Summer is well and truly here, which for most of us means one thing: vacation. If you’re still searching for the perfect getaway spot, here are five fun-filled and surprisingly affordable destinations to consider.
Step inside this historic walled city and you’ll be forgiven for thinking you’ve travelled much further afield. Thankfully, Quebec’s hotels are much more affordable than their European counterparts, and prices are in wallet-friendly Canadian dollars. Flying or arriving by train? Skip the rental car and book a room in the heart of Old Quebec - this walkable city’s cobbled streets are best explored on foot. After a busy day walking, don’t forget to pamper your feet... Pack a pair of summery Zaza flip flops and you’ll never want to wear hotel slippers again! On summer evenings enjoy free outdoor concerts at the picturesque Edwin-Bélanger Bandstand. (Pro tip: make like a local and pack yourself a picnic of baguette, cheese, and French wine.)
Music City has long been known as the country music capital, but lately it’s Nashville’s fun and affordable food scene that’s capturing attention. You’ll find lots of international options to choose from, but for a true taste of Tennessee, sink your teeth into the spicy “hot chicken,” indulge with southern-style biscuits, or sip (iced) fruit tea. Of course Nashville’s music will always be the top attraction, and the hottest ticket in town remains the Grand Ole Opry. Over ninety years old and counting, the Opry is your chance to hear live performances by country music greats as well as some of today’s biggest stars: think Keith Urban, Carrie Underwood, and Martina McBride.
Warm water is not the first thing that springs to mind when you think Atlantic Canada, but this Canadian province’s beaches are famous for their balmy temperatures. How warm? Up to 29℃ (84℉) - much warmer than most New England beach destinations! From cozy cottages, to charming inns and popular hotel chains, you’ll find a wide range of accommodation options starting at under $100 Canadian per night. Add to that friendly locals, delicious lobster, and over 50 beaches to choose from and you’ve got everything you need for a perfect beach vacation.
OK, so this one is a bit of a stretch… London is still one of the most expensive cities in the world, but with the pound at a 31-year low you’ll get more for your vacation dollar than ever before. First-time visitor? Make the most of your stay by exploring some of London’s incredible free museums: see the mummies at the British Museum, check out exciting art at the Tate Modern, or take the kids on a dinosaur hunt at the Natural History Museum (pictured). And whether this is your first trip to London or your tenth, there’s a lot to be said for spending a lazy afternoon people-watching in one of the Royal Parks.
When done right, staycations can be every bit as fun as a getaway - the trick is shaking up your usual routine. Stumped for ideas? Your local tourism site is a great place to start. Whether you opt for a music festival, sporting event, or a walking tour is up to you; it’s all about getting out and trying something new. Now that you’ve saved big by staying close to home, why not treat yourself a little? Staycations offer the perfect opportunity to try that new restaurant your friends have been raving about or to have your nails done. Finally, no summer staycation is complete without at least one movie night: catch a blockbuster at the local cinema, or curl up on the couch with a bowl of popcorn, Netflix and your cozy Nuknuuk slippers.