How to Go on Vacation with $1,000 or Less

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By: Tia Johnson

I have learned over the years that you don’t have to spend large sums of money to go on vacation and have a lovely time. Whenever I see a person win a prize vacation for a total value of $5,000, I would become confused. Several questions come to mind: Why does that vacation have to cost $5,000? Does it include food and drinks? What about an excursion or a tour? I believe that’s one of the main reasons why some people think they can’t go on a nice vacation unless they save their money for at least year or make considerable sacrifices to afford a vacation. Let’s look at seven creative ways you can go on a vacation for a $1,000 or less. 

Think of a Cost-Effective Plan

Having a game plan for how you will make the most of your vacation will save you from rushing to travel on holiday weekends or other popular travel periods, which can lead to overspending. Your game plan can consist of beach hopping with friends. For example, several weekends can be dedicated to going to the beach. You can stay at a house or an apartment via Airbnb, buy food that’s easy to cook, such as burgers and vegetables you can grill, and split the cost with your friends or whoever you're traveling with.

Look for Combo Deals

Groupon, Expedia, and Gate1Travel have getaways with hotel and airfare (and sometimes an excursion) included at various price points. Some trips (hotel + air) are as low as $499 when you travel with a friend. Other trips are for all-inclusive resorts where you don’t have to pay for food and drinks because it’s included in the price. However, you can go to a local market to buy food so you won’t eat out as much or you can pack your snacks in your checked bag.

Go on a Road Trip

My friends and I are going on a road trip from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania to Ottawa, Canada. We will split the cost of gas and we buy food for the journey. We rented a house through Airbnb that cost $97.62 per person. Based on our last road trip to Canada, the price of gas will be around $14/person and the price of food will vary. Think about where you can split the costs.

Book in Advance & Leave on a Thursday

Companies like Amtrak have deals where you can purchase tickets for cheap if you purchase it weeks in advance and preferably on an “off day” like a Tuesday or Thursday. Peak days are Fridays and Mondays because most people depart on Fridays and return on Mondays. 

Repurpose Your Wardrobe

Going on vacation usually means a trip to your favorite clothing store to buy a few articles of clothing. However, why not repurpose what you have? Below are several ways you can repurpose your clothes:

  • Create your own distress jeans look by cutting and ripping your jeans. 

  • Cut your jeans and make them shorts.

  • Tie the bottom of your shirt into a knot on the side on in the back.

  • Cut off the sleeves of a shirt.

  • Make a crop top shirt by cutting your shirt in the area just above your navel.

BONUS: If you are a blogger who has been consistent with posting good content and can provide a media page, you can ask a hotel representative if they are willing to collaborate with you. The collaboration will consist of you offering to write a blog post and an Instagram post about the hotel and, in return, you receive a complimentary stay. 


Based in Philadelphia, Tia Johnson is a spiritual lifestyle entrepreneur, an international speaker, Amazon best-selling author, podcaster, blogger, and creator of The Spiritual Lifestyle Collective. Through spiritual teachings and healing, such as chakra and Reiki, she helps her clients to pinpoint the limiting beliefs that prevent them from living a phenomenal life they love, to heal emotional setbacks, and to create strategic plans to execute proactive actions on a personal or entrepreneurial level.