If You Have $1000 to Travel, Where Can You Go?

Ashley Akridge - Freelance Writer

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If you have $1,000 to travel and are looking for a domestic trip, there are many great places to see in the United States. The grandest of canyons, a city that's full of magic, and one of the seven natural wonders of the world are just a few of your options.

5 Places To Travel For Under $1,000

The cost of travel has been steadily decreasing over the past few years, and it will keep going down as long as new technologies keep coming up. AirBnBs, Uberpools, and BlaBlas help travelers find cheaper plans that fit their budgets more accurately than ever before. So the next time you're planning a vacation, consider these tips for making your money go further.

Boston, Massachusetts

Boston, Massachusetts cityspace

You might think it'll be too expensive to visit. But you'd be wrong! A quick flight from a Midwest City to Boston is around $100. Likewise, you can rent an entire condo on AirBnB for just $59 per night. And you'll spend another $200 on food (maybe even less if you pick up a few meals at the grocery store) and another $150 or so for souvenirs or fun activities once you're there. If you play your cards right and only pick up souvenirs once or twice a day instead of every time you see something cool in the city, you could even stay under budget!

As far as things to do in the city, we recommend taking a Hop-On Hop-Off Trolley Tour and seeing the beautiful sights that Boston has to offer. Another great idea is taking a walk through the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum; it's free to get in (as long as you don't touch anything) and offers some fascinating exhibits from all over the world. And if you want to try out some local cuisine like those famous lobsters, everyone talks about, then check out Union Oyster House for some great seafood options!

A trip to Boston is an excellent opportunity to see one of the oldest cities in the country, and there are plenty of things to do and see while you're there. Another stop should be Faneuil Hall Marketplace. It's a historical spot in downtown Boston that caters to tourists with shops, restaurants, and even a place where people still do open-air preaching.
There's so much to do! And we're not talking stuff that costs money, either! So here are seven things that'll give you a taste of the city while keeping your wallet happy.

7 Free things to do in Boston

Explore 16 Historic Sites in Downtown Boston

Historical landmark on the Freedom Trail in Boston, Massachusetts, USA

The Freedom Trail is a 2-mile path that guides you through 16 historic sites in downtown Boston, including the USS Constitution, Faneuil Hall, and Paul Revere's House. You can make your trip as long or as short as you want. Spend the day going from site to site, or stop by for a few hours. It's all up to you!

Relax in the Common

Boston Commons

Boston Common is a public park established in 1634 and is the oldest public park in the United States. It offers an escape from city life, with shady trees and green lawns, musical performances, sporting events, and various public celebrations. Boston Common also serves as an excellent picnic spot, with tables and benches scattered throughout.

See Castle Island

Castle Island, Boston

Have an epic picnic on the lawns of Boston's Castle Island! A fortress surrounds the beautiful greens from the Revolutionary War, and sitting on these grassy hills makes you feel like a royal in your backyard. There are many walking paths and beaches around the area to enjoy, and there is never a dull moment.

Take a Tour of Harvard

Students walking in Harvard Yard of Harvard Univeristy campus

Spend a day on campus and take a tour of all the places that made Harvard one of the world's best universities for more than 400 years. The Harvard campus is ripe with history, architecture, art, and culture.

Free Beer Tours

close up of Samual Adams Boston Lager

Samuel Adams' free brewery tours are as legendary as their beer. A lineup of Boston's best local brews will be on tap. The tour is free, but a $2 donation is requested that goes to local charities. Learn the process and taste some of Boston's finest beer at the end of the tour.

Visit the Bunker Hill Monument

Bunker Hill Monument, William Prescott, Boston, Massachusetts, USA

The Bunker Hill Monument is an iconic part of Boston's history and is the nation's oldest monument to a battle. The 221-foot granite obelisk stands as a monument to the American Revolutionary War, with magnificent views of Boston.

