large conventions that might bump-up hotel prices. Stroll along and enjoy the free entertainment along the famous Las Vegas Strip, but don’t choose a hotel right in the heart of the action, as these charge the highest nightly rates.

Unless you’re planning to take a day trip to the Grand Canyon, you won’t need to rent a car for the weekend as you can walk, ride the bus, or take a cab along the Strip. For the cheapest flights and hotel rates, visit in the low season (February) and check out Tix4Tonight for cheap last minute show tickets.

Where to Stay

  • Red Roof Inn Las Vegas: This 2-star hotel is 1.5 miles from the Strip and features an outdoor swimming pool and gym. Comfortable rooms are equipped with a small kitchenette and seating area, and pets are permitted on request. Rates start at $195 per weekend.
  • La Quinta by Wyndham Las Vegas Airport N Conv.: Just a 5-minute drive from Caesars Palace, this 3-star hotel is close to the Strip and offers a free shuttle from McCarran International Airport (LAS). Guests can enjoy the outdoor swimming pool and continental breakfast that is included in the rate. This hotel can be book on points for 30,000 Wyndham Rewards points per weekend or $231.

Hot Tip: Don’t miss a chance to earn perks — like free slot play and discounts — at over 13 Vegas casinos, including Bellagio, Luxor, Mandalay Bay, and MGM Grand. Check out our guide on everything you need to know about the M life Rewards loyalty program.

Memphis, Tennessee

Memphis
Memphis. BruceEmmerling via Pixabay

Memphis is the home of blues, soul, and rock and roll, with former residents including Elvis and B.B. King. The cheapest months to spend a weekend in Memphis are November and February, when no large events are taking place, but there are still tons of bars and restaurants hosting live music that will be sure to get your toe-tapping.

If you’re visiting on a budget and want to see where Elvis Presley once lived, Graceland offers free admission to the Meditation Garden daily from 7:30 a.m. to 8:30 a.m. Round-trip flights from Denver cost around $110 and $200 from Los Angeles.

Where to Stay

  • Best Western Plus Gen X Inn: This 3-star hotel is 2 miles from downtown Memphis and a 15-minute drive from historic Graceland. Rooms include a refrigerator, coffee machine, and include breakfast in the rate. Weekend rates start around $285 or 40,000 Best Western Rewards.
  • La Quinta by Wyndham Memphis Downtown: Located in downtown Memphis, this 3-star hotel is close to the Sun Studio and Rock ‘n’ Soul Museum. Guests may use the indoor swimming pool and fitness center, and rooms include breakfast. A stay here starts at $295 or 60,000 Wyndham Rewards points per weekend.

Hot Tip: Memphis is a popular stop on The Great River Road, a 3,000 mile stretch along the Mississippi River from Minnesota to Louisiana.

Myrtle Beach, South Carolina

Myrtle Beach
Myrtle Beach. Image Credit: Visit Myrtle Beach

Myrtle Beach is the ideal destination for an affordable family beach vacation, with cheap accommodation, budget-friendly dining, and many free activities. Late fall to early spring is off-season, so you may not want to take a dip in the ocean, but you will find the cheapest hotel rates.

Myrtle Beach International Airport (MYR) is close to the coastline and many other city attractions, and you can jet in from Philadelphia for around $95 or New York for $115. Rent an apartment or hotel with a kitchenette and take picnics to the beach to save money on dining out.

Where to Stay

  • Vancouver Motel: Located on the beachfront, this 2-star motel has comfortable rooms with a pool or ocean view. BBQ facilities are available to use, and each room has a refrigerator and microwave. Rates start around $111 per weekend.
  • Caribbean Resort Myrtle Beach: This 3-star hotel has an oceanfront pool and a waterpark, including a lazy river. Most rooms have a fully-equipped kitchen and private balcony with ocean views. A stay here starts around $134 per weekend.

Olympic National Park, Washington

Olympic National Park
Olympic National Park. Image Credit: travisbd via Pixabay

Olympic National Park consists of nearly 1 million acres of rugged coastline, snow-capped mountains, and lush rainforests. Visitors must pay to enter the park; however, if you visit on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, National Public Lands Day, Veterans Day, or the first day of National Park Week, entrance to the park is free.

