Top 10 US Locations To Travel on a $1001 to $2000 Budget

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These budget-friendly havens across the USA will give you the adventure of a lifetime without leaving your wallet feeling lighter than air. Pack your bags, hit the road, and let the good times roll. Happy travels!

Cheapest Places to Travel in the US

Looking for an exciting and affordable getaway? I’ve got you covered with a list of some of the most budget-friendly destinations in the USA. Whether you’re traveling for leisure or considering a work exchange, these places will let you experience the best of American culture, history, and entertainment without breaking the bank.

If you opt for a work exchange program with Worldpackers, you can further reduce your living costs while immersing yourself in the local community. By trading your skills for accommodation at a local business, organization, or family, you’ll have the opportunity to meet fellow travelers and connect with the locals. Throughout this guide, I’ll also mention specific Worldpackers positions that anyone can apply for. So, get ready to embark on an incredible journey without emptying your wallet!

1. Travel to New Orleans, Louisiana

New Orleans is a vibrant and exhilarating city that stands out as one of the best destinations to visit in the USA. The good news is, it’s also budget-friendly! You’ll find plenty of fun hostels and even have the option to participate in a work exchange at one of them to save money on accommodation.

If you’re a fan of music, art, and lively celebrations, New Orleans is a true paradise. Nestled along the Mississippi River, this city boasts stunning architecture, charming antique shops, bustling music venues, energetic nightclubs, and affordable eateries serving a diverse range of flavorful cuisines.

The best part? Many establishments don’t have cover charges, and you’ll often stumble upon street performances and public art displays that won’t cost you a penny. Don’t forget to explore Jackson Square and the French Quarter, as they are bustling centers of affordable entertainment.

2. Discover Daytona Beach, Florida

Daytona Beach, a favorite among families and college students in Florida, has a lot to offer budget travelers in the USA.

The main attraction here is, of course, the beach, and the best part is that it’s free! Spend hours swimming in the ocean, playing sports on the sandy shores, and soaking up the glorious Florida sunshine without spending a dime.

Besides the beach, Daytona Beach is brimming with affordable international cuisine, free museums, and entertainment venues that won’t break the bank. In the summer, you can even enjoy free outdoor concerts, adding to the city’s vibrant atmosphere.

So, if you’re looking for an affordable and enjoyable destination, Daytona Beach, Florida should be at the top of your list.

3. Save Money in Austin, Texas

As the capital city of Texas, Austin offers a plethora of fun and budget-friendly activities.

Immerse yourself in nature by going for a walk, run, bike ride, hike, boat trip, or picnic in one of Austin’s many national parks and gardens. Some of the must-visit spots include Zilker Park, McKinney Falls State Park, Lady Bird Lake, Barton Creek Greenbelt, Barton Springs, Mount Bonnell, and more. The best part? You can explore all these natural wonders for free!

Austin is also home to scenic drives, captivating museums, and affordable dining options with live music. If you’re a fan of country or blues, you’re in for a treat as Austin is renowned for its fantastic live music scene.

Finding a hostel in Austin for around $30 per night is a steal in the USA. Another great idea is to consider volunteering in Dallas, which is just a three-hour drive away from Austin.

So, get ready to experience the best of Austin without straining your budget.

4. Cheap things to do in Salt Lake City, Utah

Salt Lake City is an amazing place to visit on the western side of the USA. It’s a convenient location for going hiking, camping, skiing, or snowboarding in the nearby mountains, but there are plenty of cool attractions within the city itself.

Cheap car rentals, hotels, and volunteer positions make it affordable to explore Salt Lake City. You can also tour museums, go sightseeing, and relax in the parks and gardens for free. Temple Square, Utah State Capitol Building, Mormon Temple, Liberty Park, and Red Butte Garden are highlights of the city that don’t cost a thing.

5. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on a budget

The busy and historic city of Philadelphia is one of the cheapest places to travel in the USA. It is a cheaper alternative to nearby New York City, and affordable daily transport passes make it easy to explore the city without spending much money.

Catch a sports game, tour a brewery, visit some museums, and indulge in a famous Philly Cheesesteak. Also be sure to see the most famous historic sights, like the Liberty Bell and Independence Hall where the Declaration of Independence was signed in 1776.

6. Save money in Boston, Massachusetts

Many might be surprised to see Boston on a list of the cheapest places to travel in the USA. Massachusetts, and all of New England, are some of the most expensive places to live in the country. However, travelers can visit Boston for surprisingly cheap.

Hotels are a bit pricey, but the capital city of Massachusetts is packed with history and culture that is often free.

Boston’s most famous attraction is the Freedom Trail. This walking route takes you past all the important historic sights that played a role in the country’s battle for independence in the 18th century.

