Although summer is winding down, it’s still not too late to plan a last-minute, summer holiday. Whether you opt for a brief excursion to Northern Ireland or choose to take a longer jaunt to a North American city, there are many budget destinations that make for a nice retreat. Need some inspiration? Here are a few inexpensive travel destinations for 2013.
Toronto is undergoing a major revamp with a building boom and financial and tourism boost due to the creation of over 30,000 new homes and the opening of a number of high-end businesses and hotels. What sets this city apart from others and makes it an affordable destination is its low hotel prices, which did not increase in 2012 when hotel rates in other parts of the world went up. In addition, much like other bustling North American cities, there is an assortment of cultural activities and entertainment, including a variety of museums, theaters, art galleries, and places to shop. While Toronto maintains its metropolitan city feel, it’s also a great getaway for nature enthusiasts as there is a bevy of outdoor fun to be had in this harbor town and the accompanying Toronto Islands. The city also has an array of delicious ethnic cuisine—from Portuguese to Polish. What’s more, Toronto boasts the third larges
t transit system in North America (the Toronto Transit Commission or TTC), which is easy to navigate—making your trip all the more enjoyable.
Although years of conflict have kept many from journeying to Northern Ireland, today the area is among the UK’s premier must-see destinations with Derry/Londonderry, Northern Ireland’s second largest city, being named the first ever UK City of Culture. Not only did the city get a heavy-duty makeover in 2012, The city will spend $25 million in new cultural programs designed to bring in tourism, including performances from the Royal Ballet and the London Symphony Orchestra. Northern Ireland is also much cheaper to travel from the UK as there is a multitude of bus and ferry services to the region. Pensioners and those with disabilities can travel throughout Northern Ireland for free, so pack an M&S hamper, board a coach and/or ferry, and let Translink do the rest.
Palm Springs, CA
Although the thought of Palm Springs usually conjures up images of retired people swinging golf clubs and posh shops filled with pricey goods, this desert gem is becoming more affordable as there has been a significant drop in airfares and flights to Palm Springs International Airport have increased. The sun-soaked getaway is expanding to make room for its growing number of visitors. Since 2008, the town has gained over 1,600 new hotel rooms thanks to an aggressive tourism program aimed at enhancing the local economy. Palm Springs is especially cheap during this time of year, as the town’s busiest seasons are during the winter until the late spring. With the money you’ll save on transportation and the low rates offered by many hotels, you’ll be able to indulge in this region’s decadent past times.