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Tranquil Destinations for the Frugal Traveler

When you’re seeking a peaceful retreat, it’s actually easier to get a good deal because lots of travelers drive up the costs of lodging and other amenities. Whether you seek a remote beach or a serene mountaintop, here are some of the most tranquil and affordable vacations around.


Remote Beaches
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The British Virgin Islands offer some very affordable opportunities. Some of the more remote beaches, such as Brewer’s Bay, Long Bay, Mahoe Bay and Savannah Bay are also very affordable. Tortola and Virgin Gorda are known for offering some of the cheapest vacation packages available.

Kaui is another affordable vacation. The remote Hanakapi’ai Beach is ideal for a day of lounging and picnicking. Lumahai is the ideal beach for watching the sun set. Hanalei Bay offers less crowded opportunities for swimming and laying in the sun.

The Big Island of Hawaii is actually less crowded and more affordable than the smaller islands. Hapuna Beach is home to some of the island’s only white sand beaches, and Kiholo Beach is an ideal place to catch glimpses of local wildlife and take photos of the spectacular views.

Anguilla is another affordable and tranquil beach destinations. Avoid Shoal Bay East, which is packed with tourists, and opt for some of the more remote beaches like Barnes Bay and Rendezvous Bay.

Lonely Mountains
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If fresh mountain air is more appealing than warm, humid tropical breezes, try national parks like Yosemite or the Great Smokey Mountains. Both of these destinations offer the options of staying in a hotel, lodge, cabin or camping out. Campsites include affordable sites for a tent or more equipped campsites for hooking up RVs.

Some of the best deals in the mountain regions is renting a cabin by the week. These destinations offer lots of completely free day outings, such as fishing, hiking, biking, swimming or just enjoying the spectacular views. The best time to visit Yosemite National Park is during the spring and fall, when weather is mild and rates are low. Try to see the Great Smokey Mountains during the fall, when leaf colors are at peak.

Avoid tourist traps like Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge if you’re seeking solitude and affordable rates. Book reservations in Lenoir City, Tennessee or Bryson City for the best rates and fewest crowds.

Serene Cities
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In tourist polls, some of the same cities come up again and again as favorites to visit. Lake Placid, New York; Darby, Montana; Jackson Hole, Wyoming; Vail Colorado; Aspen Colorado; Walland, Tennessee; Park City, Utah; and Ashville, North Carolina consistently rank among the top cities for travel. The key to keeping these spectacular destinations quiet, affordable and enjoyable are:

• Booking plans early to get the best deals
• Traveling during off-peak seasons for lower rates
• Staying in furnished apartments, cabins or condos where you can fix meals
• Opting to spend time enjoying the natural views and avoiding money traps
• Being open to less favorable options, such as accepting a smoking room or doing without a balcony

Travelers who are flexible about when they travel and what kinds of accommodations they demand almost always come out with a better deal than those with high demands. Plus, traveling when crowds are small is far less stressful.

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