An affordable summer vacation doesn’t have to mean inflating a pool in your own backyard and cooking hot dogs on the grill. The key to an affordable vacation is in the destination, choosing a place that might be quieter during the season or where food is cheap, accommodations are available at a wide range of prices, and a number of free or cheap activities and attractions can be enjoyed. Here’s a list of some exotic places that are worth looking into.

The Bahamas
Most people head to the Bahamas in the winter to escape the cold, which means summer is the season for cheaper airfare and bargains at hotels. Plus, it will only be a few degrees warmer than it is during the colder months of the year, so it won’t be unbearably hot, especially with the cooling sea breezes. Play your visit earlier in the season, June or July, as the risk of hurricanes will be minimal. While Nassau offers some affordable hotels, it can be a great jumping-off point forÊless-visited islands that have retained their authentic island charms, including Cat Island, Abaco, Andros, Abaco, Inagua, and Crooked Island.

San Juan, Puerto Rico
Puerto Rico offers great affordability, especially during the summer, which is the off-season here. Plan your trip in June or July to avoid the hurricane season and enjoy the many delights of San Juan with its Spanish colonial-style buildings and Spanish forts, along with some beautiful beaches. You can save even more by booking aÊbeachfront Airbnb, or a place that has a kitchen to cook some of your own meals. When you want to dine out, you can find a good casual meal for under $10 per person along with plenty of tasty street food for even less.

Zakynthos Island, Greece
While getting to Greece isn’t cheap, if you’re looking for an affordable European summer beach vacation, consider Zakynthos Island. Part of the Ionian islands located west of the Greek mainland near the maritime border of Italy, food is cheap and mouthwatering, while hotels are affordable. There are plenty of free things to do, although the favourite is spending time on the beautiful beaches edged by electric blue water. You can also capture a photo of the famous Shipwreck Beach with its rusty skeleton of a shipwrecked vessel. There are countless options for swimming in the enticing sea, along with charming villages and museums to explore on this beautiful island in Greece.

Azores Islands, Portugal
The Azores Islands are made up of nine islands that sit in the middle of the Atlantic, about 950 miles from mainland Portugal. Once you’re there, you’ll have a wealth of inexpensive, high-value hotels and vacation rentals to choose from. Sao Miguel Island is a hiker’s paradise with stunning lagoons, volcano craters, streams, and waterfalls that are only accessible on foot. Pico Island is one of the best for whale watchers. Diving, birdwatching, cave exploring, and soaking in hot springs are just a few of the other possibilities.

Oaxaca, Mexico
While many of Mexico’s most popular destinations will be scorching hot, the city of Oaxaca enjoys average temperatures in the low 80s and there are lots to do right here and throughout the state of Oaxaca, not to mention that it’s very budget-friendly. In the city itself, you can enjoy some of the most delicious eats in the country as it’s one of the top culinary destinations in Mexico, while a wealth ofÊgood accommodation optionsÊcan be found for under $80 a night. Hidden away along the Pacific coast, Puerto Escondido offers some of the most beautiful beaches in the region, attracting numerous surfers while offering spectacular views, authentic Mexican culture, and a fabulous outdoor food market with tasty and inexpensive eats.