Inexpensive destinations, to get well away from your daily life and see something special, without draining your savings.

San Juan, Puerto Rico

Just a short flight from Florida or Texas, Puerto Rico is full of natural wonders and historical sites. For instance, Castillo San Felipe del Morror is a fortification built by the Spanish in the 16th century. It’s run by the National Park Service, and you can visit both original and restored buildings. Go in July to see their annual artisans festival.

Montréal, Canada

Quebec is really a taste of Europe in North America. Montréal has French colonial neighborhoods, its own Notre-Dame, and open markets along the Jean Talon. Architecture is king here in this riverside city, especially along the Vieux-Port (Old Port), the original heart of the city. Along the Rue Sherbrook, the city’s most elegant artery, there are dozens of museums, and the Jardin Botanique, left over from the 1976 Olympic Games, is a real treasure of a botanical site.

Cartagena, Colombia

Cartagena is the colorful, bustling heart of Colombia’s Caribbean coast. It was the first Spanish colony this side of the Atlantic, and the first South American colony to break free of Spain. Go in November to enjoy their independence day celebration, which is a wild week of parades and street parties. Their walled city, built in the 16th and 17th centuries, is a world heritage site and worth taking a guided tour.

Washington D.C.

Even if American politics are your least favorite thing, the U.S. Capitol is worth a good week’s visit for the museums alone. All of the Smithsonian museums, and there are 21 of them as well as a zoo, are free to visit. No matter what your passion, you’ll probably find a museum dedicated to it somewhere here.

Inexpensive vacations may seem like an oxymoron to many – fun costs money, in this day and age. But these destinations are all relatively cheap, and all subjectively worth the visit.

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