7 Fun, Frugal Vacations for People Over 30

Ibiza, Cancun, Las Vegas… you're over it. Want a more interesting and sophisticated vacation destination where you can relax or go on more meaningful adventures? Here are seven cheap vacation destinations for the over-30 crowd.


Travel close to home and you're never too far away — just far enough to let it go.

1. Puerto Rico

This U.S territory is not only nearby, but cheap to fly to: a plane ticket normally costs under $300. There's also no need for currency exchange, either as the U.S. dollar is all you need. And since your mobile will likely work in Puerto Rico (check your provider's coverage map), you probably don't need a cell phone contingency plan, either.

Awesome places to see include: Old San Juan, Arecibo Observatory, Luquillo Beach, El Yunque Rainforest. There's even a magical bioluminescent bay you can kayak through! San Juan is full of sophisticated restaurants, bars, casinos, and museums to visit, perfect for a true grown-up.

2. Catalina Island, California

Looking for a vacation near Southern California without having to fly to Hawaii or Mexico? Take a ferry (only $37.50 per person) to Catalina Island. There are cute bed-and-breakfasts, whale-watching tours, zip lines, snorkeling, and more — making for the perfect combination of relaxation and adventure. This sleepy but whimsical and picturesque island is perfect for an anniversary or a birthday trip — and the ferry is free on your birthday!

3. New Orleans, Louisiana

The Big Easy is back in a big way. Visit any time except during Mardi Gras, and not only do you get a lot for your money, but you also support a vibrant city full of unique gastronomical delights and lots (LOTS) of amazing cocktails. You can get away with cheap eats like po' boys on the daily, or you can be more adventurous and try local delicacies like Cajun-Chinese fusion.

Stay in one of the many vintage hotels near Bourbon Street, like the Hotel St. Marie. In New Orleans, everyday is like a parade. In fact, you can even set up your own parade very easily at city hall! This is a really fun, laid back, and flavorful trip for capital-A adults.

4. Palm Springs, California

California has a lot of great destinations, but none so refined and chill with 1960s modern glamor as Palm Springs. In comparison to destinations like Napa that cost a fortune, there are many great hotels to stay in Palm Springs like Alcazar, or the Orbit Inn. Try visiting during off-season months like August or February for good booking deals. Or, stay through Airbnb for maximum space and a pool all to yourself.

There are plenty of cheap eats in town and in nearby cities like Twentynine Palms. You can people-watch similarly hip people over 30 walking down the main drag to visit art galleries and grab an icy daytime cocktail. Lounging in style is the name of the game here.


When you have the time to go further afield, these destinations are good ones to aim for.

5. Bangkok, Thailand

If you yearn to see the Far East but don't quite have Hong Kong, Seoul, or Tokyo money, Bangkok is an adventurous and gorgeous option. For culture hounds, historic landmarks like the Grand Palace, the Golden Buddha, and the Wat Phra Kaew hold much significance. Culinary enthusiasts will be excited to in try as much new (and cheap!) Thai food as possible from the many famous street carts. For those who love to learn about indigenous nature, there are many parks, gardens, and zoos to choose from.

For a modest daily budget, you can get a lot for your money and have a world-class vacation.

6. Barcelona, Spain

Spain is gorgeous: tons of old world architecture, great wine and food, and lovely people. This is a great time to visit — the country suffers from a somewhat ailing economy. Traveling to Spain this year is a great way to take advantage of cheaper lodging and entertainment while helping out the locals.

There are so many excellent things to do. See all the old catholic churches like Basilica of the Sagrada Familia, take in a futbol game, and go on one of many local food tasting tours of the city. There is also plenty of nightlife with hip clubs like Dry Martini & Speakeasy. This is a cultured trip meant for folks who want to do more than simply get rowdy.

7. Prague, Czech Republic

If you love history, this is for you! Over the years, Prague has graduated from "college backpacker's paradise" to full-fledged vacation destination.

Prague has a wealth of architectural riches: 1,100 years of virtually unblemished churches, libraries, bridges, monasteries, towers, and more represent nearly every style from Baroque to Art Nouveau. The city is a walker's paradise, with tons of tours to see landmarks on every block. In comparison to other major European capitals, Prague is more budget-friendly: Diverse, delicious meals can be procured for reasonable prices, like this banh mi for only £3.50. Hotels can be as low as £60 per night — good luck getting even the grimiest hostel bed for that in Paris!

What are your favorite grown-up vacation spots?

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Carey @ wiserdollar.com

I appreciate the idea of frugal vacations. Vacations can be a big hit to the budget, so any money saving ideas are appreciated!