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  • Dominic Miranda

Low-Cost Underrated Summer Travel Ideas

World map with camera and passport

Introduction to Underrated Summer Travel Ideas:

With summer quickly approaching, some are beginning to look ahead to the warmer months to form their travel plans and take advantage of the pleasant weather. It may be in your best interest to start planning sooner rather than later, so you can carefully consider where you will visit and how you will spend your time there. Money and time can be spent better when thought about in advance. Tourists make countless mistakes when enjoying a vacation in a new destination, eventually leading to unnecessary spending. To help with that, this article provides some underrated summer travel ideas and a bonus set of underrated destinations that deliver a great experience even if you are on a budget. So many amazing experiences are missed out on simply because they do not receive the amount of attention they deserve. Traveling does not have to break the bank, nor does it always lead to a tourist trap!

Plan Well Ahead:

Planning your summer getaway far in advance is an effective and easy way to save money. While many others procrastinate and are forced to schedule themselves according to the availability of tickets and/or time slots, you can remain proactive and schedule your events while they are still empty. In that case, it sets the tone for a relaxing and well-prepared trip. Check airfares periodically as they get updated to get the cheapest flights. 

Enjoy locals’ cuisine

A great way to get an authentic taste of the location you are visiting is to go to restaurants that are not targeted toward tourists. This would require a good amount of research, but these restaurants likely will charge prices similar to that of what the locals pay when going out. This provides a unique and underrated experience when choosing restaurants in a new place. Fine dining cuisine is geared more toward allowing people who are not familiar with it to enjoy it. 

Travel in a Larger Group:

What is great about going with a large group of people is that everyone likely has their plans and people split up according to them. You can meet with people and split on housing and transportation costs, which significantly drive down overall travel costs. Also, everyone contributing to ideas can help you decide what is a fun activity to do that also makes your budget. Some people in your group also may have more experience or knowledge who can help direct you to places that fit your interests. 

Look for low-profile attractions/locations:

If you would like to visit a major city, they are each equipped with underground attractions that only experienced travelers and locals know about. Research the different attractions that are available in the area and visit blogs that highlight the hidden gems that locals tend to enjoy. You may also find these through socializing with the locals to discover places where they enjoy spending time for a low price. 

Albania Riviera: Underrated Travel Destination
Albania Bay

One underrated travel destination for each continent:

  1. North America: Guanajuato, Mexico

  2. South America: Sucre, Bolivia

  3. Africa: Maputo, Mozambique

  4. Europe: Albania’s Riviera

  5. Asia: Pokhara, Nepal

  6. Oceania: Tasmania, Australia

Go on a walking tour: 

A great way to get exercise while on vacation is to walk through the more scenic areas. Going on a nature walk or a hike also falls under the same category, and can usually be done for free. Immersing yourself in the natural beauty of a destination on your own gives you the freedom of time. Many guided tours are quite expensive and are on strict time restraints. 

Travel during off-peak hours:

Many locations’ prices increase dramatically with the understanding that they will get much more business during these hours. Try to clear out your schedule in the middle of the week you would like to visit and plan it for then. Going during the middle of the week will allow you to explore during a time when many other tourists will not be there, and you can have more freedom and space to enjoy your vacation uninterrupted. 

Visit when there are no events or major holidays that are celebrated in that place, it would benefit you to visit during this time as there would be much less traffic. Hotel and airfare would be significantly cheaper than these times and you are then able to enjoy public sights better as well. 

Lodge in a non-centralized location:

Staying in a more low-key location while visiting a larger city can be an effective way to spend time and keep on a budget. Nearby towns are usually more quiet, and laid-back and allow you to unwind after a long day of exploring a new location. They also are cheaper, since location and convenience usually factor into the prices of hotels or other lodging like Airbnb. 

Engage in community volunteer work:

Want to give yourself a sense of purpose and belonging at your summer destination? Participate in some volunteer work with an organization working to help the community. Work like beach or park cleanups or working at a food drive, are great ways to meet locals who are familiar with the area, and you can get a closer bond with it. They can provide pointers or recommendations, while also being a great opportunity to make new friends and bonds in the pursuit of bettering their community. 

Shop from local markets:

Another way to get a more authentic feel during your vacation is by visiting local markets to do your shopping rather than shopping at large retail stores. Again, shops in city centers are typically much more expensive and are usually not sourced locally, but from large corporations elsewhere. Local markets are normally much cheaper and allow you to purchase souvenirs that are unique to the culture and are much more genuine than a profit-seeking corporation. 


Overall, traveling does not necessarily have to be expensive. Here, we laid out some underrated activities as well as locations that also contribute to keeping your finances under control. Sometimes, the underrated path tends to be more enjoyable and is a story that is different from most people’s. Low-cost destinations do not equal low-fun. If you are considering traveling, feel free to research some of the locations that were listed earlier and build your dream summer travel plans from there. Good luck!

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