15 Great Getaways for Groups on a Budget

by Christina Garofalo

15 Great Getaways for Groups on a Budget

by Christina Garofalo

Group vacations make memories that last a lifetime, but choosing the right destination is key. These 15 places offer group-friendly activities and accommodations, while remaining easy to navigate and — most importantly — easy on the wallet. (We used Airbnb data to calculate average nightly rates.)

Group vacations make memories that last a lifetime, but choosing the right destination is key. These 15 places offer group-friendly activities and accommodations, while remaining easy to navigate and — most importantly — easy on the wallet. (We used Airbnb data to calculate average nightly rates.)

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Lake Tahoe / iStock / eddiehernandezphotography
Oahu, HI
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Oahu, HI

Hawaii’s most populous island offers exotic landscapes without the challenges or costs of traveling abroad. Travelers of all ages and interests will find something they like — whether it’s snorkeling, surfing, hiking, or hula. Plus, all beaches are free to the public. Rental cars are cheap (approx. $30/day), and the average rate of a house rental ($172/night) can get you ocean views and a pool.

Hawaii’s most populous island offers exotic landscapes without the challenges or costs of traveling abroad. Travelers of all ages and interests will find something they like — whether it’s snorkeling, surfing, hiking, or hula. Plus, all beaches are free to the public. Rental cars are cheap (approx. $30/day), and the average rate of a house rental ($172/night) can get you ocean views and a pool.

Asheville, NC
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Asheville, NC

Spacious cabin rentals (avg. $126/night) with the Blue Ridge Mountains in the backdrop make a cozy setting for a group gathering. Make a good playlist as you drive through the winding country roads (especially scenic in fall). Corral the group for hiking or rafting, or — those who prefer a more relaxed retreat — book a hot air balloon ride and indulge in the area’s excellent bars and restaurants.

Spacious cabin rentals (avg. $126/night) with the Blue Ridge Mountains in the backdrop make a cozy setting for a group gathering. Make a good playlist as you drive through the winding country roads (especially scenic in fall). Corral the group for hiking or rafting, or — those who prefer a more relaxed retreat — book a hot air balloon ride and indulge in the area’s excellent bars and restaurants.

Newport, RI
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Newport, RI

Just 3.5 hours by car from NYC, this quaint seaside city is largely walkable — making it easy to navigate without coordinating the use of a car. It’s within minutes of lovely free beaches and the mansion-lined Cliff Walk, as well as whale-watching and deep-sea fishing. Casual seafood eateries and a lively bar scene are well-suited to groups, as are rentals, which average $257/night.

Just 3.5 hours by car from NYC, this quaint seaside city is largely walkable — making it easy to navigate without coordinating the use of a car. It’s within minutes of lovely free beaches and the mansion-lined Cliff Walk, as well as whale-watching and deep-sea fishing. Casual seafood eateries and a lively bar scene are well-suited to groups, as are rentals, which average $257/night.

Montreal, Quebec, Canada
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Montreal, QC

A group Euro trip is hard to plan (let alone to schedule). Fortunately, nearby Montreal delights Francophiles with decadent restaurants, charming wine bars, European-style markets, and of course the chance to parle français. Summer-long music festivals and the Montreal Botanical Gardens are great for groups, plus the average rental — just $62/night — is a steal.

A group Euro trip is hard to plan (let alone to schedule). Fortunately, nearby Montreal delights Francophiles with decadent restaurants, charming wine bars, European-style markets, and of course the chance to parle français. Summer-long music festivals and the Montreal Botanical Gardens are great for groups, plus the average rental — just $62/night — is a steal.

Nashville, TN
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Nashville, TN

In recent years, Music City has become a full-blown cultural hub. With avg. home rentals at $126/night, and ride shares to nearly every corner of the city for under $10, it’s easy and cheap to navigate in large numbers. From the Country Music Hall of Fame and honky-tonks on Broadway, to the trendy eateries and cocktail bars of Germantown and East Nashville, there’s something for everyone.

In recent years, Music City has become a full-blown cultural hub. With avg. home rentals at $126/night, and ride shares to nearly every corner of the city for under $10, it’s easy and cheap to navigate in large numbers. From the Country Music Hall of Fame and honky-tonks on Broadway, to the trendy eateries and cocktail bars of Germantown and East Nashville, there’s something for everyone.

1920x748_iceland-sander-meertins.jpg
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Iceland

If you want to go international, Iceland can be easy and affordable for groups — especially in winter. Home rentals average $138/night, and having a kitchen lets you keep costly restaurant meals to a minimum. Flights on WOW Air are often in the $200-range, and with a couple of cars, groups can see epic waterfalls, healing hot springs, and colossal glaciers often for free.

If you want to go international, Iceland can be easy and affordable for groups — especially in winter. Home rentals average $138/night, and having a kitchen lets you keep costly restaurant meals to a minimum. Flights on WOW Air are often in the $200-range, and with a couple of cars, groups can see epic waterfalls, healing hot springs, and colossal glaciers often for free.

Costa Rica
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Costa Rica

Though it’s a Spanish-speaking country, Costa Rica is easy to navigate as a foreigner and as a group. Large, luxurious home rentals — with upscale amenities like pools and hot tubs overlooking the water — can be found for an average nightly price of $86. And from surfing and fishing, to zip-lining and horseback riding, and endless pristine beaches — no one will be lacking things to do.

Though it’s a Spanish-speaking country, Costa Rica is easy to navigate as a foreigner and as a group. Large, luxurious home rentals — with upscale amenities like pools and hot tubs overlooking the water — can be found for an average nightly price of $86. And from surfing and fishing, to zip-lining and horseback riding, and endless pristine beaches — no one will be lacking things to do.

