5 budget-friendly vacations you can plan this fall

This year, the word “vacation” probably draws a stronger reaction than usual.

Most people have probably spent more of 2020 canceling travel plans than booking them, but it’s not too late to reverse that trend.

As the year approaches its end, you might be sitting on some extra PTO days — or maybe you’re just tired of staring at your makeshift kitchen table desk.

That’s where Kristina Cors comes in. Cors, a travel and lifestyle blogger, has been using her TikTok page to give out pandemic-friendly (and budget-friendly!) travel tips.

In the process, she’s amassed millions of total video views, so clearly she has some idea what she’s doing. To get more info, In The Know chatted with Cors about her top five wallet-friendly vacations you can plan this fall.

1. Road trip to a local farm

This year, of all years, no one is going to judge your shameless, “it’s officially fall” Instagram post. Also, why not save some money while flexing on social media?

Visiting a farm — for apples, pumpkins or any other crop for that matter — is Cors’ “number one” travel pick right now. Price plays a big role in that suggestion.

“Apple picking, for example, is usually very affordable, with some orchards offering products by the pound, for $1 or $2, and others offering a flat fee for an all-you-can fill bag for about $30,” she told In The Know.

2. Visit a national park

There are 421 national parks in the U.S., so odds are you’ve got one in driving range. As Cors points out, that also means there’s “something for everyone.”

“If you’re an adrenaline junkie and up for a challenge, you can climb the Half Dome in Yosemite or race down the great sand dunes in Colorado [at the Great Sand Dunes National Park],” Cors said.

The parks are also affordable. An annual pass, which grants entry to every park for an entire family, is just $80. Or, if you’d rather explore from home, you can check out Google Earth’s virtual tours of more than 30 national parks.

3. Plan a camping trip

It doesn’t get much more budget-friendly than camping. Cors notes that most states have dozens of drive-in camp sites, while you can also find cabins in the $50-$100 per night range.

There’s no shortage of activities, either — whether it’s fishing, hiking, biking or just perfecting your s’mores recipe.

4. Rent an RV

RVs are sort of having a moment right now, with Gen Z and millennials embracing the vehicles as a budget-friendly housing option.

They’re also a prime option for a cheap vacation. Cors points out that using an RV for a vacation means you’re paying for your transportation and lodging all in one.

Also, considering that some two-person RVs can go for as little as $175-$200 per night, you can easily find yourself whirling around the country without breaking the bank.

5. Book an Airbnb staycation

As Cors notes, Airbnb’s price filter offers the ultimate control. You can browse options, compare costs and pick the exact place that’s right for you.

If your trip is just about getting out of the house (and, to be honest, who couldn’t use that right now?), a staycation in a new home is a solid choice.

“If you want a change of scenery, but don’t want to venture too far, this works perfectly,” Cors said.

Check out In The Know’s article on what it’s like to travel cross-country by train during the pandemic.

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