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Yes, You Can Go on Vacation

The frugal traveler’s escape-the-crisis planner.

The Wickaninnish Inn in Tofino, British Columbia.  

Vacation? Now? Amid the grim economic headlines, vertiginous Dow drops, and shrinking 401(k) balances? On second thought, maybe now is exactly when you need to get away. Here, we have assembled a roster of doom-and-gloom-escaping trips—some dirt cheap, some relatively so, but all great values. There are warm trips, cold trips, and city trips; long trips and short trips; nearby trips and faraway trips. And here’s a silver lining to the financial climate: Hotel discounts abound; gas prices are dropping; and although airfares still tend to be high, there are deals online. If you really can’t take time away, we’ve included an itinerary of foreign-cultural immersion accessible to any MetroCard owner (“Pretend You’re in South America”). At the very least, you can create the illusion of escape.

Get Some Sun
Where to find the wildest beach bars and the finest surf breaks from Florida to Nicaragua.
Wintering in Summerland
Curl up by a fireplace and spend a third less than you would in July.
Let It Snow? Absolutely.
Embrace the season by strapping on skis or just cozying up to a very large fire.
Blue Ice, Whale Steaks, and Kleinur
Iceland’s economy may be flailing, but visiting there is more affordable than ever.
Sample Another City
The best of what is new, artsy, and delicious in competing concrete jungles.
European Values
The Big Three capitals, on a relatively tight budget.
Pretend You’re in South America…
Tap into the hip-swaying spirit in one day without leaving town.
Budget-Travel Tips
How to save on hotels, flights, and more.

Contributors: Sarah Alger, Nicole Alper, Grace Bastidas, Sarah Bernard, Carly Berwick, Geraldine Campbell, Hilary Fitzgibbons, Sarah Gold, Adam H. Graham, Tom Johansmeyer, David Kaufman, Christina Koukkos, Daniel Maurer, Marisa Mazria-Katz, Suzanne Mozes, Kate Nerenberg, Chris Rovzar, Charles Runnette, David Sax, Lisa Selin Davis, Laura Siciliano-Rosen, Emma Sloley, Annelise Sorensen, Jon Steinberg, Susan Stellin, and James Sturz.