Check out the Boston Common Frog Pond

A summer's day at the Frog Pond in Boston Common

Located in the heart of Boston Common is a spray pool in the summer and a skating rink in the winter. The pond is an excellent place to bring the kids on a hot summer day to cool off.

We have a full article on Boston you can read here if you're interested. We won't stop with only Boston, though. There are many more options for your next vacation!

Niagara Falls, New York

Niagara Falls seeing US and Canada sides

One of the most beautiful places in the world is Niagara Falls. They are so much more than just a tourist trap—they're one of the most iconic natural wonders on the planet.

A flight from a Midwest City to Niagara Falls (The Buffalo/Niagara International Airport in Cheektowaga, NY) is around $170. You can rent an entire guesthouse on AirBnB for just $40 per night. That'll leave you with $200 or so for food (all the fantastic restaurants and donuts and ice cream that you can eat!), and another $200 or so for any souvenirs or fun activities you want to do while you're there. The Maid of the Mist boat tour costs just $119. So be sure to keep some extra money available in case you go over budget!

It's no surprise that it's hard to choose where to go to find a fun place to visit when visiting Niagara Falls! That's why we've created this itinerary for you. It covers all of your bases and lets you explore everything the Falls offers.

For less than $1000, you can visit Niagara Falls, New York, and see all of these highlights:

Maid of the Mist sightseeing Niagara falls between United States of America and Canada

First, take a trip on the Maid of the Mist boat ride! This is one of the most famous things to do in Niagara Falls. It's a boat that drives right up close to the American side (New York) and Canadian side (Ontario) of Horseshoe Falls. It's a great way to see the falls without getting wet! If you have time, go on this boat ride in both directions: one day on each side.


Next, you can see many tourist attractions in Niagara Falls State Park. These include Three Sisters Island and Devil's Hole State Park. There are also some attractions outside state parks that are worth seeing: Devil's Hole State Park and Smokin Joes Native Center.

Finally, if you want to explore the more natural beauty around Niagara Falls, head over to Little Italy for Italian food and culture. Little Italy is a charming neighborhood that boasts authentic Italian restaurants and culture. But if you're looking for something more casual and affordable, then La Grotta Ristorante is the place to go. Enjoy mouthwatering pasta dishes, pizzas, and other classic Italian food made with seasonal ingredients sourced from local vendors.

Grand Canyon, Arizona

Grand Canyon National Park

It's one of the world's greatest natural wonders, and it's here in our backyard. The Grand Canyon attracts millions of visitors per year, and for a good reason — it's not just a canyon but a deep gorge that winds its way through Arizona for 277 miles.

First, you'll want to book a flight from wherever you are to Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona. This one will probably run around $100. Next, Grand Canyon National Park hotels can be expensive, so we recommend staying at an AirBnB for $41 per night.

You'll also want to stock up on food for your trip—maybe even picking up some meals at the grocery store if you can't find a place that's open 24 hours. We figure that'll cost $200 or so.

Of course, you'll want to hop on a 45-minute Helicopter Flight Over the Grand Canyon from Tusayan, Arizona, while you're there. That'll set you back about $300, depending on the time of year and the exact company you choose.
Try to budget enough to cover your expenses for at least three or four days. Be sure to factor in the cost of extra food, souvenirs, and transportation — especially if you plan to explore off-trail.

Here are 9 free things to do while you are in Grand Canyon, AZ

Grand Canyon Village

Historic railway depot at Grand Canyon Village, Grand Canyon National Park

The Grand Canyon Village is the main hub for visitors entering the park from the south. In addition to accommodations, restaurants, and shops, the area offers visitors an array of transportation options, including car rentals, bicycle rentals, guided bus tours, and Jeeps.

The South Rim

Scenic view of the South Rim of the Grand Canyon

The South Rim of the Grand Canyon is home to some of the most popular hiking trails in the national park. Visitors can hike along the rim to get amazing views of their surroundings, including different layers of the canyon wall. However, hikers should be prepared when traveling along the South Rim — the temperature and weather can change quickly.

