Budget-Friendly Getaways That Are Perfect for Solo Travel
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Traveling alone doesn’t have to be lonely or expensive. In fact, it can be perfect for travelers on a budget, those seeking adventures and especially those who like to vacation at their own pace.
Solo travel can be as relaxing or thrilling as you make it to be, whether you want to lounge by the beach, hit the slopes, go for a hike or spend the day fishing. Click through for some of the most affordable destinations that can help you save money on your solo trip.
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Myrtle Beach, S.C.
Lodging: $526 for a three-night stay, or approximately $175 per night, at Gulfstream Cottages (through Wyndham Vacation Rentals)
Best time to visit: June through August
Myrtle Beach is a classic destination for a relaxing yet exciting beach vacation. While the beach is the main draw here, so is the 1.2-mile boardwalk, including all of its amusement park rides, unique shops and restaurants, and many other attractions.
Not far from the boardwalk, you’ll also find the Brookgreen Gardens, Hopsewee Plantation and Myrtle Beach State Park. Whatever you decide to do, Myrtle Beach is a great place to explore on your own — no partner or group of travelers necessary.
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Panama City Beach, Fla.
Lodging: $485 for a three-night stay, or approximately $162 per night, at Boardwalk Beach Resort
Best time to visit: May to October
Located in the Florida Panhandle, this scenic beach city is known for its long, glistening white-sand beaches and its popular amusement parks. Solo travelers who love the beach and exploring nature will love taking it all in. And to save money, solo travelers should check out these vacation rental options.
From the shore, you can sometimes even spot dolphins and sea turtles swimming in the ocean. Nearby Shell Island is home to St. Andrews State Park, where you have even more beaches and nature trails to explore. The historic St. Andrews district in Panama City, across the bay, is home to a bustling marina and top-notch seafood restaurants.
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Lodging: $390 for a three-night stay, or $130 per night, at Alpenglow Lodge
Best time to visit: June through September, December to March
World-renowned Whistler is known for its majestic mountains, and they’re perfect for skiing and snowboarding in the winter months. Whistler is consistently ranked as a top ski resort by publications like SKI Magazine and Condé Nast Traveler, and the resort’s village is filled with great restaurants, boutiques and day spas, attracting approximately 3 million visitors every year.
In June, you can still go glacier skiing at Blackcomb Mountain, and the rest of the mountain resort is open for hikers and campers looking to enjoy a slice of summer surrounded by nature. While hiking is popular in the summer, so are bungee jumping, biking and water sports.
The fall is the perfect time to take in some festivals, such as the Whistler Film Festival, Whistler Village Beer Festival and the Whistler 50 Relay and Ultra Marathon. You don’t have to travel with a group or partner to enjoy the lively events that take place year-round at one of North America’s most popular mountain retreats.
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Lodging: $433 for a three-night stay, or $144 per night, at Der Steiermark Condominiums
In the winter, Breckenridge is a skier and snowboarder’s dream, with 300 inches of annual snowfall and weather that’s just cold enough for great snow.
In the summer, Breckenridge is a great place to go on beautiful hikes, ziplining, whitewater rafting or biking. Downtown Breckenridge also has plenty of great bars and restaurants to enjoy, too. There’s no shortage of activities for solo travelers to do on their own.
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Steamboat Springs, Colo.
Lodging: $465 for a three-night stay, or $155 per night, at First Tracks
Best time to visit: June and August, December to March
During the summer, Steamboat Springs is ideal for hiking and cycling along the Yampa River Core Trail. And once winter arrives, it’s perfect for skiing.
For solo travelers on a budget, late March or early April — just before the end of the ski season — is a great time to visit, too. If you love the great outdoors, this is the place to escape to — especially if you’re traveling solo.
Other fun activities include fishing, kayaking and tubing in the summer, as well as ice climbing, dog sledding and snowmobiling in the winter. And for relaxation, there’s nothing better than taking a nice dip at Strawberry Park Hot Springs.
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Lodging: $389 for a three-night stay, or approximately $130 per night, at Bahama Bay Resort
Best time to visit: March to May
The No. 1 most visited destination in the U.S. isn’t just for theme park goers. However, if you do love theme parks, from Walt Disney World to Universal Orlando Resort, this is certainly the place to be. And by traveling alone, you might even be able to afford the ultimate VIP experience.
But, there’s plenty more to do and see near Orlando, including visiting the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex, shopping at The Mall at Millenia, golfing at one of the city’s many top-ranked courses and exploring the vibrant downtown Orlando scene. Traveling alone and taking in all the sights will never get tiring here.