Spring is an excellent time to visit for wildlife watching, and accommodation rates are cheaper than the popular summer months. Drive the Olympic Peninsula Loop and stop at the driftwood-dotted Ruby Beach, stroll through the Hoh Rain Forest, or hike along Hurricane Ridge. To start exploring, fly from Los Angeles to Seattle for $115 or from Chicago for $160.

Where to Stay

  • Olympic View Inn: Located 15 miles from Port Angeles, the Inn provides comfortable rooms with refrigerators and microwaves. Room rates start around $124 per weekend.
  • Lake Quinault Lodge: The 3-star lodge is located on the edge of Lake Quinault, and has an indoor pool and sauna. Some units feature a kitchen and some have balconies. Rates are a little higher than others on the list, start at $310 per weekend.

Providence, Rhode Island

Providence Rhode Island
Providence. Image Credit: Michael Denning via Unsplash

If you’re a bit of a foodie, then Providence should be high on your list for a weekend break. Downtown Providence is home to some fantastic restaurants such as Oberlin, serving mouthwatering Rhode Island Seafood. In between discovering the city’s burgeoning food scene, marvel at some amazing architecture, including the Fleur-de-Lis Studios and Providence Athenaeum.

Fall is a lovely time to visit Providence with the beautiful colors of the fall foliage. If you visit up until early November, head to the river for the famous WaterFire Festival. Round-trip flights to Providence from Charlotte start at $75 and start at $115 when flying from Orlando.

Where to Stay

  • Christopher Dodge House: This 3-star bed and breakfast is just over a mile from Brown University and a 10-minute walk to Waterplace Park. Rooms are elegantly decorated and include a superb breakfast in the rate. Rates start at around $246 per weekend.
  • Hilton Garden Inn Providence: Overlooking Providence Harbor, this 3-star hotel is 1.5 miles from the historic district. Guests may use the on-site fitness center and restaurant. A stay here starts around $376 or 88,000 Hilton Honors points per weekend.

Punta Cana, Dominican Republic

Punta Cana
Punta Cuna beach. Image Credit: Valentin Valkov via Shutterstock

Relaxing on Punta Cana’s white sandy beaches is the perfect way to unwind after a busy week. With just a 3-hour time difference from the West Coast U.S. and even less from the East, you can enjoy a weekend in Punta Cana knowing that you won’t spend the duration adjusting your body clock.

Hotels offer great value, and many are 5-star all-inclusive, so you can enjoy a luxurious weekend without budgeting for additional food and drink. Avoid peak season from November to January for the cheapest flights to Punta Cana, which run around $350 from Boston and $320 from Chicago.

Where to Stay

  • Occidental Caribe: This 4-star beachfront resort has 2 lagoon-style swimming pools, 6 restaurants, a spa, and a casino. There’s plenty of entertainment for kids and an adults-only club. A weekend at this all-inclusive resort starts around $366 per weekend (all-inclusive).
  • Catalonia Punta Cana: Located on Bavaro Beach, this 5-star all-inclusive resort has fabulous reviews and 10 restaurants. The hotel has a wide range of day and evening activities, including water sports and live music. A stay here starts at $326 per weekend, which is the all-inclusive price.

Salt Lake City, Utah

Salt Lake City
Salt Lake City. Image Credit: f11photo via Shutterstock

Spend a weekend exploring the Great Salt Lake — the largest lake west of the Mississippi River — and take a free guided tour of Temple Square. Whether you’re visiting in winter to hit the slopes or in the warmer months to take the scenic aerial tram to the top of Hidden Peak, there’s so much to see and do in Salt Lake City.

The cheapest weekends to visit Salt Lake City are in September and October before the skiers arrive. Fly from San Francisco for around $125 or Washington, D.C. for around $250.