North Rim

North Rim of the Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona, USA

This part of the park is only open from May 15th to October 15th because it snows heavily throughout the winter months. The north rim is less crowded than the south rim because it is more difficult to reach.

Bright Angel Trail

People hiking in bright angel trail in grand canyon national park

This trail runs along an old mule trail that was used for prospecting during Arizona's gold rush days. With an elevation gain of 2000 feet in just 3 miles, it is not for the faint of heart. However, it is considered one of the most arduous day hikes in North America.

South Kaibab Trail

Tourists in Grand Canyon National Park on South Kaibab trail at Ooh Aah Point

Located at the South Rim of the Grand Canyon, the South Kaibab trailhead is the least used trail at the park because it is the least accessible (you have to walk 3.5 miles to reach the trailhead).

Mather Point

Mather point lookout on the South Rim of the Grand Canyon

Mather Point is one of the most famous viewpoints in the Grand Canyon. It is also one of the easiest to access because it is right next to the visitor center and parking lot! If you only have time for one viewpoint on your trip to Grand Canyon National Park, make it this one!

Havasu Falls

Havasu Falls on Havasupai Indian Reservation in the Grand Canyon

Havasu Falls is one of the most beautiful waterfalls in America, with an allure as great as its name. Located in Arizona near the Grand Canyon, this 100-foot waterfall is renowned for its brilliant blue-green water and red rocks.

Navajo Bridge

Navajo Bridge Marble Canyon of Colorado River in Arizona, USA

The Navajo Bridge spans Marble Canyon high above the Colorado River in northern Arizona. This suspension bridge stands about 800 feet north of another bridge built over the same canyon in 1929 but was later replaced due to traffic demands.

Lees Ferry

Water Rafting Colorado River, Lees Ferry, Arizona

Lees Ferry is a historical oasis in the desert where pioneers are said to have camped for days at a time to rest their boats and livestock. The site remains a crucial part of US history and is located on the Colorado River at the Paria River confluence, just upstream from Glen Canyon Dam. Tourists can access this historical land by boat or on foot (on a long but worthwhile hike).

Miami, Florida

Aerial View of Downtown Miami Florida

Whether it's Miami Beach or Little Havana you're looking for, Miami has something for everyone. With a variety of hotel options available and plenty of outdoor activities to choose from, you won't be left wanting when it comes to things to do in this beach-side city.

Miami is known for its beaches and nightlife, but what you may not know is that there are plenty of ways to enjoy this gorgeous city on a budget. There are many accessible beaches in Miami and even more affordable beach restaurants that will make you feel like you're on vacation without breaking your bank account! Here are a few tips that should help with the cost of your trip to Miami, Florida.

You can get a flight from Midwest cities like Chicago or Cleveland for around $62 per person. When you arrive in Miami, make sure to book your accommodations ahead of time. The Habitat Brickell is $61 per night, or on AirBnB, you can pick up a Poolside Garden Suite apartment for just $63. $200 for food (maybe even less if you pick up a few meals at the grocery store), and another $200 or so for any souvenirs or fun activities you want to do while you're there. This should be enough for a four-day trip to Miami.

There are endless things to do, but we've picked out some of our favorites for you:

Miami, Little Havana - Calle Ocho

Go on an authentic Little Havana Food and Culture Walking Tour to get a look into the culture of Miami. Visitors can learn about the history of Cuba, the political difficulties faced during the years of Castro's regime, and how Cuban-Americans have contributed to Miami's development.

Residences at Fisher Island, Miami, Southern Florida, US

Fun and informative, the Miami Millionaire's Row Cruise is one of the best ways to see Miami by water. This intimate and exclusive tour is the perfect way to see some of the most lavish homes, yachts, and marinas around — all while getting a very personal history lesson.

lifeguard hut at Miami south beach in Florida

While Miami is known for its gorgeous beaches and warm weather, South Beach may be the most famous of all. You can't go to Miami without visiting South Beach — the place is filled with tons of things to do and excellent restaurants, clubs, and events. In addition, it's a melting pot for different cultures and lifestyles making it a hotspot for a variety of good eats. Take a food tour to get the full experience!

