Vacation inspiration: 5 unique travel ideas for any budget

Looking to up your vacation game but don’t know where to begin? We’ve put together a list of inspiring travel ideas to match any season, style, and budget.

7 min read

No matter the season, most of us catch the travel bug at least once a year. But let’s face it: Vacation planning can also be a drag. Many of us find ourselves  scrambling to find a last-minute deal, or traveling to lackluster places simply to stay on budget. 

A little inspiration might be all you need to kick your vacation malaise. To get started, we recommend tapping into the kind of trip you want to have — from sporty to restorative to family-friendly and everything in between. Once you’ve narrowed down the theme, the sky’s the limit. 

If you’ve got a case of wanderlust but don’t know where to begin, then you’ve come to the right place. Read on for five top vacation ideas perfect for any season and any budget


If you’re fixing for an escapade that gets your adrenaline pumping, why not turn your next vacation into the adventure of a lifetime? Adventurous trips pack plenty of physical activity in a majestic or wild setting, giving you a next-level experience you’ll never forget. 

Happily, adventurous vacations can be done on any budget. If you want to keep expenses down, buy or renovate a camper van and travel the open road in style. Experience wild camping, and pitch your tent anywhere to sleep under the stars. Bike tours are another excellent way to see some breathtaking scenery — and get a workout at the same time. Europe has some great ones, from the German lake region of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern to Austria or Hungary. 

If you’re keen to venture a bit further afield, head to Turkey’s Cappadocia region where you can catch excellent views from a hot air balloon. Mountain enthusiasts might fancy a hike through the Andes to visit Machu Picchu, or skiing on Mont Blanc. Explore the Great Barrier reef (before it disappears) or head to Yosemite and climb the 5,000 foot cliffs. Iceland and Finland are perfect places to see the Northern Lights or to tour the glaciers in a kayak.

To get started, simply think of your dream adventure, and build from there. You’ll be surprised how quickly things will come together. Before you embark, just make sure you’ve done your research. Book guided tours ahead of time and pack light — but make sure you have the right gear and get any vaccinations you might need.  


If you’re a sucker for art, history, or architecture, a cultural excursion might be more your speed. More often than not, cultural highlights are a vacation afterthought, not the main event. However, there are plenty of destinations where arts and experiences are the thing that make vacations memorable. 

Art history lovers can head to Athens, the city dedicated to the goddess of wisdom — and the birthplace of democracy. For music buffs, head to Vienna, where you’ll be in the center of classical music that brought us Mozart and Beethoven. Or, head to Milan to check out the contemporary architecture and round off your trip with concert tickets at Teatro alla Scala. For next-level shopping and history, visit Istanbul: The Turkish metropolis is packed with Byzantine mosques, and the famous Grand Bazaar features one-of-a-kind jewelry, spices, and ceramics. 

Alternatively, you can plan your vacation around a cultural event, like the Venice Biennale art festival in Italy, or a day-long music festival. Come prepared with local restaurants or cuisine to explore, flea markets to scope out, and ways to relish the local history. 

Traveling on a budget? Check out our guide to exploring European cities on the cheap


In today’s high-pressure world, it can be difficult to find moments of repose. Stress is off the charts, and burnout is more common than ever. So, if you’re ready to swap out your usual holiday stress for a more restful experience, we don’t blame you. In fact, we’d encourage it. 

Rejuvenating vacations are a great way to hit a reset button and focus on our wellbeing. And the great news is: There are so many ways to do a relaxing vacation well. Here are some ideas. 

For the sporty and spiritual folks out there, yoga retreats offer you the chance to challenge your mind and body while exploring a new part of the world. You can find yoga retreats at pretty much any budget all across the globe, from Helsinki to the Himalayas. To rebalance your entire system, try an ayurveda retreat, a thousand-year-old traditional medicine cure combining diet, meditation, and massage along with herbal remedies and yoga. 

Contrary to what you might think, you don’t need to break the bank to have a rejuvenating vacation. You can camp in a national park and work on your meditation practice — forest bathing, anyone? — or book a cabin by the lake and bring along a good book or some art supplies. To soothe your aching bones, visit a thermal spring like the ones in Baden-Baden — the wellness capital of Germany known for its healing mineral baths and saunas.

No matter where you want to go to relax, we recommend doing a digital detox — at least for a portion of your trip. Shut off your phone and set your email to auto-response. Add a massage, facial, or morning stretching session to any vacation. 


Experiential travel gives you the opportunity to craft your perfect trip around one unique experience, whether it’s a festival, gig, conference or other exciting event. This way, you can combine fun, passion, and adventure into one unforgettable vacation. And while you’re there, you can soak up some local culture, food, and history. 

Need some inspiration? Hit up a festival in one of your bucket-list countries, like Oktoberfest in Munich or Carnival in Rio de Janeiro or New Orleans. Bordeaux,  France has beautiful wine tours, where you can sip some vin from the country’s most popular region. Or, learn to ride the waves in style at a surf camp in Morocco. 

For others, a pilgrimage to a spiritual landmark makes for a once-in-a-lifetime event. Every 12 years, you can travel to the Hindu temple of Kumbh Mela in India, or head to Lourdes — a French town where the Virgin Mary is said to have appeared to a young girl in 1858. For fans and enthusiasts, from music to media to novels, why not plan a fandom adventure? Whether you’re a Swifty or a comic-book fan, there are festivals, concerts, and conventions suited to anyone’s tastes. 


In today’s progressively digital world, many of us are searching for connection — whether it’s with other people, the land, or the world at large. However, not everyone has time to connect to others on a daily basis. That’s why more and more people are using their vacation time to reconnect to community in a variety of unique and empowering ways. 

Community-centered travel can take a variety of forms — it all depends on your preferences and goals. One option is to travel to a region with the goal of immersing yourself in the local culture. Shop and eat like a local, invest in local goods and souvenirs, and learn about the region’s customs and history. 

Alternatively, you can use your vacation time to help others. Volunteer aid work allows you to travel to regions all over the world and make a difference, pairing some sight-seeing with making a difference. Wilderness volunteers, a non-profit volunteer organization, offers projects through the United States National Parks Services, from trail maintenance to planting trees. WWOOFING — working on an organic farm in exchange for food and lodging — is a great chance to see the world, connect with locals, and do something meaningful with your time. 

It’s worth noting that while community-centered trips are excellent solo adventures, they’re also great for families. Especially for kids, traveling with a purpose can help them feel more connected to others and imbue them with a sense of responsibility.

Travel in style with our partners

Whether you’re heading to Bali or Berlin, N26 is the mobile bank account that travels with you. Our N26 You travel account features free foreign payments and ATM withdrawals, comprehensive travel insurance, and premium partner offers designed with you in mind.  

Speaking of perks, we’re proud to announce two partnerships for N26 customers that will help you explore the world in style. Tiqets is the online booking platform for museums and cultural attractions worldwide. Book your tickets instantly and save: N26 Standard customers can now benefit from 10% off their net cultural experience, while premium customers receive 12% off. 

And if you’re traveling around Europe, Canada, or the US, book all your transport in one app with Omio. Explore over 10 million routes and find the best trains, buses, flights, and ferries in 37 countries. And with your N26 account, you’ll benefit from unbeatable prices: Standard customers receive 4% off their next booking, and premium customers benefit from 6% off.

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