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Pigeon Forge, Tenn.
Lodging: $636 for a three-night stay, or $212 per night, at Arrowhead Resort
Best time to visit: May to October and February
Hiking and cycling conditions are best in the summer, while February is the best time for skiers who want to hit the slopes.
Other activities in the area include fishing and rafting, and there are a number of fairs and festivals to enjoy throughout the year. Some highlights include the annual Dollywood Rock the Smokies concert or the Old Mill Heritage Day. Whether you’re looking for excitement or a bit of peace and quiet, you can find it here on a solo trip.
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Lodging: $850 for a week, or approximately $121 per night, at Whalehead Beach
The Outer Banks, which includes Corolla, is ideal for relaxation. But if you’re looking for adrenaline-filled, adventurous activities, you’ll find plenty here. Most travelers come for the serene and idyllic beaches, while others journey here for horseback riding, hang gliding and all kinds of water sports.
There’s also plenty of sightseeing in the area, including the Kill Devil Hill’s Wright Brothers National Memorial, Corolla’s Currituck Beach Lighthouse or Nags Head’s Jockey’s Ridge State Park.
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Gulf Shores, Ala.
Lodging: $517 for a three-night stay, or approximately $172 per night, at Gulf Shores Surf & Racquet Club
Best time to visit: Year-round, but November to December are ideal for those on a budget
The Gulf Shores have some of the most pristine white-sand beaches, but there’s more to this destination than just the beach. It’s also a haven for shoppers, golfers and people who love being out on the water — fishing and dolphin cruises are popular activities.
More adventurous solo vacationers will love exploring Gulf State Park by Segway, going for a hike or diving. Whether you’re the kind of solo traveler who just wants to lounge on the beach or one who loves to be out and about, this is an ideal place that balances both types of travel.
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Bethany Beach, Del.
Lodging: $403 for a three-night stay, or approximately $134 per night, at Mallard Lakes
Best time to visit: Summer
Bethany Beach is one of those hidden, under-the-radar gems as far as beach vacation spots go. And because there’s so much to do by yourself, it’s a great location for solo travelers seeking a classic beach getaway.
Foodies will love the delicious catches of fresh crab available, both at the restaurants and on crabbing excursions. Shoppers will love perusing the charming boutiques in town. The beaches are the main draw here, of course, but going for a leisurely bike ride, golfing and heading to the nearby Funland theme park are also wonderful activities to do.
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Sun Valley, Idaho
Lodging: $587 for a three-night stay, or approximately $196 per night, at Atelier Condominiums
Best time to visit: Year-round
Dubbed “America’s First Destination Ski Resort,” Sun Valley opened in 1937. Ever since, it’s been attracting visitors not just in the winter but all year-round.
If you love to ski, Sun Valley is a must in the winter time, and it’s especially ideal for solo travelers. No matter what time of year you choose to visit, however, stop by the nearby town of Ketchum. It’s just 1 mile south of the resort — and a favorite haunt of novelist Ernest Hemingway.
It’s also a wonderful place to wander for solo vacationers looking for some culture and great restaurants and bars. In the summer, favorite pastimes include golfing, fly-fishing, whitewater rafting, hiking and biking.
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Palm Springs, Calif.
Lodging: $640 for a three-night stay, or approximately $213 per night, at Riviera Gardens
Best time to visit: January to April
This Southern California desert oasis was a favorite among the Rat Pack back in the day. Today, the city retains a bit of that retro, mid-century modern allure and glamour. It’s the perfect place to escape to on a solo trip to recharge and get plenty of sunshine.
When you’re not lounging poolside, head to the spa, bar, restaurant or nightclub. Coachella Valley, home to the famous music festival of the same name, is also a great place to visit for The Living Desert — a desert conservation — and the Coachella Valley Preserve.
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Park City, Utah
Lodging: $430 for a three-night stay, or approximately $143 per night, at Copperbottom Inn
Best time to visit: December to March, and the summer months
Home of the annual Sundance Film Festival every January, this small mountain enclave is best known for its pristine ski conditions in the winter and its yearly snowfall of anywhere from 300 to 400 inches. You don’t have to be a film star or an Olympic skier or snowboarder to enjoy yourself in Park City, though.
When you’re not busy at either of the two big resorts in Park City — Deer Valley and Park City Mountain — visit the historic Main Street in Park City or the High West Distillery and Saloon. And for more fun in the snow, consider going snow tubing at Gorgoza Park. No matter how you choose to explore Park City, solo travelers will never run out of things to do and places to see.