Pérez Art Museum Miami (PAMM)

The fascinating Perez Art Museum Miami (PAMM) is a must-go for art lovers as it contains an array of awe-inspiring exhibits. The museum features impressive artwork, including modern and comtemporary pieces from the 20th and 21st centuries.

Miami downtown Cityscape with Metromover

Ride the Metromover, which is like a miniature subway that'll let you hop on and off throughout the city for free. It's pretty cool!

Everglades National Park at sunset, Florida, USA

Take a day trip to the Everglades! It's the best spot to see alligators, crocodiles, panthers, and more. The National Park Service runs a fabulous airboat tour so that you can see all of this incredible wildlife.

The best thing about Miami is that it's so much more than just South Beach! There is so much to do in Miami. You can stay for a week and not run out of things to do.

Chicago, Illinois

Chicago River Cityscape Water Taxi Tourboat Cruising in Summer

If you're looking for a cheap place to stay in Chicago, multiple options are available. There are even hostels available so you can share space with other travelers and save money on your accommodations. We've put together a few tips to help make your trip budget-friendly.

A flight from most cities to Chicago is $68-$168. You can get one of these flights on CheapAir or United. Also, you can find rooms on AirBnB in Chicago is just $47 per night. You can also stay at some hotels in the area for about $64 per night.

You can find some fantastic food for just $200, but prices may vary depending on whether you opt for convenience stores, restaurants, and grocery stores (which are full of affordable snacks). Some ideas are a barbecue sandwich from Biggs Barbecue for $8 and a snack pack from 7-Eleven for about $3. A fun activity might be an evening of comedy at The Second City for about $34 per ticket! Or the Chicago in a Day: Food, History and Architecture Combo Tour for $104.
There are hundreds of free things to do in the city. For example, you could spend days exploring the museums and gardens or checking out the outdoor festivals and events that happen constantly.

Architecture and street view of Chicago Chinatown

Chicago Chinatown tours will give you insight into city life from a local perspective. You can be sure to hit all of the highlights based on the local guide's experience!

Chicago Navy Pier Ferris Wheel

Navy Pier is the perfect place for an exciting afternoon with the whole family, even if you're working with a limited budget. You're able to customize your admission tickets to suit your needs based on what you want to do while at the park.

People walk along the Lakefront trail in Chicago Illinois

The Lakefront Trail is one of our favorites—it's four miles long, and it offers some of the most breathtaking views of Lake Michigan. We recommend bringing a camera and snapping photos along the way; they'll look lovely as part of your travel collection! If you want to take advantage of this trail's natural beauty, go in late September or early October—the leaves change colors right around then!

Cloud Gate at Dusk - "The Bean" in Millennium Park, Chicago, IL

Check out Millennium Park, where you can see some fantastic art for a more cultural experience. Be sure to check their events page to see if anything is taking place during your visit here.

Bike parked along the Chicago Illinois city riverwalk

Get some fresh air and go for an evening stroll down the Chicago Riverwalk, or maybe you're more of an outdoorsy person? No problem! Try out Maggie Daley Park Play Garden or visit Jackson Park or Humboldt Park. You can also check out one of three amazing botanical gardens: Garfield Park Conservatory, Lincoln Park Conservatory, or the National Veterans Art Museum's garden.

If you have more time on your hands, visit some of the other free museums in Chicago: The National Veterans Art Museum, The Oriental Institute Museum, and Humboldt Park. If you need a little more time outside than that, try Jackson Park or Replay Lincoln Park. For more on Chicago, we have another full article you can read here.

Final Thoughts

Niagara Falls with hydroelectric power station in the background

We hope you enjoyed this blog. What are your favorite places to travel? If you have a small budget, let us know where you visit! We would love to hear from you.

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