Thursday, June 20, 2024

4 Affordable Travel Destinations If You’re Living Off of Just Social Security

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For retirees living on Social Security alone, vacations will not be extravagant — but they don’t have to be nonexistent, either. Summer is almost in full swing, and if you’re eager to get out of town, see new places and meet new people, your monthly benefits can afford you the opportunity. All it takes is a little creativity — and the right destination.

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Chattanooga, Tennessee

Located in Southeastern Tennessee on the border of Georgia, Chattanooga is an affordable vacation destination where the cost of living is more than 10% lower than the national average, according to BestPlaces.

It’s easy to find hotel rooms for well under $100. Wingate by Wyndham Chattanooga is $67 per night. The Crash Pad charges $62. At Best Western Heritage Inn, you’ll pay just $56.

VisitChattanooga has two blog posts titled “Chattanooga on a Budget” and “Chattanooga for Active Seniors,” which outline the many free and low-budget activities that retirees can partake in, from music festivals and art exhibits to outdoor activities and downtown parks.

Need help planning? The AARP Travel Center helps members plan Chattanooga vacations that are designed for seniors on a budget.

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Decatur, Alabama

According to BestPlaces, the cost of living in Decatur is 17% lower than the national average, which means your food, drinks, transportation and whatever else you buy will be cheaper than in most of the rest of the country.

The Downtown Decatur Redevelopment Authority profiles the town’s many attractions, including art, theater, tours, museums, events, science exhibits and natural outdoor attractions, many of which can be enjoyed for free or close to it.

Vacation rentals and hotel rooms for $80 or less per night are easy to find. Days Inn by Wyndham ($66), Quality Inn ($55), La Quinta Inn ($80) and River City Hotel Decatur ($61) are just a few.

Winnemucca, Nevada

Known for friendly hospitality and an authentic Western experience, daily life in Winnemucca is about 4% cheaper than the national average and 12% less than the Nevada average, according to BestPlaces.

If its casinos and gaming halls aren’t in your budget, retirees can explore the area’s spooky and historic ghost towns, drive the famed Winnemucca to the Sea Highway or try their hand at mining and rock-hounding.

Activities like biking, hiking and camping are free or low-cost and you can absorb the area’s unique and colorful Basque culture without spending a penny.

You can get a room in the highly rated Signature Inn Winnemucca for $45 a night. At $53, the Econo Lodge Inn isn’t far behind, and neither is the Ramada by Wyndham at $79. Those are just a few examples — decent rooms well under $100 are easy to find.

Rapid City, South Dakota

Consistently named one of the best small towns to visit in America, Rapid City is so much more than just the majesty of Mount Rushmore and the otherworldly terrain of Badlands National Park.

The cost of living there is slightly lower than the national average, and the city and region’s many parks, attractions, festivals, events and outdoor activities can consume and entire vacation — and many of them don’t cost a dime.

If you’re looking for a place to stay on a Social Security recipient’s budget, the Grand Gateway Hotel of Rapid City costs $65 a night. The Comfort Inn & Suites Hotel in the Black Hills costs $69 — and those are just two of several sub-$100 options.

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This article originally appeared on GOBankingRates.com: 4 Affordable Travel Destinations If You’re Living Off of Just Social Security

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