Where to Stay

  • Econo Lodge Downtown Salt Lake City: This 2-star hotel is located 1 mile from Temple Square and is 3.8 miles from the airport. Rooms include a continental breakfast, and guests can use the outdoor pool (seasonally). Rates start at around $119 or 16,000 Choice Privileges points per weekend.
  • Hyatt House Salt Lake City Downtown: This 3-star hotel is located in Downtown Salt Lake City and offers guests comfortable accommodation, including breakfast. Facilities include an outdoor swimming pool, hot tub, and fitness center. A stay here starts around $252 or 16,000 World of Hyatt points per weekend.

Hot Tip: Salt Lake City International (SLC) was found to have the best average TSA security wait times so getting home from your trip will be a breeze.

San Antonio, Texas

San Antonio
San Antonio. Image Credit: Sean Pavone via Shutterstock

Historic sights and fantastic shopping and dining make San Antonio the perfect destination for a weekend city break. Stroll along the cafe-lined River Walk or discover 18th-century frontier missions, including the Alamo. Visit between November to April to avoid the crowds and take advantage of the low season hotel rates.

Visitors from New York can fly round-trip to San Antonio starting around $190. Staying downtown, you’ll be looking at a minimum nightly rate of $200 plus, so stay slightly further out if you’re on a budget.

Where to Stay

  • Quality Inn Downtown – near Market Square: This 2-star hotel is just 5 minutes from the city center and 2 miles from the River Walk. The hotel has an outdoor swimming pool, and room rates include breakfast. Rates start around $187 or 24,000 Choice Privileges points per weekend.
  • Best Western Plus Downtown North: Located in the east district of San Antonio, this 3-star hotel is 2 miles from the Alamo and River Walk. Hotel facilities include an outdoor pool and fitness center, and rooms come with a fabulous breakfast. A stay here starts around $252 or 40,000 Best Western Rewards points per weekend.

Savannah, Georgia

Savannah
Savannah. Image Credit: MADSkills via Pixabay

Savannah is considered one of the most haunted cities in the U.S., but its eerie reputation forms part of the intrigue for many visitors. Spot dolphins off the coast of Tybee Island or ride the free Belles Ferry across the Savannah River. At the heart of the city is the old district, with quaint cobbled streets and tree-lined roads dripping with silvery Spanish moss.

There’s lots of history to discover in Savannah, and many of the monuments and museums are free to enter. Spring is the busiest time to visit, and the cheapest hotels and flights into Savannah/Hilton Head International Airport (SAV) can be booked in January.

Where to Stay

  • Planters Inn on Reynolds Square: This 3-star boutique inn is located in the historic district just a few blocks from River Street and a short walk from the city market. The hotel has an on-site restaurant, bar, and fitness center. Rates for a weekend start around $295.
  • Best Western Savannah Historic District: The hotel is a 2-minute walk to the riverfront and 700 yards from the Belles Ferry landing. Guests may use the heated outdoor pool and fitness center. You can book a stay here starting at $327 or 48,000 Best Western Rewards points per weekend.

Final Thoughts

There are plenty of places that you can enjoy a weekend getaway without breaking the bank. Savvy travelers will save money by booking off-season when flights and accommodation are at their cheapest. Check the tourism board’s calendar to see if there are any major events or conferences taking place that weekend that are likely to inflate accommodation rates and avoid staying right in the middle of town.

Take advantage of free attractions such as live music, museums, and galleries, and book a hotel with a kitchen or at least a refrigerator so you don’t need to eat out 3 meals a day.


Frequently asked questions

How do I get a cheap weekend getaway?

There are plenty of places that you can enjoy a weekend getaway without breaking the bank. Savvy travelers will save money by booking off-season when flights and accommodation are at their cheapest. Check the tourism board’s calendar to see if there are any major events or conferences taking place that weekend that are likely to bump-up accommodation rates and don’t stay right in the middle of town.

Where can I go on a budget in the U.S.?

Las Vegas, Myrtle Beach, and Savannah are all great destinations for a budget weekend break. See the full list of 15 destinations in this article.

Amar Hussain

About Amar Hussain

Amar was born and raised in England, UK, embarked on an 11 country round the world gap year after graduation and then became well and truly hooked. The first gap year inspired a second which ended up being a 23 country down-the-world trip from Canada to Antarctica. Since then Amar has endeavored to turn his gap year into a ‘gap life’ and has spent the last 10 years traveling the 7 continents.

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