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What’s so wrong with strolling the streets of a city like Columbus, Ohio with a pumpkin-spiced latte in hand while listening to Coldplay on your iPhone? Nothing if you ask us! Coined as a term of derision to imply that one’s tastes are mundane, we’re proudly reclaiming the word “basic” as the ultimate status symbol for the frugal traveler. So much so that we’ve created the ultimate Be Basic Travel Package featuring infinity scarf, spiced pumpkin candle and other “basic” amenities and bookable at the Hotel on North in the leaf-peeping mecca of Western Massachusetts. Wondering where else to book a basic vacay? Try one of these cheap and cheerful getaways!

RELATED: 7 hostels with crazy cool amenities

East Coast: Burlington, VT

Burlington, Vermont

Burlington, VT

Boston, you’re a delight, but dang your hotel prices are high! Looking for New England charm that won’t set you back $345/nightly? Try crushing a black diamond slope in Stowe, Vermont ($204/nightly), discovering your bohemian side in artsy P-town ($186/nightly), following in the footsteps of Stephen King in Bangor, Maine ($120/nightly) or watching the leaves change from green to gold in Manchester, New Hampshire ($148). But the best bang for your basic buck is a weekend in hip Burlington, Vermont ($204/nightly).

EAT
Don’t overthink it. American Flatbread serves up wood-fired pizzas and craft suds from beloved local brewery Zero Gravity.

PLAY
Of course you should take the Ben & Jerry’s Factory Tour, where you can watch the iconic ice cream being made and pay respects to the dearly de-pinted in the Factory Graveyard. Afterwards, your basic boating outfit is sure to raise no eyebrows on a Lake Champlain boat cruise.

STAY
Hotel bargains abound in South Burlington. The charming Green Mountain Suites offers spacious guestrooms, free parking, WiFi and breakfast, a pool and a roaring fireplace in winter at a fraction of the cost of staying downtown.

Mid-Atlantic: Hershey, PA

Hershey, Pennsylvania

Bid adieu to high hotel prices ($327/nightly) and angry cab drivers in overpriced NYC. Princeton, New Jersey ($203/nightly) is as leafy and student-filled as you’ve imagined it and the same is true of Yale’s hometown, New Haven, Connecticut ($180/nightly). Nearby Hartford ($145/nightly) boasts the homes of both Harriet Tubman and Mark Twain and a gold-tipped state capitol. In Pennsylvania, Mount Pocono ($172/nightly) offers romantic retreats and a respite from city life. But if you’re looking for city thrills sans the high cost, head to Hershey—synonymous with the most basic of chocolates!

EAT
Steaks, burgers, flatbreads and more are made from scratch, at the Mill, a popular eatery housed inside a restored brick mill house.

PLAY
Ride the coasters at chocolate-themed Hersheypark (Chocolatetown opens summer 2020); smell the roses at bucolic Hershey Gardens; and build your own candy bar at Hershey’s Chocolate world.

STAY
If your most basic dream is to enjoy a morning cup of coffee while horses gallop through grassy pastures, then the 32-acre equestrian farm and B&B Inn at Westwynd Farm just a few miles from downtown is your dream abode.

Midwest: Traverse City, MI

Traverse City, Michigan

Traverse City

Looking for Midwest thrills that won’t set you back $276/nightly? (We’re looking at you, Chicago!) There’s family fun in the Wisconsin Dells ($111/nightly), an impressive fall festival season in Cedar Falls, Iowa ($120/nightly), sporty thrills in Wisco college town and capital Madison ($239/nightly) and small town charms in hilly Galena ($205/nightly). But if it’s Great Lakes thrills on a budget you seek, check out lively Traverse City ($174/nightly).

EAT
One of Michigan’s buzziest and most Instagrammable eateries, the Cook’s House offers both farm-to-table regional Michigan dishes and on-site cooking classes.

PLAY
Grand Traverse Bay is cut in half by Old Mission Peninsula. Drive the Old Mission Wine Trail to sample—basic wine alert!—fruit wines; Traverse City is the cherry capital of the world!

STAY
Three-star Bayshore Resort has it all including a generous, lakefront beach, indoor pool and tasteful, candy-striped guestrooms. It’s basic compared to its nearby competitors, but that’s kind of the point.

Rocky Mountains: Breckenridge, CO

Breckenridge, Colorado

Denver is kind of a basic city (Eddie Bauer is considered high fashion here), but hotel rooms are also pricey ($231/nightly). Even snow bunny hangout Vail is cheaper ($207/nightly). Instead, stay in suburban Golden for Denver explorations that won’t break the bank ($135/nightly), get your nature fix among the red sandstone cliffs of St. George, Utah ($115/nightly) or unleash your inner cowboy in Wyoming capital Cheyenne ($126/nightly). But if you really want Mile High thrills for less, head to fun and affordable Breckenridge ($186/nightly), the “Amsterdam of the Rockies.”

EAT
No longer the new kid on the block, popular Breckenridge Distillery is nevertheless the best place to sate your basic cravings. Think Colorado ranch beef burger chased with spiced whiskey.

PLAY
When in Rome—ski! Beyond the slopes, Breckenridge offers a plethora of activities, including a charming downtown, dog sledding tours, gorgeous Sawmill Reservoir, scenic roads that cross the Continental Divide and every adrenaline-fueled adventure you can imagine.

STAY
Looking for an affordable Breckenridge base camp? Check out LOGE Breckenridge (formerly the Wayside Inn), a budget option that’s undergoing renovations and aiming to woo frugal travelers with an onsite cafe, indoor/outdoor community spaces and gear rental.

Pacific Northwest: Coeur d’Alene, ID

Coeur d'alene, Idaho

Coeur d’alene, ID

Seattle, you’ve got stiff competition. Why should we pay $216/nightly to hang around tech moguls when we can trek Olympic National Park via Port Angeles ($122/nightly), slurp Hawaiian-style ramen from a food cart in Portland ($169/nightly), circumnavigate Crater Lake from Klamath Falls ($134/nightly) or hike a cinder cone butte in Bend ($101/nightly)? Then there’s Coeur d’Alene, a hidden gem in Northern Idaho offering dirt cheap thrills at $92/nightly.

EAT
You’ll love the views at Cedars Floating Restaurant, a surf ‘n’ turf eatery that sits in the middle of the water and is perfectly ‘grammable at sunset.

PLAY
We’d never use the phrase basic beach, but the stretches of sand surrounding Lake Coeur d’Alene are the best in the state.

STAY
A perfectly situated four-star boutique B&B that oozes charm and won’t break the bank? Yup, that’s the Blackwell Hotel for you.

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Tagged: Cheap City, USA, Cheap Tips, Chicago, City, Destinations, seattle, Types of Travel

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