Discover Lancastories

Traveling on a Budget in Lancaster, PA

Traveling on a Budget in Lancaster, PA

Spend more quality time & less hard earned money with our budget-friendly trip tips. Vacations don’t have to cost a fortune. Sometimes all you need for a cost-efficient trip is the perfect location and a little pre-planning. Whether you’re traveling with family or friends, here are five tips for a successful trip for less:



Book ahead and think outside the box

A comfy bed to sleep in doesn’t have to blow your vacation budget. Deal and travel sites, including Discover Lancaster’s Travel Deals page offer great packages, especially during non-peak months. While you may have to start planning ahead of time and do a little researching, the effort will be well worth the savings. Packages may include discounted dining or activities for an all-inclusive experience. If you have the gear, camping can also be a budget-friendly lodging option. Campgrounds offer amenities with site rental including pool access, fishing, and playgrounds. Lancaster County is home to campgrounds that feel far from the hustle and bustle, but are actually close to restaurants and attractions – the best of both worlds!


Take a break from driving and walk

Park the car, save some gas, and enjoy the sites by foot. With walkable towns and cities like Lititz and Downtown Lancaster, there is lots to be discovered within a few blocks. Before you go, grab a map at the Visitors Center or make a list of places within walking distance of each other to maximize your visit. As you walk, take in the sights and sounds of the area and get to know the people and businesses. Be prepared with comfortable, supportive shoes and a camera to snap pictures along the way.



Save dollars on dining

Besides lodging, dining can make up a large portion of your vacation budget. Plan ahead by looking at restaurant menus online to find options that would satisfy both your taste buds and your wallet. If you have the option to cook either in a kitchenette at a hotel or a campground, enjoy breakfast or lunch out and cook dinner in, as dinner can be the most expensive. There are plenty of delicious breakfast and lunch options to choose from, whether you’re craving a home-style breakfast or a light café lunch. Popular in Lancaster County, smorgasbords offer all-you-care-to-eat comfort food favorites that will keep you satisfied through an afternoon of exploring. If you’re looking for an al fresco lunch, consider a picnic in the park! Stop by one of Lancaster’s farmers markets to pick up ready-to-eat items before heading to a park (free parking and admission) for a relaxing afternoon meal.


Enjoy free events and activities

Fun can be free! With a little research and exploring, free things to do can make your trip both fun and cost-efficient. From kid-friendly to adults-only, entertainment doesn’t have to break the budget. Before hitting the road, take time to plan out what activities and attractions you would be interested, using resources to find approximate costs. Whether your plan becomes your official itinerary or a helpful guide, pre-trip planning can help give you an idea of how much you’ll be spending throughout the day. Let Discover Lancaster’s “Free Things to Do” list be your guide to museums, attractions, tours and more that will lead to memorable experiences and fun. Free events like First Friday, Long’s Park Concerts and festivals are popular, especially during the summer. Find free events and more on the Discover Lancaster Events Calendar.



Take home savvy souvenirs

If you’re looking for a memento to remember your trip by, consider capturing your adventure with photos rather than things. Bring home plenty of photos to share with family and friends. If you enjoy scrapbooking, combine your photos with ticket stubs and post cards to create your own souvenir commemorating your journey. Practical souvenirs are also plentiful in Lancaster County. Ranging from larger pieces like furniture or quilts to smaller items like cookware or even food items, souvenirs that can be used in your home or consumed are great ways to remember your trip. Sweet treats like baked goods, local honey or homemade candy may not last forever like traditional souvenirs, but they are tasty reminders of the places you visited.