Travel Trends 2023: 12 Cheap Places to Travel in the US in 2023

From hitting the powdery slopes in Salt Lake City to celebrating Italian-American culture in New York City, you'll find plenty to see and do in the best cheap places to visit in the US.

Knowing the best — and most affordable — time to visit a destination is key to planning your vacation. To help make the decision easier, trivago crunched data to identify cheap places to travel in the US by month — each featuring a budget-friendly accommodation to boot.

If you’re looking to plan your travels for the year ahead, here are a dozen cheap destinations to explore in 2023.

For worry-free and flexible travel, search for deals with free cancellation on trivago.

January: Jam to Live Music in Austin, Texas

Known as the live music capital of the world, Austin features a wider range of music venues. Begin the year on the right note with a visit to Red River Cultural District during Free Week. Popular haunts like Stubb’s Bar-B-Q and Mohawk host hundreds of free concerts from the region’s emerging and established artists during the week.

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February: Take an Urban Hike in Los Angeles

Looking to experience the best of the West Coast without breaking the bank? Check out Los Angeles — it’s one of the best cheap places to travel in the US in February. From stunning sunsets overlooking the Los Angeles basin at Griffith Observatory to an urban hike through celeb favorite Runyon Canyon Park in Hollywood, there’s so much to do in La La Land without spending a dime.

Other free activities include an immersive self-guided street art walking tour around Downtown Los Angeles (DTLA)’s Arts District or a day soaking up the quintessential Californian sun at Venice Beach.

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March: Hit the Slopes in Salt Lake City

Experience the best spring powder in Salt Lake City. At 4,226 feet, the outdoor adventure-fueled city is perfect for a budget ski trip before the snow season ends — Park City and Deer Valley’s world-renowned ski resorts are just a 40-minute drive away. You can also explore the great outdoors without leaving the city — trails like the City Creek Canyon and Ensign Peak are easily accessible from downtown.

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April: View the Cherry Blossoms in Pittsburgh

Experience the advent of an East Coast spring with a weekend getaway to Pittsburgh. During cherry blossom season, this underrated destination comes alive in various shades of pink and white as over 250 cherry trees reach peak bloom in North Park. Continue on the flowering trail with a visit to the Pittsburgh Botanic Garden, a 60-acre oasis complete with woodland trails, pine groves, an apiary, and lotus pond.

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May: Soak up the Sun in San Diego

Warm weather, blue skies, and plenty of sunshine are what’s in store for travelers headed to San Diego. Start the day with a morning walk at La Jolla Cove, an idyllic local hotspot known for its resident sea lions, before heading to Pacific Beach to stake out a spot in the sand to soak up the California sun.

Before you leave, don’t forget to check out Balboa Park — this 1,200-acre space in downtown San Diego is home to the city’s famous zoo, several museums, lush gardens, and the world’s largest outdoor pipe organs.

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June: Find Music and Culture in Washington, DC

From renowned cultural festivals and bustling outdoor concerts to nighttime monument tours and casual hikes through Rock Creek Park, the nation’s capital comes alive in the summertime. The best part? Many of the activities are free.

For the budget-conscious, plan a visit during the month of June — the weather is still comfortable and baseball season is in full swing — you can take you and the family out to Nationals Park for a home game — standing-room tickets cost just $5.

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July: Snorkel in Key West, Florida

In Key West, July is considered to be quiet season — a time to savor temperate weather and laid-back beach vibes during a weekend getaway to the southernmost point in the continental US. You can bask in the sun at Smathers Beach or opt for snorkel ingthe azure blue waters at Dry Tortugas National Park. Home to the world’s third largest coral reef, expect to spot schools of reef fish, nurse sharks, sea turtles, and colorful coral.

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August: Lounge by the Pool in Las Vegas

Hot summer weather makes August the perfect time to score great deals in Las Vegas. Fortunately for you, the sprawling resorts along the Las Vegas Strip provide an endless supply of indoor entertainment in the form of music concerts, nightly shows, acrobatic performances, and of course, the round-the-clock games at the casino, as well as cooling outdoor pools and bars.

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September: Enjoy the Arts in New York City

September marks a new season of contemporary and classic performances for many of the Big Apple‘s most prominent cultural establishments, including the Metropolitan Opera, the New York Philharmonic, and the New York City Ballet. For the ultimate taste of New York in September, head to Little Italy to celebrate the Feast of San Gennaro. Celebrated for close to a century, this 11-day festival spotlights Italian-American culture with food-eating contests, religious parades, and live music.

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October: Experience Halloween Magic in Orlando

Considered a shoulder season in Orlando, October is the ideal time for families looking to beat the crowds at Disney World and Universal Studios. From Halloween parades and themed fireworks to terrifying haunted houses and weekend fright nights, there’s plenty of spooky fun for every member of the family to enjoy. This theme park capital of the world also throws a family-friendly Oktoberfest celebration in East Orlando’s Avalon Park neighborhood.

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November: Enjoy Winter Sports in Big Bear Lake, California

When it comes to cheap places to travel in the US in November, there’s no better destination than the scenic mountain town of Big Bear Lake. Located less than two hours from Los Angeles, Big Bear Lake is a year-round haven for outdoor enthusiasts. However, if you want to miss the winter ski crowds, plan for a pre-Thanksgiving getaway. Whether you want to hike part of the Pacific Crest Trail, search for the ultimate ski run, or try your hand at ice fishing, the Big Bear Lake region has something for travelers of all adventure levels.

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December: Have a Rustic Holiday in Asheville, North Carolina

Nestled between two iconic American mountain ranges, the Great Smokies and the Blue Ridge Mountains, Asheville is the perfect hub for exploring western North Carolina. By day, tour the sprawling Biltmore Estate, which calls itself “America’s largest home,” or take a hike along the Bearwallow Mountain Trail for panoramic views of the snow-capped mountains of the Great Smokies. At night, head to the North Carolina Arboretum to see a dazzling winter light show and a 50-foot Christmas tree.

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All data displayed in this article were checked in October 2022 and can change at any time.