My adventurous spirit is frequently quieted by the balance of my bank account. Limited funds are a reality that most of us face, but that doesn’t mean we can’t discover new destinations. With some creativity, you can explore the world. Forget the luxury hotels, quick flights and fancy luggage because you are stuffing a backpack with essentials and driving to these three top North American travel destinations: the Canadian Maritimes, Gulf County, Florida and Las Vegas, Nevada.

The Canadian Maritimes is home to these Eastern Provinces: New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia and Newfoundland, but we are only touring three of the four. Perfect for a week-long road trip, begin your trip in New Brunswick where you will find the warmest saltwater beaches north of Virginia. Spend at least a day breathing in the wonder of the Bay of Fundy, where you can walk on the bottom of the ocean that you sailed on just hours earlier. Cross the Confederation Bridge into Prince Edward Island and set up camp at one of the beautiful campgrounds in the area. A day trip to Green Gables is a must before you move on to Nova Scotia. Once again, camping is on the itinerary, along with hiking the Cabot Trail, touring Peggy’s Cove and eating a lobster roll before you head home.

dolphin in Gulf County
Dolphin in Gulf County

Forget about the theme parks and 5-star hotels on the beach because you are about to discover Gulf County, Florida. Bordering with Atlanta, Georgia, Gulf County is an authentic coastal area where life begins on the water. Rent a rustic vacation house on the beach with a group of friends, or set up camp nearby, and head to the docks. Your days in Gulf County will be spent kayaking, fishing, beachcombing and swimming. Book a boat tour and a dolphin might even swim over for a quick hello. Mix that with some locally sourced seafood, and this is my kind of luxury vacation!

Aside from the low-fare flights to Las Vegas, this isn’t often considered a budget destination. There’s an easy way to enjoy the night life and avoid overspending; stay out of the casinos. Las Vegas has inexpensive hotels, tasty bites you can buy on the cheap and so many interesting people that you don’t need to spend your time gambling to have fun. Walk or take an Uber rather than expensive taxis. If you can’t stand the idea of visiting Vegas without the casinos, set a gambling budget ahead of time, and stick to it. Driving to Las Vegas will save you a little more cash and it will give you the chance to visit some of the outlying areas like the Grand Canyon.

Whether you are looking for a road trip, a week at the beach or excitement on the strip, there are options to get away from it all without going broke. These travel destinations will give you the break from reality you need, and you won’t be faced with a huge credit card bill when you get home, because we all know that is not the best way to end a vacation.