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harbor at Martha's Vineyard

5 Luxury Destinations You Can Visit On Budget

Let’s be honest: when it comes to travel, some of us have first-class taste and a coach budget. But we’re here to tell you that it’s entirely possible to hang out in destinations for the rich and famous without having to spend like they do. The secret  is to visit these prime locations where you can stay at HI USA hostels and have transformative experiences without breaking the bank. 

1. Monterey, CA

the wharf in Monterey

This coastal California town is famous for its golf courses, flashy homes, and being the setting for the HBO TV series “Big Little Lies.” It’s also famous for hotels with high price tags. But that doesn’t mean you can’t stay close to all the action of Cannery Row, Fisherman’s Wharf, and the Monterey Bay Aquarium on a backpacker’s budget. Just book a stay at HI Monterey hostel, which is within walking distance of all the good stuff. It’s got dorm and private rooms, free breakfast, and even free on-site parking if you want to take a road trip to nearby Big Sur and get some big-money views on a budget. 

2. New York City, NY

an aerial view of central park

With so many different things to experience – from live shows and famous museums, to great eating and exploring eclectic neighborhoods – New York City seems like the ultimate destination. It can also get pricey when you factor in accommodation in a central spot. But that’s why you stay at HI New York City hostel, right on the Upper West Side and just a couple of blocks from Central Park. The hostel’s free walking tours will get you into the real New York, and when you venture out on your own, you’ll have the funds left over to tick off all the stops on your Big Apple bucket list. 

3. Santa Monica, CA

street crossing in Santa Monica

One of the most beautiful and popular parts of Los Angeles, beach-side Santa Monica is the place to stay if you want to feel like a movie star in LA. But with hotel prices topping $300 a night, you could pay dearly for the privilege. Unless, of course, you’re staying at HI Los Angeles Santa Monica hostel. This beautiful hostel is just blocks from the beach and is surrounded by all the trendy shopping, nightlife, and restaurants that you’d expect in LA. Plus, everything from its dorm rooms to its private suites has just been updated, so your stay will be extra stylish. 

4. Point Reyes, CA

Oysters in Point Reyes

Never heard of Point Reyes? That makes this one even better. The area surrounding the Point Reyes National Seashore is a favorite backyard escape for residents of the nearby San Francisco Bay Area, who come to Point Reyes for its high-end restaurants and epic scenery. Home rentals and hotels in the area run steep, but save some cash by staying at HI Point Reyes hostel and you’ll have more left over to splurge on dockside oysters, local wine, and bioluminescent kayaking excursions on Tomales Bay. 

5. Cape Cod, MA

houses on Martha's Vineyard

Cape Cod is such a famously luxe destination that even celebrities and former presidents spend their summers there. But if you think that means it’s out of reach for travelers on a budget, it’s time to reconsider. You can get a taste of that private beach life at HI Nantucket hostel, or explore high-class surroundings from HI Martha’s Vineyard hostel, and you don’t have to spend all your savings to do it. Both hostels have dorm and private rooms, plus a free breakfast, so you can allocate as much of your budget as you need to eat all the lobster rolls.