Other free attractions in Boston include Boston Common, Boston Harbor, Harvard Campus, and Boston Public Library.

For a cheap lunch, visit the iconic Faneuil Hall or Quincy Market.

7. Get Affordable Accommodation in Charleston, South Carolina

If there was ever a city to embody the notion of “Southern Charm”, Charleston might be it.

This oceanfront city has colorful and elegant architecture, lush green parks and gardens, and lots of hearty food and friendly locals. There are also multiple lighthouses and historic forts, so Charleston has no shortage of things to see.

You can eat fresh seafood by the ocean, stroll along the beachfront piers, and visit the Historic Charleston City Market.

Other famous sights to see in this beautiful city in southern California include the Battery Promenade and the Ravenel Bridge. Most attractions are affordable or free, so Charleston can easily be enjoyed on a budget.

To have an even deeper cultural experience in Charleston, you can volunteer with Worldpackers. There is one beautiful historic hostel in downtown Charleston that is accepting volunteers. This work exchange has multiple 5-star reviews from past travelers as well!

8. Travel to Savannah, Georgia

Savannah may be one of the most beautiful and cheapest places to travel in the USA. It is certainly a highlight of visiting Georgia, and it is actually the oldest city in the state. This coastal city is set on the Savannah River and is bursting with scenic spots.

Full of charming gardens, green parks, magnificent homes, and historic sights, Savannah is a lovely place to spend a weekend. The cheap hotels make it an affordable destination as well.

Some of the most popular spots in Savannah for free sightseeing include the magical Forsyth Park, the mysterious Wormsloe Historic Site, and the lively and colorful River Street

9. Travel around Albuquerque, New Mexico

Also one of the cheapest places to live in the USA, Albuquerque is a fun place to explore while traveling on a budget.

The city is known for its multitude of interesting museums, many of which are free. The National Hispanic Cultural Center hosts lots of free events and there are often free festivals in the summer.

The historic Old Town of Albuquerque is a must-see as well. Here you can find lots of cheap food with Mexican influences, and you can admire the rustic old buildings.

Another free highlight of the city is the Petroglyph National Monument. This open-air museum has thousands of ancient art on display. For those who love natural history, Latin American culture, and food, and traveling on a budget, Albuquerque is pretty much the perfect destination.

10. Washington DC on a budget

Like Boston, Washington DC is a famously expensive city that you probably wouldn’t expect to see on a list of the cheapest USA destinations. However, I included it because you can actually explore this city on a budget very easily.

Hotels may be more on the expensive side, but you can save money by volunteering with Worldpackers. For example, this Washington DC hostel allows you to work in exchange for accommodation, and take part in free events and pub crawls throughout the city. So you can have an epic time in Washington DC without spending much money at all.

Our nation’s capital is home to so many world-famous sights that you can see for free. From the White House and the Washington Monument to the US Capitol Building and the National Mall, there are plenty of iconic landmarks.

But the best thing to do in Washington DC is to visit the 19 Smithsonian Museums. They are absolutely mind-blowing and you can learn so much. And, the museums are all free!


11. Visit Raleigh, North Carolina

The capital of North Carolina is not only fun for tourists, it’s actually one of the cheapest places to live in the USA. With low taxes, affordable food, rent, and transport, cheap hotels and volunteer programs, this is the perfect city for budget travelers and those looking to move somewhere cheaper in America.

Highlights of Raleigh include the Neuse River Trail which winds peacefully through the wilderness, Pullen Park which has one of the country’s oldest amusement parks, and the art and science museums in the city center.

12. Do volunteer work in Denver, Colorado

Denver is one of the most popular places to travel in the USA, especially among young people and wilderness enthusiasts.

There are countless places to hike and explore nature, and there is also lots of entertainment and nightlife in Denver. There are quite a few volunteer opportunities in Denver, particularly in hostels.

Some of the best free attractions in Denver include the hiking trails of the Rocky Mountains, the local Botanic Gardens and museums, and the famous Red Rock Amphitheatre.

Whether you’re visiting for fun or for hiking, Denver may be one of the coolest cheap vacations in the USA.

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About the Author: Jenny Kristy

Spice Seeker, Recipe Weaver, Nomad Chef |With a passport bursting with stamps and a pantry overflowing with global spices, Jenny Kristy isn't just a cook, she's a culinary nomad. Her travels fuel her passion, transforming exotic flavors into recipes that tantalize and transport. She weaves magic in her kitchen, sharing her adventures through meals that whisper of Marrakesh markets and Tuscan trattorias. From teaching sushi to whipping up Moroccan masterpieces, Jenny ignites wanderlust and connects cultures, one delicious bite at a time.

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