||Berkshire County, Western Massachusetts
||A hidden gem tucked away in the Berkshire Mountains, Stockbridge is packed from block to block with old New England charm. The hometown of Saturday Evening Post cover illustrator Norman Rockwell, Stockbridge perfectly conveys the feeling of small-town Americana that Rockwell captured in his paintings. There’s a museum dedicated to the artist in town, as well as white water rafting on the nearby Deerfield River and hiking at Monument Mountain Reservation. For music lovers, Stockbridge is also home to Tanglewood, the home of the Boston Symphony Orchestra. Enterprising travelers can find rooms at the Red Lion Inn, the town’s historic guesthouse that has stood since 1773, for as low as $99.
|The Village at Winona
||Winona Lake, Indiana
||A former summer resort and religious retreat, the Village at Winona has been restored to its Victorian glory and is now a go-to summer getaway for Midwesterners in the know. You can spend the day out on the lake, kayaking, fishing and paddle boarding, capping it off with a walk through the villages charming shops and restaurants. Come in the spring for the Fat & Skinny Tire Fest, a weekend-long cycling celebration. Rooms can be had at the charming Chestnut House for $89 a night.
||San Luis Obispo County, California
||Tucked away along California’s famous Pacific Coast Highway, the small town of Morro Bay is often overlooked even by native Golden Staters in favor of more glitzy oceanfront spots. However, if you find yourself out west, this tiny surfside town is a must-visit. Highlights include great local (and reasonably-priced) seafood, hiking and kayaking at Morro Bay State Park and plenty of shopping in the town’s funky downtown area, which lies at the foot of Morro Rock, a massive volcanic mound that gave the town its name. Hotels and motels aplenty can be found in and around the area, with rates dipping down to $45 a night in some places.
||The Huffington Post has dubbed this island paradise “The Most Beautiful Island You’ve Never Heard Of,” and one look at its postcard-worthy turquoise waters and pristine beaches tells you that it’s not hyperbole. Located 12 miles off the coast of Tahiti, Mo’rea is a snorkeler’s dream come true, with its clear water and vibrant reefs playing host to an endless array of marine life. There’s also incredible hiking to be had among the island’s lush and verdant hills and sunsets that are so beautiful, your friends will swear your photos are retouched. There are plenty of resorts on the island that can run you a pretty penny, but if you’re enterprising enough, you can find decent lodging for less than $60 a night.
||The largest island in Australia, Tasmania has remained relatively unrenowned when it comes to Down Under travel. If all you know about Tasmania is the famous “devil,” the marsupial that bears the island’s name, it might be time to become better acquainted. There are incredible hikes to be had, with breathtaking panoramas from the tops of Mount Freycinet and Mount Graham awaiting. The island also has plenty of fresh, locally-caught seafood on the menu and its clean air means it’s a perfect place for distilling whiskey. In fact, Tasmanian whiskey is regarded as being among the best in the world. Walk the Tasmanian Whiskey Trail, a tour through the island’s nine distilleries, to see for yourself. Lodging on the island is available for a little more than $30 a night in some locations.
||Some travelers have called this the “Hawaii of South Korea,” and, with its pristine white beaches, lush green mountains and volcanic landscape, it’s easy to see why. The island is large, but uncluttered, with only 600,000 people dotted across it’s 714 square miles. As such, there’s plenty of open space for hikers and adventurers to explore. There are plenty of other activities for travelers to indulge in, from walking through a “lava tube” (a cave formed by cooling lava) to visiting “Love Land,” the island’s adults-only theme park. Hotels can be found for around $30 a night and even it’s most posh lodgings will usually run you under $100.
||Now that relations between the US and its island neighbor, located just 100 miles off the coast of Florida, have improved, the time is perfect for a Cuban getaway. You’ll want to go now while it still retains its old-world charm and before the resorts start going up on the shoreline. Havana’s cobblestone streets, museums and restaurants alone are worth the journey. Travelers will also enjoy the plethora of 1950s cars that are everywhere on the island. You can even take a tour of the city in a 50s convertible for around $60 (that’s total, not per person)! Be aware that, when traveling to Cuba, your visit must fall under one of twelve approved categories (including government visits, journalistic activity, etc). But once you’ve arrived, you’ll find hotels running arouns $130 per night and single-bedroom Airbnbs available for as low as $15!
||Known as the “Spice Islands,” this tiny archipelago off the Tanzanian coast has been visited by everyone from spice merchants to pirates and game hunters. Today it’s a popular backpacker attraction, who come for its white-sand beaches, clear waters and, yes, the spices. Zanzibar’s nickname didn’t happen at random, and the island is famous for its spices and visitors can take a “spice tour,” where they can sample fresh vanilla, nutmeg and cinnamon. There’s also Stone Town, an ancient city that has changed very little over the centuries. Visitors can spend hours wandering the close-knit streets and drinking in the architecture and shopping at the bazaars. Lodging can be found on Zanzibar for under $30 and, for the truly adventurous who don’t mind stay in a hostel, that price can dip below $20!
||With its relative safety and almost total absence of malaria, Namibia is often referred to as “Africa for beginners.” And, indeed, this sub-Saharan country is the perfect place for newer travelers to experience some of the continent’s wonders without going for a fully-immersive experience. In addition to its low crime and safe traveling, Namibia is also welcoming to travelers because its official language is English, making for one less barrier to overcome when visiting. Once there, you’ll be captivated by the massive, orange and red sand dunes of Sossusvlei and the abundant wildlife on display at Etosha National Park. There are definitely some pricey resorts in Namibia, but if you’re looking for a true African adventure, you might want to consider camping. With some sights running only $6 a night, you can go on safari without going broke at the same time.
||Filled with ancient churches, bustling street markets and Spanish colonial architecture, Oaxaca is exploding with culture and excitement. Travelers to this southern Mexican state will find an array of rich, authentic Mexican dishes to appeal to even the least daring of palates (spicy hot chocolate, anyone?). There’s also plenty to discover by traveling up into the Sierra Norte mountains, which are dotted with small villages and offer incredible panoramic landscapes for hikers. Hotels and Airbnbs can be found all throughout the region for as low as $40 per night, with some single room options going for under $20!