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Lodging: $441 for a three-night stay, or $147 per night, at TOPS’L Beach & Racquet Resort
Best time to visit: April and May
One of the most popular vacation spots in the Florida Panhandle, this town was once a sleepy fishing village. But now it’s known as the “World’s Luckiest Fishing Village.”
Solo travelers who want an intimate, cozy and friendly type of beach getaway will love it here. It’s a place where people flock to for the beautiful beaches every summer. The beaches, in particular, are bright white thanks to the sand made of pure Appalachian quartz. And, they stay cool in the summer and glisten emerald under the sun’s glow.
When you’re not at the beach, go golfing, visit water parks, go snorkeling and scuba diving, take a boat ride or — of course — do a bit of fishing.
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Hilton Head Island, S.C.
Lodging: $410 for a three-night stay, or approximately $137 per night, at Sea Pines Resort
Best time to visit: Year-round
Hilton Head is the perfect place for the solo vacationer who just wants to take it easy and vacation in style, surrounded by plenty of natural beauty and great food. This 42-square-mile island is all about laid-back living, where you can just relax and enjoy the beautiful 12 miles’ worth of sandy beaches. You can also play golf and tennis, or head to the spa.
There’s an incredible amount of nature to enjoy and discover at the Coastal Discovery Museum and the Pinckney Island National Wildlife Refuge. And, foodies will delight in the uniquely low-country cuisine.
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Hatteras Island, N.C.
Lodging: $506 for a seven-night stay in November, or approximately $72 per night, at Flip Flop Island
Once known as the Blue Marlin capital of the world, this Outer Banks outpost is a beautiful place for solo travelers who want a real island retreat that’s truly laid-back and a bit more off the grid.
It’s a haven for people who love to fish, surf, kite board, wind surf, paddle, bird watch, camp, scuba dive and simply enjoy the beach. Hatteras Island is also home to Cape Hatteras National Seashore and Pea Island National Wildlife Refuge, as well as sand dunes, wide beaches, a maritime forest and marshlands.
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Lodging: $379 for a three-night stay, or approximately $126 per night, at Blue Mesa
Best time to visit: March to April; October to November; and winter months
Telluride is home to world-class ski slopes at the Telluride Ski Resort, making it an incredible destination for skiers. If you’re not in Telluride in the winter, there’s still plenty to enjoy, including the beautiful hiking trails in the San Juan Mountains, such as Bear Creek Falls and Blue Lakes Trail.
Town Park, the Telluride Historical Museum and the Historic Sheridan Opera House are other must-visits. In other words, it’s the perfect place for solo travelers who want a mix of adventure, nature and culture.
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Lodging: $615 for a three-night stay, or $205 per night, at Christophe Condominiums
Best time to visit: Year-round
Just located 1 mile south of the world-famous ski resort of Sun Valley, Ketchum offers easy access to nature and plenty of wonderful bars, restaurants, nightlife and shopping. Adventurous travelers will love hiking, fishing, cycling and horseback riding, too.
Plus, the beautiful nature that surrounds you is a sight to behold. Ketchum is a great spot for solo travelers wanting to get a taste of the great outdoors and get to know locals one-on-one.
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Lodging: $566, or approximately $189 per night, at Gatlinburg Summit
Best time to visit: June to October
This beautiful mountain town is a great place for any type of adventure, from hiking and biking to horseback riding and skiing and snow tubing. It’s also the kind of place where you can do moonshine tastings, tour contemporary art galleries and boutiques, and visit the majestic Great Smoky Mountains National Park.
It’s also home to Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies and the Sweet Fanny Adams Theatre. At the Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts, local artists continuously create works of art.
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Ocean View, Del.
Lodging: $526 for a three-night stay, or $175 per night, at Southhampton
Best time to visit: Late April to mid-May
Although it’s likely you’ll want to spend the majority of your vacation here just relaxing at the beach and the boardwalk at Rehoboth Beach, there’s plenty to do outside of the beach, too.
There’s the Funland amusement park, and in the summer evenings, you can catch a lively show from the Rehoboth Beach Bandstand. Shoppers will enjoy the outlets nearby, and nature lovers will love spending time at Cape Henlopen State Park. Solo travelers won’t ever tire of all the things to do, see, drink and eat in Ocean View.
Costs for vacation rentals were sourced via Wyndham Vacation Rentals for dates in early October 2017 unless otherwise noted. For most destinations, three-night stays were chosen, unless otherwise noted where the minimum stay requirement was higher. All prices are subject to change.