Finding affordable vacation destinations for active-duty personnel isn’t as daunting as a drill sergeant on a Monday morning. Instead, think of it as a treasure hunt, where the treasures are pristine beaches, majestic mountains, vibrant cities, and, most importantly, price tags that don’t make you break into a cold sweat.

If you’re active duty personnel, or someone dear to you is, you’re in for a treat. We’ve scouted the globe for the most breathtaking yet affordable vacation destinations tailor-made for our men and women in uniform. 

Whether you dream of a tropical beach getaway, a quiet mountain retreat, or an adrenaline-packed adventure, we have you covered. Read on to find out where you can find your next escape without breaking the bank.

Affordable Vacation Destinations For the Service Member 

After months of grueling drills, challenging assignments, and answering the nation’s call, every soldier deserves a break. Here are some options to consider. 

A Taste of the Tropics Without the Expense

Palawan Island, Philippines (Unsplash)

Ever dreamt of sipping a fresh coconut on a sandy beach, waves gently lapping at your feet? Many tropical destinations seem out of reach, but here’s a secret – they don’t have to be. 

We’ve found several affordable vacation destinations that offer that same paradise feeling.

  • Thailand: Whether exploring bustling Bangkok or relaxing on the idyllic islands of Phuket and Koh Samui, Thailand offers an exotic experience without a hefty price tag. Expect to spend around $600-$800 per person per week, including accommodation, food, and local transportation.
  • Philippines: From the white sands of Boracay to the hidden lagoons of Palawan, there’s beauty at every turn, all at an accessible price. You can enjoy a week’s stay for around $700-$900 per person, covering lodging, meals, and entertainment.
  • Costa Rica: Explore the rich biodiversity or surf world-class waves without breaking the bank. Depending on your chosen activities, a week in Costa Rica may cost anywhere from $800-$1,200 per person.
  • Sri Lanka: Known for its golden beaches, flavorful cuisine, and friendly locals, Sri Lanka is a tropical gem that won’t leave your wallet empty. Expenses for a week-long vacation here might range from $500-$700 per person.
  • Nicaragua: Offering stunning volcanic landscapes, surf-worthy beaches, and colorful colonial towns, it’s a tropical haven accessible on the purse strings. Enjoy a week’s holiday for around $600-$800 per person, including meals, lodging, and local excursions.

Adventures for the Thrill-Seeker

Machu Picchu, Peru (Unsplash)

Maybe sandy beaches aren’t your style. We have some affordable vacation destinations if you’re looking for an adrenaline rush.

  • Peru: Hike the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu or explore the vast Amazon rainforest. A week in Peru can range from $800-$1,200 per person, including accommodations, meals, and some guided tours.
  • South Africa: For wildlife enthusiasts, a safari in South Africa can be an unforgettable experience. Expect to spend around $1,000-$1,500 per person per week, including lodging, game drives, and meals.
  • Georgia: With its towering mountains and ancient monasteries, Georgia offers a unique blend of history and adventure. A week-long stay might cost you $600-$800 per person, covering basic expenses.
  • Morocco: Trek the Atlas Mountains or ride camels through the Sahara Desert. A week in Morocco could cost anywhere from $700-$1,000 per person, depending on your chosen experiences.
  • New Zealand: Known for its stunning landscapes and outdoor activities, a week in New Zealand might cost $1,200-$1,600 per person, including accommodations, food, and adventure sports like bungee jumping or white-water rafting.

A Quiet Retreat

Paros Island, Greece (Unsplash)

If peace and tranquility are what you seek, don’t worry; we have that too.