Hamptons, NY
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The Hamptons, NY

Though the Hamptons are associated with the elite, the massive mansions are primed for large group getaways. A dozen to 20 of your closest family members or friends can score a house for $650/night (average) with a pool and a short walk from the beautiful beaches the area is famous for. Smaller groups can find 2-4 bedrooms for $100-$150/night. Shops, bars, and restaurants in town offer a nice escape.

Though the Hamptons are associated with the elite, the massive mansions are primed for large group getaways. A dozen to 20 of your closest family members or friends can score a house for $650/night (average) with a pool and a short walk from the beautiful beaches the area is famous for. Smaller groups can find 2-4 bedrooms for $100-$150/night. Shops, bars, and restaurants in town offer a nice escape.

Carnival Cruises, Saint Lucia
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A Caribbean Cruise

Groups can enjoy the perks of an all-inclusive resort with the added bonus of experiencing several destinations and excursions organized for you. No need to coordinate transportation to/from activities or worry about splitting a check. Long weekend cruises can be less than $400 per person, if you keep an eye out for deals and know when to book.

Groups can enjoy the perks of an all-inclusive resort with the added bonus of experiencing several destinations and excursions organized for you. No need to coordinate transportation to/from activities or worry about splitting a check. Long weekend cruises can be less than $400 per person, if you keep an eye out for deals and know when to book.

Philadelphia, PA
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Philadelphia, PA

Philly is compact but dense with culture. Important historical sights, including the Liberty Bell and Independence Hall, are accessible by public transit. It has excellent restaurants, most of which are BYOB, and art museums. Take a walking tour of the city’s vibrant street art for free. High-end hotels in the city center are often less than $150/night and the average house rental is $107/night.

Philly is compact but dense with culture. Important historical sights, including the Liberty Bell and Independence Hall, are accessible by public transit. It has excellent restaurants, most of which are BYOB, and art museums. Take a walking tour of the city’s vibrant street art for free. High-end hotels in the city center are often less than $150/night and the average house rental is $107/night.

Park City
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Park City, UT

Ski trips make an epic group getaway, and there's no better destination in the U.S. than Park City. Home to three ski resorts, there’s a perfect run for every skill level, plus enough shopping, bars, and restaurants to entertain the non-skiers in your group. You’ll find chalets fit for large numbers at an average of $344/night and under $100/night for small groups.

Ski trips make an epic group getaway, and there's no better destination in the U.S. than Park City. Home to three ski resorts, there’s a perfect run for every skill level, plus enough shopping, bars, and restaurants to entertain the non-skiers in your group. You’ll find chalets fit for large numbers at an average of $344/night and under $100/night for small groups.

Sedona, AZ
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Sedona, AZ

For a restorative retreat, Sedona offers everything from salt caves to vortexes, to yoga, hiking, and spas — plus a heap of affordable homes with hot tubs, pools, and stunning views of the red rocks (avg. $156/ night). Don’t feel like cooking or getting ready for dinner in your relaxed state? Hire a private chef for your group for $35-$40 per person, per day.

 

For a restorative retreat, Sedona offers everything from salt caves to vortexes, to yoga, hiking, and spas — plus a heap of affordable homes with hot tubs, pools, and stunning views of the red rocks (avg. $156/ night). Don’t feel like cooking or getting ready for dinner in your relaxed state? Hire a private chef for your group for $35-$40 per person, per day.

 

Playa del Carmen, Mexico
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Playa del Carmen, MX

Just an hour's drive from Cancun, Playa del Carmen offers the same group-friendly activities — swimming, snorkeling, excursions (including to Chichin Itza) — but without the rowdy college crowds. The beaches are public, so you can skip the resort for a relaxing ocean-view rental (avg. $96/night for groups). Resorts offer day passes if you want a taste of the amenities.

Just an hour's drive from Cancun, Playa del Carmen offers the same group-friendly activities — swimming, snorkeling, excursions (including to Chichin Itza) — but without the rowdy college crowds. The beaches are public, so you can skip the resort for a relaxing ocean-view rental (avg. $96/night for groups). Resorts offer day passes if you want a taste of the amenities.

Lake Tahoe
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Lake Tahoe (CA or NV)

Lake Tahoe is a great, affordable option for groups year-round. In winter, hit the slopes at the affordable Sierra-at-Tahoe resort, then warm up afterward with hot spiked cider and games by the fire. In summer, have everyone pitch in for a boat for the day or go hiking. Houses cost, on average, $258/night, but smaller groups can find lodging for around $100/night.

Lake Tahoe is a great, affordable option for groups year-round. In winter, hit the slopes at the affordable Sierra-at-Tahoe resort, then warm up afterward with hot spiked cider and games by the fire. In summer, have everyone pitch in for a boat for the day or go hiking. Houses cost, on average, $258/night, but smaller groups can find lodging for around $100/night.

Orlando, FL
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Orlando, FL

Most people hear Orlando and think of Disney, but there’s plenty to do for all ages. Spend the requisite day in the parks, but then hit the trendy Milk District for vintage shops and food trucks. Have a night out downtown at the revitalized Church Street Station, and binge on affordable, authentic Vietnamese food in Mills 50. Rentals average $153/night.

Most people hear Orlando and think of Disney, but there’s plenty to do for all ages. Spend the requisite day in the parks, but then hit the trendy Milk District for vintage shops and food trucks. Have a night out downtown at the revitalized Church Street Station, and binge on affordable, authentic Vietnamese food in Mills 50. Rentals average $153/night.

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