How to Take an Affordable Vacation During the Holidays

How to Take an Affordable Vacation During the Holidays

Posted on Oct 05 2023 Posted in  Holidays & Seasons, Travel
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Family hiking in the forest while on vacation

Between the festive decorations and Christmas music playing pretty much everywhere you go, there’s something about the holiday season that adds a bit more fun to our daily routine. Though with all the excitement, sometimes it’s nice to take a little break from it all. 

A holiday vacation may seem out of reach if you’re on a budget, but believe it or not there are some affordable options out there. Read on to learn about money-saving tips and inexpensive trip ideas to make the most out of your end-of-the-year getaway—all while earning cash back.

Go glamping under the stars

Yurt at Zion View Camping in Utah

Camping is almost always the cheapest lodging alternative but if you’re looking for something a little cozier, glamping takes it up a notch. With options that include yurts, conestoga wagons, small cabins and treehouses, you won’t have to worry about pitching that tent. Plus, unless you book a super luxe yurt, it’s still cheaper than a hotel.

Think of it as having all the perks that come with a traditional camping trip—that is, roasting marshmallows and telling campfire stories—only you have a bed and fresh linens when you’re ready to nod off. Many glamping sites also include heating and air conditioning. Book your glamping experience on and get 8% cash back.

Cook your own meals

Transportable Slow Cooker for Vacations

Preparing your own meals is a great way to save money while traveling. Plus, you can enjoy leftovers afterwards! The Presto Nomad 8-Quart Traveling Slow Cooker at Home Depot has a picnic basket-like design that makes it easily transportable and is perfect for making casseroles, roasts and more. Not to mention you can score up to 8.8% cash back.

Save space with compression packing cubes 

Backpack cooler for bringing lunch

Make room for all your essentials with PACK-IT Isolate Compression Cube Set at Eagle Creek and get 4.04% cash back. Not only will you maximize your luggage space with these nifty compression bags but bringing a carry-on suitcase to the airport will let you skip the baggage fee altogether.

Hit the trails

Hiking in the forest in the winter

They say nature is the best medicine. Rather than dropping money on pricey attractions why not explore the great outdoors? Learn about all the best local trails wherever you may be with an AllTrails subscription and earn 15.15% cash back on top of it.

Tour the national parks 

Hot springs at Yellowstone National Park

If you think park trips are a summer thing, think again. Though if you’re not a fan of the cold, consider visiting a national park like Everglades National Park or Joshua Tree National Park. Book a guided tour with TripAdvisor to get the most out of it and get up to 9.09% cash back. Tripadvisor also offers self-driving tours for just $15 if you prefer to go it alone.

Bring a reusable filter water bottle

Brita Filtered Stainless Steel Water Bottle

This isn’t just any water bottle—the Brita Premium Stainless Steel Leak Proof Filtered Water Bottle gives you fresh-tasting water that keeps cold for up to 24 hours. It’ll also save you multiple trips to the store for bottled water. Get it at Walmart and earn 4% cash back.


Book an all-inclusive vacation package

All-inclusive resort vacation during the holidays

Take a romantic beach vacay at an all-inclusive resort. Besides covering flight and hotel stays, your booking cost will also include fun perks like dining, cocktails, activities and entertainment at a great value. Book your next trip at and earn up to 8% cash back.


Take the family to an amusement park

Cheap small amusement parks

Disney is great, but if you’re on a budget there are lots of smaller theme parks and water parks for a fraction of the price (sorry, Mickey). From Hersheypark in Pennsylvania (which also gets decked out for the holidays) to Adventure Island in Florida, you can take your pick. Find affordable hotels nearby at and get up to 8% cash back.

Tow your lunch in a backpack cooler

Backpack cooler for keeping lunch cold

If you’re planning to be out and about all day you can keep your lunch (or beverages) nice and chilled in a PFG Rollcaster Backpack Cooler at Columbia Sportswear. You just never know when you’ll want to take a break and crack open a cold one (or have a sandwich)—also, you’ll spend way less than buying something at a restaurant and earn up to 12% cash back. 

Go road tripping in a camper van

Take a road trip in a camper van

If you’ve ever wanted to channel Dean Moriarty, here’s your chance to explore the open road. Skip the hotels and rent a camper van at RVshare. Think of all the adventures to be had. Oh, and you’ll also earn 5.5% cash back. 

Photograph of the blog author, Michelle Harris.

by Michelle Harris

Michelle Harris is the junior copywriter at TopCashback. When she’s not writing about money-saving tips, she enjoys hiking, cooking, and spoiling her chunky cat.

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